Creating a Marketing Project Brief

project_planning_2.jpegA reader asked the following: Can you share a one-page marketing project overview and perhaps share examples clients use to develop collateral and summarize results?

 I like to use the “Natural Planning Model” by David Allen of Getting Things Done because it’s so intuitive and reflective of how we think. This method works for any kind of initiative, not just a marketing project.


  1. Purpose/Guiding Principles – WHY

First get clear about why you wanted to do it in the first place.


  1. Mission/Vision/Goal/Successful Outcome – WHAT

What do you want to be true? What does success look like?


  1. Brainstorming – HOW (part A)

What are all the things that occur to you about this project?

What should you consider? What is the current reality?


  1. Organizing – HOW (part B)

What are the components, sub-projects, priorities?

e.g., budget, schedule, audience, messaging,


  1. Next Actions – NOW (allocating resources)

What are the next actions and who will do them?


Here’s what an example of a project brief would look like for one of our healthcare clients:



  • Generate awareness of PG program and start cultivation of PG prospects


Desired Outcome

  • .01% response ~ 5 inquiries
  • This is the first of two biannual newsletters – would like to see an eventual response of .03%, but since the purpose is awareness and cultivation, it doesn’t replace the need for targeted direct mailings with a stronger call to action and response rate of .05%-.08%



  • 4 page print newsletter – drop date Jan 15


  • New Year Resolutions & Planning


  • Specific Criteria and exclusions:
  • PG prospects: (age 50+ who has given 5 gifts in the last 10 years) or
  • PG score of 700+ or has made a PG inquiry in the last 5 years


  • Patients, doctors, mission critical buildings, grandparents and grandchildren,
  • philanthropy in motion: what has philanthropy done for the organization


  • Brief intro from CDO – How to start the New Year right. Other ways of giving and why these gifts are important to the organization
  • Estate Planning: where to start, and why
  • Why should you include charity
  • Inaugural listing of legacy society members
  •  Donor story – why they give?


  • Use of logo and tagline
  • Newsletter title approved

Next Steps

  • Schedule & Assignments
  • Clean list from IT
  • Timing of annual fund mailing?