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If you’re a business owner with a need to outsource elements of your marketing to a marketing agency, then you will at some point need to create a brief. To get the best results from any marketing partnerships, you will need to make sure that your brief is comprehensive and clear, leaving no room for misunderstanding from either side.

If you want a successful outcome when partnering with a marketing agency, it’s really important to be clear about your goals in your brief– and to be willing to provide all the relevant information that your agency will need to achieve your objectives. The better the brief, the better their response is likely to be.

But what makes a good marketing brief?

A good brief for a marketing agency serves as the cornerstone for a successful collaboration. It should be a comprehensive document that provides a clear and concise understanding of the project’s scope, goals, and expectations.

Smaller companies don’t always have a marketing person in house with the experience and expertise needed to articulate their requirements. So, this blog has been created to help you to put together a brief that ensures that the marketing partner you intend to work with with gains a proper understanding of what you are looking to achieve and that you are both perfectly aligned in your objectives.

Step 1 Overview

Start your brief with a short overview of your thoughts. In a concise way explain what it is that you’re looking to do, what sort of challenges you are experiencing and what sort of channels you are thinking about as a means of achieving what you want to achieve. Keep it concise, at this point you are just looking to set the scene.

Step 2 Background of the company

Tell your chosen marketing partner as much about yourself as you can to give them a good understanding of who you are. Inform them about the company history, size and turnover, the sectors in which you work and the types of products and services you sell, including special features, pricing and sales channels. Share your mission statements and vision.

Also spend a little time to explain what software and online tools you use to run your sales pipeline, including customer relationship management (CRM) software, email marketing tools and marketing automation software.

Step 3 Define your target customer

This is probably the most important of all the steps. Describe your current customers, which market segments they are in and which geographies. Describe your ideal customer and target market if different. This should include as much information as you can gather, from the job title or persona profile of your ideal customer to the average order value you want to achieve. If you’re not explicit on this point you could spend valuable funds on a campaign which then attracts the wrong kind of customer and the wrong kind of leads.

Step 4 What do you want to do

This step is in essence the heart of the brief and should explain what it is that you want to do and what methods and channels you are thinking of using.

Divulge what marketing activities you might have undertaken in the past and what worked and what was unsuccessful. Give your agency as much information as you can to help them succeed and achieve the results you’re seeking. Your agency will digest this information and advise you on whether or not your chosen activities are indeed the best method to achieve the objectives.

Also describe how you would like to work with the agency. What are you looking for from them – someone who is really hand-holding and works closely with you or maybe you want to get the job done with minimal contact.

Step 5 Define the desired outcome

Describe your goals and objectives in detail – what it is that you would like a marketing campaign to achieve. Ideally, your goals need to be specific and measurable.  You might want to boost traffic to your website for online sales, or you may want to create more leads for your sales team or you might simply want to raise your profile in a market where you’re little known. A good agency will be honest and up front and let you know what’s attainable what’s not attainable. And if your expectations are way above what’s possible with the budget you specify, they should let you know so that you’ll both be on the same page when the campaign goes live.

Step 6 Define your USPs and competitive advantages

Your agency will need to know the ins and outs of your products and services, including any USPs and competitive advantages so they can better understand your position in the market; are you cheaper than competitors, do you have a better quality of service, can you boast better customer reviews. They will need to understand the benefits that your products/services deliver for your customers, particularly in comparison to your competition.

Step 7 Competitor analysis

Explain to your agency who you see as your major competition. You may already have competitor analysis which you can share but if not they’ll be able to get insights by exploring their websites and social media pages.

Step 8 Setting the budget

There’s two ways to establish a marketing budget. The first way is for you to advise on a budget and for the agency to determine what can be achieved with that level of investment. The second way is to allow the agency to work out how much you need to spend to achieve the objectives stated in the brief. The decision is yours.

Step 9 Timeframe for the project

The agency will need to know that they have the available resource to deliver the project in your desired timeline. If you need to launch something really quickly, it will rarely prove to be an issue, it just means that the campaign will have to be created with less planning and research.

Step 10 Share your contact details

Share your stakeholders contact details and make sure everybody knows who’s in the loop in terms of the decision making and approval process.  The agency might need to have further conversations and meetings with you so you need to be sure they are getting in touch with the correct people.

With so many marketing agencies out there, choosing the right one to work with can be tough, but first and foremost make sure the agency you choose is able to demonstrate that they understand your business and your specific goals and expectations. A highly creative, wacky design-led agency may impress with their creativity, but a results focused agency will impress on outcomes, such as leads generated, website visitors and conversion.

To find out more about Protean Inbound and how we work as an agency, get in touch today.