We’ve all been there. The fork in the road between doing it all yourself and outsourcing your communication strategy so that you can focus on scaling your business. And maybe you’ve taken someone on and hope they could do their magic and make your business trend. Bring in those new customers that you just know are out there waiting for you. But some things didn’t go as planned. Or they didn’t blow you away. And that just beats the purpose of outsourcing in the first place! We know how expensive miscommunication can be when you’re working to scale your business, am I right? 

How to brief your agency - visions2images

To pre-empt all of this, I’ve found that creating/writing a company/ campaign brief is a great foundation for successful company-agency relationships. Keep it simple by focusing on two things: your unique selling point, your niche/brand focus. Essentially this is your business differentiator and what’s in it for you, simply put, what you’re looking to gain. It helps if you write these down as you compile your brief and have them ready for the ‘discovery meeting i.e. the time you usually meet the agency/ person you’re looking to engage for marketing purposes and introduce them to your business. 

So what’s an Agency Brief?

Some people think of them as the ads for other ads or roadmaps. I’ve found them to be both. Their purpose is to clarify your communication strategy for your brand, be it a product or service and to manage expectations.

I’ll cover 6 core items that have worked for my clients and I and I hope they will be as effective in helping you loop your agency in on your business strategy.  

Let’s get stared, shall we?

  1. The background- this covers the ‘about you’ section. It highlights where you stand or where you are coming from. Numbers are your friend here but in case you don’t have the handy, an estimate would work. Once you engage your agency, they can help you clarify them to the best of your/their abilities.
  2. The audience- this zooms in on our audience, be it the current or potential one. The idea is to describe them as you see them. This section answers the basic questions on who your customer is, their average spend and habits.  From my experience, your agency can/ will help you develop your customer avatar, also known as buyer personas. 
  3. Past Experience- the idea here is to show what has worked for you in the past. This works two ways; it gives your agency a better understanding of tools they can use and it helps them avoid past mistakes that might have cost you a pretty penny.  If you haven’t figures this out yet, not to worry, your agency will help you document what will work for them in the period of your engagement and viola ☺ you have a documented strategy (+results).
  4. The Ask- Famously referred to as the ‘What’s in it for Me’, this is where you state the results you’d like. Be sure to define what your long term and short term goals earlier on. This will help both you and the agency calibrate your expectations and set appropriate goals for your brands strategy.
  5. Case Studies/ Testimonials- we all know how effective referrals are for any business. Why not use your success stories to grow your business by sharing them on your website or on your socials? 
  6. Success measures- These will almost always marry with your ask (No. 4 above). Have a general outline based on your numbers past or anticipated and work with your agency to fine-tune tangible ways to measure results.

About the Author

Livilla is a content developer and digital strategist. When she’s not helping business tell their innovation stories, she blogs at https://stylegitmag.wordpress.com/ 

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