Skip to main content
How to Brief Your Agency

How to Brief Your Agency

Marketing is about understanding how people think, behave, and purchase. And the best programs (the how) are built around very clear definitions of the who and the why.

Agency strategists and creatives do their best work when they can connect plans and ideas back to your business. To avoid any elephants in the room and ensure a smooth translation of marketing needs, here are some of the most important briefing considerations.

1. Introduce your target audience(s).

Primary and secondary are OK but try to avoid tertiary audiences or consider separating the briefing detail. If you’re getting into a third tier of audience targeting, it probably means you need a third marketing plan and set of ideas. The more specific the intersection, the better the creative work.

2. Name your primary and secondary marketing objectives.

Building awareness? Lead generation? Trial / sampling? These are three of the usual suspects, but sometimes there are others to be sifted through. If the marketing objective isn’t super clear, that might mean there’s more work to be done to connect the marketing needs back to the business objectives. Are you trying to increase market share? Sell more cases in under-indexed markets? Launch a new distribution center in a new market? These bits of intel are critical to the agency team because they put lenses on the work. The more lenses we have to see through, the clearer the solution becomes.

3. Share the Insights – Research – Data.

The more ownable and pointed insight you can provide on your buyer targets, the more ownable and pointed the creative work can be.

4. Be clear about resource allotments.

Most of the time, you can pick 2 of 3 priorities: budget, speed, and quality. Choose all three and you’ll find yourself trying to do too much with too little. Red flag here if you have a partner telling you they can accomplish all three. Most likely the quality suffers. Picking two helps narrow what’s possible within the realities of your available resources. Good agencies should help you navigate here, but to do so we need to know: what kind of budget we have to work with, how much time to market we have, and what level of quality you can support.

5. Own the expectations.

Give your agency a sense of what you’re expecting for output investment. Take video for example – content can range in production value from a 5 second short-form piece captured with an iPhone to a 20-minute brand storytelling piece edited to Hollywood production levels. It really helps your agency deliver to your expectations if you can give a clear sense of what they are. A good agency partner can then give you a clear picture of what’s possible (and also, what’s not possible). We want more than anything to say YES, AND! To do that, we need alignment on your expectations.

6. Collaborate on a glossary of terms.

Semantics often get in the way and cause for all sorts of problematic assumptions. To avoid this pitfall, talk through the processes and workflows, deliverables needed, and any business-specific “speak” that might help your agency better set you up for success. Same goes for your agency – give them opportunity to talk through the way they might define project milestones, deliverables, etc. It’s better to be using the same language from the onset.

7. Be specific about how you want to work.

What’s your preferred method of communication? Consider assigning one key point of contact who will be charged with consolidating and providing feedback, etc. Consider setting up an ongoing status come-to or presentation day. Maybe your team prefers iterative collaboration. Or maybe you need the agency to run full speed ahead. Forming a communication plan with your agency will make everything so much smoother.

Posted in: Thoughts
Tags: marketing
February 20, 2023

See more posts: