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 firstly ensure your colleagues are on-board. It also makes your needs clear. In turn it 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 therefore guides on the scale of work required as well as ensures a solution is affordable and delivers appropriate returns. However, 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? In particular, include a few words on what you hope success will feel like. Though there is no need to be too prescriptive as that risks stifling a creative response to your brief.
Style and tone
Throughout try and use plain language and clarify any technical terms used. Further 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
While a written marketing brief is helpful, we’re happy to chat and help shape your brief to help you cut to the chase. So to discuss your marketing needs call Guy Tomlinson on +44(0)1628 473 699. Alternatively email [email protected] Net we also promise a totally tailored, inspiring (and free) response to your marketing brief.