How to brief an agency

and get the most out of their expertise

Now we are finally coming out of lockdown are you planning to restart your advertising and marketing? Then perhaps Two Lizards can help? Whether you want to create a new website, rebrand your company or produce a digital advertising campaign, a good written brief will be the key to your project’s success.

The better the brief, the better the results

A good brief will give the agency a clear guide to what you want to achieve and what you expect them to come back with. It should be a written, signed brief, not a verbal or informal one. This will avoid misunderstandings or multiple revisions and help the project run smoothly, both from a client and agency perspective.

We use this information as the basis for our written proposal, which provides a fairly detailed estimate of the cost for the work and a suggested schedule for achieving it: for example in the case of a brochure, dates for completing the writing and design, final approval from the client and for sending it to the printer.

So, what are the key points for writing a brief?

The most important thing is to be clear about what you want, so we can develop ideas which will be accurate and effective. And keep the brief short and simple. A brief doesn’t need to be long or incredibly detailed. The most important thing is relevance and clarity. So, avoid vague terms or jargon, and only include the most pertinent details. You can supply other supporting information as appendices.

These are the main headings of a good briefing template and a short summary of what each section should contain.

Who are you and what do you offer?

Describe your company; How long have you been in business? What service or products do you offer? How would you introduce your company to a new potential client? It is also more time efficient if these facts are presented upfront.

What do you want to achieve?

Why do need us right now? Be specific. Are you looking to drive more traffic to your website? Launch a new product? Raise awareness of your brand?

Where are you now?

Describe your current position and the key challenges you’re facing with your marketing. Perhaps your website isn’t ranking well or your corporate identity looks dated, for instance.

Who do you want to target?

Who are the people you most want to reach? Try to define your typical customer. What is their age range, gender, location, income? How often do they buy your product or use your service?

Who are your competitors?

Provide a list of who you see as your competition, what are their strengths and weaknesses? What’s distinct about your business compared to the competition?

How would you describe your brand?

List a few adjectives that describe how you are currently perceived, or would like to be perceived in the future.

Help us measure your goals

Are you looking to introduce a new product, get more clients, gain awareness, sell more of your product or change their image? If you can describe how you’ll measure the success of this project we can help ensure our work meets your plans.

What’s your budget?

Having a budget prevents the agency from wasting valuable time and also saves time on the client side too. Openness ensures that the project can be delivered. Give us an estimate of your budget so we can give you a realistic estimate of what is achievable and manage your expectations.

What are your must-haves?

What are your priorities for this project in order of importance? And is there anything you absolutely do or don’t want?

What are your timings?

What are the key delivery dates? Do you have a specific deadline? But be realistic, Rome wasn’t built in a day! If you want a collaborative relationship then starting with a schedule that can be met within a timeframe that allows for consultation and reflection is the preferred option.

What will success look like?

Try to describe how you’ll evaluate the success of the project. For example, how will the results manifest themselves – contact via email or phone, number of purchases or increase in ROI (return on investment). We can then ensure our work gets the results you want.

Anything else we should know?

What else would be useful to us? This could be current marketing materials or brand guidelines for instance. or anything else you think might be helpful in understanding you and your business.

What can Two Lizards do for you?

We’d love to get to know you and help you with your next marketing challenge. So, why not get in touch to tell us what you would like to achieve.