A perfect plan: 10 things to include in your marketing brief

Whenever budgets are under scrutiny, the spotlight often falls on the costs of using external marketing agencies, so it’s always important to ensure any marketing expenditure is an investment and not simply a cost.

“Working with agencies can be costly, so driving greater value from your agency is vital and comes from managing their costs whilst maximising your return on them,” says Wilf Geldart, who served as an award-winning Marketing Manager at Meadowhall and Centro before founding Wish, a full-service marketing agency.

One of the easiest and most overlooked ways to help your agency help you, he says, is the creative brief – a vital tool in producing great quality marketing communications: “Whatever your marketing project is, the creative brief ensures that your marketing activity is fully thought through before the agency meter starts ticking.”

He also stresses that a good written brief is an addition to, not a substitute for, a spoken brief: “The better your brief, the better their work. The better their work, the better the results.”

Wilf Geldart’s 10 must-haves in any marketing brief:

1. The Background – The why?

What is the background to this communication and why are you doing it?  Has this been done before? How can it be improved?

2. Objectives

What do you want to achieve through this activity (footfall, revenue, followers, etc.)? Is there a primary objective with secondary objectives? What are they?

3. Target Audience – The Who?

Who are we talking to and what insight do we have about them? Why are we talking to them in particular? Have they bought from us before or are they prospects?

4. What do we want them to think?

What do you want them to take away from this communication? What opinions or perceptions do we want to change? How do we increase their desire for our product/service?

5. Campaign Formats

Is the campaign made up of social, print, out of home, radio, etc.? What are the sizes and limitations of the format?

6. Competition

Why should your audience buy your product or service instead of the competitors? What is your competitive differential? How does the competition position their product or service?

7. How does the target audience respond?

What do you want your audience to do as a result of this communication? Do you want them to click, visit, buy, call, vote, etc.?  What incentives are there for them to respond?

8. Mandatory elements

What must be included or adhered to? Logos, prices, T&C’s brand guidelines, imagery, links, etc.?

9. Budget

The budget has a huge effect on the creative concepts your agency might propose – give the agency some idea of available budget so that they can present realistic proposals and not waste their time and your money.

10. Timings – The When?

What is the timetable from brief to deployment? When do you need to see creative proposals?

This was first published in Retail Destination Fortnightly. Click here to subscribe.

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