The agency brief is decisive for determining the success of your project. It’s crucial for giving the marketing agency the space to be creative and innovative.
According to BetterBriefs, 51% of marketers have never had training in writing briefs. Consequently, briefs can end up having the opposite effect from what they should do – hindering rather than supporting the work agencies do for their clients.
Restrictive briefs stifle creativity. Ultimately, this impacts negatively on marketing campaigns and their outcomes.
Good marketing agencies thrive in creative climates, but however innovatively they approach their work, they need a great brief to guide them.
How, then, should you nurture creativity and innovation when you partner with an agency?
We’re a Chester marketing agency. Here are our top tips for writing effective agency briefs that unlock the creative potential of your agency collaborators.
1. Decide who you want to pitch for your project
Before you even invite agencies to pitch for your project, make sure they look like the right fit.
Take some time to explore different agencies and open the communication channels.
Don’t make the formal invitation to pitch your first contact point. Arrange informal meetings with agencies first to get a good feel for who’s out there, the sort of work they do, and whether their approach will align with your objectives.
This will show agencies your commitment to the process too, sending out positive signals.
Don’t invite too many agencies to pitch. Keep it down to a manageable number. How your agencies interact with you during the pitching process will help set the tone with whichever one you then choose to work with.
2. Give the agency context
Rather than leap in with your objectives, target market, product etc, provide the agency with essential context:
- Who are you?
- What are your brand values?
- What will make your prospects come to you?
- What differentiates you in the marketplace?
- What is your product’s origin story?
3. Flesh out your target
The more you can bring your target audience to life, the more customer-focused the brief will become. Think beyond demographics. What sort of real people make up your ideal audience?
Give the agency examples of their personalities, pain points and the products, services and media they consume.
4. Define your one overarching goal
A brief can have multiple objectives, such as increasing profit, market growth or brand recognition.
But it sparks the creative process when you define one, single overarching goal that you want your marketing activity to achieve.
This will help channel all the agency’s different ideas, concepts and activities in one direction and ensures the project follows a clear trajectory.
5. Be upfront about your must-haves
Briefs anchored in practical realities are much easier to interpret and follow than briefs that are ill-defined and blurry around the edges.
This doesn’t mean your agency brief should be needlessly restrictive, but it should state any must-have requirements you have from the outset.
These can include milestones, timings, brand elements and who has to sign things off.
Creativity isn’t a blank cheque. Being upfront about your expectations sets the tone and builds trust.
6. Create the brief together
A successful agency brief is built on clarity and openness. It should confirm the agency’s position as a collaborator rather than a service provider.
By creating the brief with the agency, you establish this collaborative relationship from the beginning and you give the agency the freedom it needs to deliver exceptional results.
7. Keep it simple
If you submit a shopping list of diverse requirements, you’re blurring the focus of what you want to achieve.
Simplicity allows a brief to flourish. It gives the agency the freedom to explore ideas without straying off the brief.
Don’t be afraid of simplicity. Once you’ve laid the foundations for an open, trusting relationship, you can have confidence that the agency will deliver.
Great briefs lead to great work
A great agency brief isn’t just the start of a process, it’s also the culmination of one. It reflects the strength of the relationship you’re building with the agency you’ve chosen to work with.
Share your strategic objectives from the outset. Be clear and keep it simple. Give creativity room to breathe.
We’re a marketing agency in Chester. We work collaboratively with our clients, helping them achieve their goals.
To discover more about this work, contact us.