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So what’s an Agency Brief? - Part Two

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.  

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SAMPLE AGENCY BRIEF

For the purpose of translating what has worked for both my clients and I, here is a sample brief constructed around a hypothetical e-commerce vendor. 

  1. THE BACKGROUND: Define your purpose and describe the communication/marketing challenge you are facing here. E.g. New product promotion We have grown over the past year from 1 to 5 stores in our region. Our website receives 5,000 monthly visitors and we need to improve our customer exposure to said product.
  2. YOUR AUDIENCE Describe them E.g. Most of our customers are men, usually between the ages 25 to 42. They are tech-savvy, high spenders with little time for physical shopping.
  3. YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE Provide the agency with context E.g.  Our previous sales shows that our customers like knowing how many items are in stock and what our best sellers are.  We have created a pre-select bag with 3 of the best-selling pants with 3 color variations combining our best sellers with new stock items.
  4. STATE WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU Clarify your process E.g.  Primary objective- We would like to increase the time they spend on the site.  Secondary objective- We would like to sell our 3 for 3 select bag as a promotional item.
  5. USER EXPERIENCE Describe what you’d like your current user experience to be but don’t get carried away. E.g.  Primary objective- We would like our 3 for 3 to be the first item our customers see/ filter.   Secondary objective- we’d like to sell at least 500 units within the campaign period. It’s important for us that the search process is refined to avoid consumer choice paralysis. 
  6. TIMELINE An ideal timeline appreciates 2 week lease to either meet your deadline or exceed it. E.g.  We would like the promotion to go live by early December to cash in on the festive season. Pro Tip: While having a set deadline is great to keep with business schedules, having an inbuilt contingency might limit the best possible outcome.
  7. TESTIMONIALS/ USER STORIES They resonate with customer pain points/experiences Eg.  As a shopper, I can always have same day delivery straight from my mobile (sells convenience & efficiency).  As a new visitor, I can filter search results by my location/ budget/ listed brands (showcases an easy to use website).
  8. SUCCESS METRICS How do quantify success? Eg.  User feedback- improved shopping experiences Internal feedback- efficient customer support/ stock management Number of contacts generated- how many people responded to our campaign in number of signs ups vs sales made. Ability to measure/ monitor user interactions- what are the customers filtering, and how many times did they filtered their searches.

At the end of the day, the brief is meant to motivate your agency and clarify your process to them. This helps them develop tools that make it easier for you to meet your goals and creates a great working relationship. Have you ever used an agency brief? What’s worked for you in the past? Share your tips with us in the comment section ☺ 

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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