Why write a marketing brief?
There are many benefits in writing a marketing brief whether for an agency or for your colleagues. Writing and agreeing a brief helps ensure your colleagues are on-board. In turn the brief itself focuses effort on meeting your needs and thus better achieving your desired business outcomes. Here is an example marketing brief containing headings to structure your brief, together with questions to answer, and some stylistic tips.
Types of brief
But first, there are two main types of marketing brief. Either for a strategic or for an executional piece of work. So ask yourself whether you have a strategy in place and whether it is robust? If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, 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. Plans based on a strategy that is not founded in customer needs are more likely to fail.
Headings for your marketing brief
Background to brief
First, describe the problem you wish to address i.e. what has happened to make this brief necessary. 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 objectives (usually in monetary terms), marketing objectives (in terms of customers and products) and relevant marketing or brand strategies (most commonly, who are your target customers and what is your marketing or brand strategy). If you are unable to answer all of these questions, don’t worry. This just helps clarify a potential need.
Now consider who needs to sign-off and act on the outcomes of this work. Poor stakeholder management is a recipe for disaster on major strategic or change projects. So clarifying the stakeholders will help an agency anticipate your needs and design a process to get everyone on-board with a plan.
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 and delivers appropriate returns. Again if you don’t have all the answers don’t worry, we’ll advise on the best way forward.
Finally, define what should the project deliver. For example, do you require a communication campaign, a new or improved product, service or brand, or to get a new business off the ground? If possible include a few words on what you hope success will feel like too. Though do not be too prescriptive if you do not wish to stifle a creative response to your brief.
Style and tone
Throughout try and use plain language and clarify any technical terms used. As some marketing terms have different meanings in different companies this helps avoid confusion.
For an aide memoire, download our handy one page example marketing brief.
Request an inspiring proposal
To discuss your marketing needs call Guy Tomlinson on +44(0)1628 473 699. And for a totally tailored, inspiring (and free) response to your marketing brief, email [email protected] While a written marketing brief is helpful, we’re also happy to chat to better help you.