Maybe you’re a growing business looking for an agency to create a marketing campaign? Or you’ve already found one, but their work isn’t delivering the results you were expecting? Either way, you can increase your chances of success next time (or first time) ’round by immersing yourself in the brief-writing process.
Learning to put a good brief together is essential. Great briefs inspire the agency to bring your campaign vision to life. Poor ones create ambiguity and stifle creativity. Your brief doesn’t have to be complicated or convoluted, but it does need a few essential ingredients.
Set out in straightforward terms and simple language what it is that you are trying to promote. If it’s a product, give as much background information as possible; category performance, competitor products, any research you’ve conducted. Maybe it’s an offer or seasonal campaign, in which case the exact details are vital. Also, what’s worked well in previous campaigns? What hasn’t?
The other “what” is a practical one: the deliverables. What is it that you want to be produced, and in what format(s)?
Why are you running this campaign? What are the objectives behind it and what would you like it to achieve? Success is best achieved when everyone involved knows what success looks like! So being as precise as possible about the KPIs is vital. We regularly get briefs asking for a campaign to increase sales. But without knowing by how much, how do we know whether it’s worked?
You may know your customers inside out, but if your relationship with your agency is at an early stage, chances are they won’t.
The agency will want to really get under the skin of your audience, so they will need access to as much information as possible about your customers` demographics, habits, likes, dislikes, relationship with your brand, shoe size. OK, maybe not the last one. But don’t be afraid to include as much info as you have. Particularly consumer insight; you can pop any research documents in the appendix.
Download our FREE Creative Brief Template here.
Perhaps it’s a little obvious to say, but it’s vital that timings are outlined in the brief. When do you want the campaign to launch and how long do you envisage it running for? The other timescale issue is the response to the brief itself. Recent research from the University of the West Of England found that a major bugbear within agencies is lack of time to respond to briefs. So it’s advisable to plan ahead, and make sure Christmas campaign briefs aren’t sent out in November.
How much money would you like to spend on this activity? Even if it’s a ballpark or bookended figure (between £x and £x), being upfront about this from the beginning means that the agency can tailor their solution to your budget. It can be tempting to simply ask for a quote, particularly if you’re unsure how much to commit. But this is counterproductive, as your agency won’t be able to propose an appropriate solution without at least an idea of what you’d like to spend. So even a rough figure is crucial.
Good luck with your next campaign!
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