How to Brief Your Marketing Agency
When it comes to marketing, the right brief is essential. A good agency brief is one of the most important things for a successful marketing campaign; whether that’s for web design, advertising, PR, or all of the above. Giving your agency a brief sets the expectation of what you, the client, want to achieve. Not only will the brief benefit the agency, but it will also benefit you by getting a better response from the agencies you get in touch with. It will help the agency to give a relevant pitch and show exactly what they can do for you. In this article, we explore how to brief your marketing agency.
What Do You Want?
In an agency brief, be clear about what you want to achieve. If you just want to raise the profile of your business, say that. Outline why you feel this is important – maybe it’s because you want to increase sales. If you want more sales, put that in the brief. Explain what level of additional sales you’d like and how you’ll measure that – for instance, is it net profit, percentage increase or a financial figure? This will show the agency how success will be measured and allow them to think about the problem correctly. Explaining what you want will help them to decide whether it’s something they can influence.
If you’re not sure what you want to achieve, consider this before writing the brief. If you don’t know what you want, how will the agency be able to help you? Note down how you’d like to improve your business, then decide whether or not an agency can help you achieve it. Pick out the three points that are most important to you and include them in the brief. This will also give you a good place to start when choosing an agency. Some are experts in certain areas, while others off an all-round service.
Do Your Communications, Marketing and Business Objectives Align?
If you don’t see marketing as a valuable tool for business improvement, you’re missing a trick. Great marketing can take things to the next level and make your business fly. When briefing a marketing agency, make sure that your communications, marketing and business objectives align. If your sales strategy focusses on relationships and long-term pre-orders, there no point in asking your agency to drive sales. Think about what you want to achieve and then make sure it aligns with your existing strategy. If you want to re-think your entire strategy, include that in the brief. Some marketing agencies enjoy starting with a clean slate.
What’s Your Budget?
Don’t be put off when an agency asks for a budget. They’re not trying to rinse you for cash, they simply want to know what level of support they can commit to your campaign. You wouldn’t go and buy a house without knowing how much you’re able to spend; otherwise, the estate agent would end up showing you irrelevant houses that are way over/under budget. The same thing goes for marketing. Depending on your budget, the agency will decide what kind of thing they can provide. Putting your budget in the brief will help you to get realistic proposals back.
What’s Your Target Market?
Nobody wants to turn away business. However, it’s important to have a target market, instead of trying to sell to everyone. If you’re a B2B company, there’s probably a particular role which is the decision-maker when it comes to purchasing your product. In that case, that role or profession is your target market. If you’re selling a high-end product, there’s no point targeting those with a low income. While some low-income households stretch to high-end products, the majority of your clients will be those with more money.
Whatever your target market is, put it in the brief. The more closely you can define your audience, the more accurate your campaign will be. Of course, that’s not to say you should exclude everyone else, but it’s a good idea to have a hierarchy of market importance. Defining your target market will allow the agency to do research into your audience and develop campaign ideas that work.
What’s the Context?
Context is another important thing to include. This can be as simple as the background of the founders, the history of your business, or your long-term ambitions for growth. When creating a campaign, agencies look for the thing that makes you stand out from your competitors. If you know what this is, great! Include it in the brief. If you’re not sure, the agency can pick this out from your context. You don’t need to write a 30-page document, but some general information about your business can help to bring the objectives to life.
What Do You Want to Avoid?
Agencies are full of creative professionals. With this in mind, they love to be creative and try out new ideas. Generally speaking, they have a pretty good idea about what will work for your brand, so many people just let them do their thing. However, if there’s anything you know you want to avoid, put it in the brief. This could be something that you’ve tried before and it didn’t work, or something you feel goes against the objective of your business. Whatever it is, include it in the brief to avoid wasting the time of yourself and the agency.
Do You Have a Deadline?
If you have a specific deadline in mind, include it in the brief. However, make sure you give the agency enough time to do their thing. They understand that you want to get things moving, but a good proposal takes time and they probably have other projects on the go, too. Giving them a couple of weeks to write the proposal will help you to get a better response.
So, there you have it – how to brief your marketing agency. A good brief will show the agency what you want and allow them to put together a relevant proposal. If you’re not sure where to start, follow the tips above.