Why write a marketing brief?
There are many benefits in writing a marketing brief whether for an agency or for your colleagues. Writing a brief helps clarify your thinking and then ensure your colleagues are on-board. In turn this helps focus effort on meeting your needs and thus better achieve your business outcomes. So how to write a marketing brief? Here is an example marketing brief containing questions to answer, and some stylistic tips, and headings to structure your brief.
Types of marketing brief
There are two main types of brief. Either for a strategic or for an executional piece of work. So first, do you have a marketing or brand strategy, and how confident to you feel about it? A marketing strategy will define your products and customers. And a brand strategy defines what makes you different and better.
If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, and ‘very confident’ then write your strategy into your executional brief. If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’, then this suggests that you need to devise a strategy too.
Headings for your marketing brief
Background to brief
First, describe the problem you wish to address i.e. what has happened to prompt your need. Also any relevant contextual information on why now, what has already been done, and how your issue or challenge fits with any other initiatives within the company.
Business and marketing objectives
Next, describe your business and marketing objectives. Business objectives or outcomes are most commonly described in monetary terms, or perhaps also as an over-arching goal, mission or vision. Marketing objectives are most simply described in terms of customers and products, and sales and market share. Fleshing out objectives is often undertaken as part of project work or on a telephone call too.
What should the project deliver? For example, do you require a communication campaign, a new or improved product, service or brand, or a plan to launch a new business? If possible include a few words on what you hope success will feel like too.
Envisaged process, scope of work and guidelines
Also include any pointers or guidelines, such as ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ and why. Specifically cover timing, budgets, and any decision-making criteria. This helps guide on the scale of work as well as ensure a solution is affordable, achievable and delivers desired outcomes and returns.
There is no need to be too prescriptive as sometimes that stifles a creative response to a brief. Again discussion is useful to fully understand ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’.
Are you the key decision maker or are others involved? So please explain who sign-offs and acts on the outcomes of this work? Clarifying the stakeholders will help an agency anticipate your needs and design a process to get everyone on-board with a plan. Good stakeholder management is most important where lots of diverse people or groups are involved such as in joint ventures or strategy or change projects.
Style and tone
Throughout try and use plain language and clarify any technical, or unusual in-company terms or acronyms. This helps as some marketing terms have different meanings in different companies :-).
For an aide memoire, download our handy guide on how to write a marketing brief.
Request an inspiring proposal
Finally, while a written brief is invaluable, speaking is equally so. So to discuss your marketing brief and request a proposal call Guy Tomlinson on 01628 473 699. Alternatively email [email protected] As marketers our mindset is that understanding customers’ needs is vital to create great solutions.