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 are some questions to consider and headings to help structure your brief.
Types of brief
There are two main types of marketing brief. Either for a strategic or for an executional piece of work. So first 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. Work that is based on a strategy that is not founded in customer needs is 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 this 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 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. This is helpful as some marketing terms have different meanings in different companies and may confuse rather than clarify.
Request an inspiring proposal
For a totally tailored and inspiring response to your marketing brief, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Guy Tomlinson on +44(0)1628 400 699. While a written brief helps a lot, we find that speaking is even more revelatory and beneficial. As professional marketers it is vital to understand customers’ needs, as this truly enables us to anticipate issues and opportunities and also add immense value.
Download our handy one page example marketing brief.