As consumers of content, we’ve come to expect a lot from how it is presented. As busy people, we start our day by seeking out what information matters to us — understanding what moves competition, clients and potential customers. This gives us perspective on what matters in our day.
Through the volume of content released on a daily basis such as press releases, industry publications, thought leadership pieces and favorite media publications, deciding on what makes the cut and its presentation is key.
For clients, perspective is determined through an upfront discovery process and regular content recalibration sessions. This is important to define the client’s information priorities and allow briefing editors to make the proper editorial decisions. These conversations include questions about what day to day moves take place that will shape the future? What drives a client’s decision-making process and how do they pivot? None of this matters if the delivery of information doesn’t stand out and hold the reader’s attention.
How to create a compelling briefing
In a time where the majority of our engagement is online, too much visual clutter can make a difference between thoughtfully digesting information and simply moving on to the next thing that catches our attention. As a Competitive Intelligence Editor, I curate content from a variety of sources, analyze a high volume of information and compile the most important findings into a briefing that is then delivered to our clients. The following are some of the considerations that go into writing an effective market intelligence briefing:
1. Header: Who curated the content, where to get more information and where it is archived, i.e. client specific market intelligence portal;
2. Nut graf: A brief summary of what to find in the market intelligence briefing and the key moves, trends and industry disruptions taken place through the time frame of the briefing (i.e. daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly);
3. Jump list: A listing of descriptive headlines that clearly state what happened and why (no clickbait here); and
4. Abstracts: A headline linking to the original source and a summary of information. This should be written as clearly and concisely as possible to convey those important nuggets of information on the clients’ radar.
How to format and design a briefing
In terms of format, we recently refreshed our intelligence briefings to remove unnecessary visual clutter. The information is properly spaced, thoughtfully designed and carefully formatted with the capability to work around the most complicated email servers. Some of the considerations that have gone into our new email format include:
- Corporate logos and visual optimization: We kept things simple and stylish to appeal to information minimalists;
- Font pairings: Updated fonts to classic, familiar fonts similar to what’s used in leading publications so text is easier to read;
- Design elements: Discontinued broken line breaks, icons, and arrows that were requested by clients a long time ago to meet a past non-present need; and
- Accessibility: Inserted a ‘view in browser’ link to get around the fussiest email servers.
Keeping the client first
Our daily intelligence briefings are more than a list of who your competitors are hiring, or a list of news articles and corporate moves. We set the parameters of the briefings to only include what is essential to our clients and ensure that we understand how much more value minimal information can have.
As a curator of content spanning industries that include legal, technology, financial and professional services, we understand clients are preparing to respond to unprecedented market challenges. Deciding on your next corporate move takes careful thought and consideration. We can help by diving into the mass volumes of data and sources to make concise choices that will empower your decision-making abilities to meet the challenges of the day.
We present only what our clients need to know about their next move by being the eyes and ears of their company. We spot the trends that are making waves in various markets, as well as keeping an open mind on what could come next.
As we put together the market intelligence briefings, we think about how the information can be displayed and how we can compete with the volume of free content already flooding your inbox.
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