Stop PROMPTING AI – We need to start BRIEFING to get the best results

Stop PROMPTING AI - We need to start BRIEFING to get the best results


In the dynamic world of marketing and communication, a detailed and well-crafted brief can be the difference between an effective and creative agency pitch and a mediocre one. Now we’re living with AI we face a similar issue. The key to unlocking AI’s true potential lies not in prompting, but briefing? Let’s explore the fascinating realm of AI creativity.

Lessons from the Trenches

Early in my career, I encountered a string of lackluster pitches from creative marketing agencies. I remember after one grim morning the Marketing Director, exasperated, raised her hands and declared, “It’s not their fault. We messed up the brief.” Our strategy lacked clarity, our position was fuzzy, and our goals weren’t defined.

That was a wake-up call for me. The brief mattered more than I’d realised.

The AI Conundrum

Fast forward to today, where AI increasingly dominates conversations. Yet, despite the hype, many find AI-generated content uninspiring. It’s like ordering a vanilla latte and receiving lukewarm tap water. Disappointing, right? But when I see disappointing AI output, my mind goes back to those agency pitch meetings. The issue isn’t the AI, it’s the prompt.

The Problem with Prompts

The word “prompt” implies simplicity. It suggests that creating a few lines of instruction is child’s play. But AI isn’t a magic wand, it’s a tool. And like any tool, it needs precise instructions. That’s why we should think of prompts as briefs.

The Power of a Well-Crafted Brief

Imagine briefing an agency for a high-stakes campaign. You wouldn’t scribble a few vague sentences on a napkin and call it a day. No, you’d meticulously outline your vision, goals, and desired impact. The same applies to AI. A good brief is a roadmap to a successful campaign.

Crafting Your AI Brief

  • Details: Be thorough. Specify tone, style, and audience. Describe the emotional arc you want. Remember, AI isn’t a mind reader; it thrives on specifics.
  • Context: Provide context. Explain the backstory, your brand’s essence, and the customer problem you’re solving. Context fuels creativity.
  • Constraints: Set boundaries. Limitations spark ingenuity. Tell AI what not to do, as well as what you want it to consider.
  • CollaborationI: Think of AI as your creative partner. It’s not a mindless automaton, it’s a canvas waiting for your strokes.

The Myth of Instant Magic

If you want top quality output that stands out, your brief needs to be detailed and thorough. Just as if you were briefing an agency. A good brief might take a long time to put together. You’re not going to get it from a “10,000 ChatGPT Prompts R-US”.


So, let’s retire the word “prompt.” Instead, let’s talk about “briefs.” Let’s elevate our expectations and demand brilliance. Because when AI meets a stellar brief, a successful result is more likely than a mediocre one.

Next time you’re tempted to say “prompt,” pause. Take a deep breath. And remember, it’s not about the prompt, it’s about the brief.

Is it time to rediscover the 4Ps of marketing?

❗ The 4Ps of Marketing are dead. ❗

❗ Positioning is academic nonsense. ❗

Is it time to rediscover the 4Ps of marketing? Roger Edwards Marketing

We’ve seen many headlines like this since someone decided to plonk the word, “Digital” in front of the word, “Marketing” and the discipline decided to relegate itself to just being about the tactics of communications and nothing else.

I’ve argued against this in articles, podcasts and on stages – saying that strategy is still important. My words make some people huff and puff and mutter the words, “Out of touch” and, “Gen X – rolls eyes.” under their breath.

But I’ve seen a few more people talking about this recently. Saying the 4Ps of marketing definitely aren’t dead (they never were) and positioning is still important (it always was).

People are even talking about research, segmentation and goals again.

Is this a glimpse of spring? Are businesses waking up to the fact that there’s more to marketing than social media, apps and adverts again?

What do you think?

Marketing without the hype – why we need a  back to basics approach – MAF298

Is our marketing activity annoying our customers? Is the hype surrounding the latest digital toys making obsessed with digital tactics at the expense of customer focus?

Maybe it’s time to rediscover the full marketing picture, including customer research, product development, pricing, and promotion. How to develop a deep understanding of customers and their needs, and articulate a clear, standout offer that is simple and easy to understand.

Welcome to the 298 Marketing and Finance podcast and another short sharp episode in the 2023 Simply Marketing Series.

Marketing without the hype - why we need a  back to basics approach – MAF298

What you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • The hype surrounding The Metaverse, ChatGPT and AI
  • The benefits of digital marketing tools but also the consequences
  • Do we obsess over tactics at the expense of strategy?
  • Three areas to focus our attention
  • Rediscovering the full marketing mix

Roger’s Links

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