A good marketing brief is essential for ensuring the success of a campaign, particularly if you are commissioning an external agency to carry out the work.
The brief serves as a blueprint for the project, ensures all those involved understand the objectives, the audience it is aimed at and how success will be measured.
But what information should you include? It can be a puzzler, especially if you’re not used to dealing with agencies.
Well, don’t worry, our top tips will soon have you crafting the perfect briefs – and we’re even providing five free downloadable templates to get you started.
To put it simply, a marketing brief is a guideline for your marketing campaign.
It lays out the expectations for everyone, while outlining the goals and the predicted deliverables of the campaign. This helps you and the specialists you work with to measure its success.
Providing a marketing agency with a detailed brief will also enable them to get a clear understanding of your business and objectives early on, making it much more likely the ideas and concepts they show you will hit the mark straight away.
It will also ensure work is delivered on time, allowing for amendments to be made, and help keep the project within budget.
When writing a marketing brief for an agency it is important know what information will help them deliver the best response.
It’s important to know a marketing brief isn’t one size fits all, and will need tailoring depending on whether it’s a project intended to raise brand profile, deliver a specific message, increase sales, promote a product or service. This is because the tactics such as creative design, direct mail, website, social, email, content or video will also vary.
However, there are key principles which should be included in every marketing brief
Nobody knows your business better than you do, and when working with a third party you’ll want to ensure they get the very best understanding.
Communicating your brand identity is imperative, as this is the centre of your ethos, personality, and values.
Try to disclose as much as possible, but in a condensed manner. Think about what is essential to your business, your target customers and what products you sell.
Being clear about what you hope to achieve will help an agency to devise the best solution. and will also ensure you and they understand what success will look like and how it will be measured. If
Your campaign objectives should be specific, measurable, and realistic. For example, you may track the click through rate (CTR) of your social posts to see if your audience find your content engaging and relevant.
Listing what you expect to be delivered will help all stakeholders understand the scope of the project and progress towards successful completion.
It will allow project managers to develop a timeline and deadlines to ensure efficient delivery.
For example, a wireframe may need to be created if the project involves developing a website landing page design. Then a copywriter will need to write the content, and the design team create the assets. All of this must happen before a web development team can put it all together.
Be as specific as possible about who you are targeting and why your personas do or should engage with you. You should also include their demographics, psychographics, and pain points.
If your business has many personas it is targeting, add how the message you convey varies when communicating to them.
This can be difficult if you’re undergoing a change in direction, targeting a new audience or rebranding. Instead, explain here who you’d like to target as a baseline.
As this is one of the more challenging parts of a marketing brief, your agency should be able to help ensure you communicate your USP and why they should choose your company.
Whilst you may have a detailed understanding of your competitors, your agency may not.
Make sure your brief includes as many details about your competitors as possible, including the competitor’s name, website links, what they offer, and who their target audience is.
It can also be useful to highlight what makes you unique compared to your competition.
It’s crucial to be clear from the start on your expectations in terms of timings, so any agency can assess whether they have the scope to deliver the project in line with your demands.
It’s also helpful to give at least a suggestion of likely budget available, so potential partners can suggest activity that is realistic.
To maximise efficiency, we suggest nominating a lead point of contact who will be the person dealing with most of the agency’s questions and also providing feedback.
Make it as clear as possible how to get in touch with this contact, including:
Once you’ve chosen your agency, they will also identify a similar point of contact on their side, usually an account manager.
Once you’ve created your marketing brief, you’ll need to reach out to an agency or agencies to get your campaign moving.
If you haven’t worked in this way before, here are some things to expect:
Once your brief has been received, a marketing agency will begin market research and look at things such as competitor strengths and weaknesses, brand insights and customer insights to inform their pitch.
Before deciding on your chosen partner, you’ll usually have a meeting where an agency (or agencies) will pitch their ideas and vision.
This is when the efforts of your marketing brief come to fruition, as both this and the agency’s own research will be shown.
During the pitch, the ‘thinkers’ behind the project or campaign will usually be in the room. You’ll then receive a broad overview of ideas and the approach. Once you’ve chosen an agency that best fits your project, you’ll then receive a more detailed solution and approach for your campaign.
If you decide to interview more than one agency, it can be worthwhile to create an evaluation matrix so you can rate the skills and attributes of each agency so you have a fair comparison. The evaluation areas could be things their experience and knowledge of your sector, rapport, account management processes, accreditations, their ideas, timescales, and price.
Having chosen your preferred marketing agency, most good agencies will want to create an environment that feels collaborative from the first meeting.
Expect to talk through your ideas with those involved in the project. On occasion, depending on the agency, you may receive a detailed overview of what was discussed after that meeting.
Throughout the process, it’s crucial to provide feedback—whether successful or not. Everyone wants to learn and improve, and that’s the same for agencies.
If you don’t feel they are a good fit, explain why. If you feel they have done a great job, tell them. Honest and constructive feedback is always well received and can help iron out kinks for any future projects you embark on.
We know it can be daunting to create a marketing brief from scratch. This is why we’ve created five marketing brief templates for you to download for free.
These marketing briefs help provide clear guidance for the agency you choose to work with.
If you’re interested in working with a marketing agency for your next campaign, get in touch with us today to see how Purpose Media can support you.