We have our own briefing document and process that we go through with our clients when they come on board. However, in order to help all those people who are looking for a marketing agency or a new web design, I thought I would throw together some things that are worth doing and including when you write a brief. There are a few good resources out there, especially the Australian Government’s own.
The first thing a client should do is map out what it is they actually want in detail, and what they want to get out of the project.
1. Project information
Include your company name, contact details, project name and project manager, brand or product/service name, agency name and date.
2. Background (where are we now)
Here, give background information on your company and your industry. Tell the agency about your product/service (including key attributes and benefits) together with the issues it is facing. Include information on past marketing communications campaigns and their results. Provide details of competitor activity.
3. Objectives (where do we want to be?)
Explain what you want to achieve, e.g. increase sales, improve awareness, raise response levels, etc. Try to make your objectives specific and measurable.
4. Strategy (how do we get there?)
Give details of what you want the agency to do for you, e.g. a direct mail campaign, a website, a brochure, etc. Explain how what you are asking the agency to do fits in with your overall marketing strategy.
5. Audience (who are we talking to)
Your objective is to get a response from your audience. Tell the agency who your target audience is. Define your audience(s) as accurately as possible and share any insights you have about them with the agency.
6. Evaluation (what success will look like)
How will you measure success? When will it be measured? Who will measure it?
Is there anything that must be included; for example – offer terms and conditions? Are there any corporate identity guidelines? What legal constraints are there?
What are the deadlines? What are the media booking dates (if applicable)? By when do you want to see creative concepts? Does the project have to tie in with dates of other campaigns?
Specifying a budget up front will help to avoid reworking of solutions. If you are reluctant to do this, then suggest three budgets and ask the agency which they would recommend and why. Alternatively, ask the agency to recommend a budget.