A topic close to our own hearts: what to put in a digital marketing brief. Well, in fact, what to put in any marketing brief.
Your brief is a starting point for a discussion, but being clear at this early stage will save you both time and money…
1. What’s the project?
Be clear from the start as to what exactly you’re asking for. Give a bit of background on your brand or your company, what you’re trying to achieve, and how this project fits in with those ambitions. What context is needed in order to understand the brief?
2. What is your objective?
Describe the specific business challenge you’re facing. Are you a completely new brand and need to establish yourselves from scratch? Are you launching a new product and need to drive awareness? Are you repositioning yourselves and want to drive the new image? Perhaps you want to make your brand more accessible, increasing engagement and interaction?
3. What is your brand proposition?
What does your brand stand for? Are you offering quality? value? convenience? reliability? What about your tone of voice – is it formal or can it be more relaxed? serious or tongue-in-cheek?
4. Who is your target audience?
Are you targeting men or women? Teenagers or older professionals? Where do they live? What’s their occupation? What do you know about their interests, their lifestyle, their use of online media? Why would they want what you’re providing? Why not?
5. Who is your competition?
Who are your key competitors? What do they stand for, who are they targeting, what are they doing to market themselves? How is your offer different?
6. What elements do you already have?
Do you have content that you’ve already created? Do you have a website, a Facebook page, an email system? What can be changed, and what’s locked? Is there something that absolutely has to be included, and other things that are nice-to-have? Who do you already have on the team – a designer? copywriter? PR manager? Anything else that needs to be taken into consideration?
7. What budget do you have available?
How much budget do you have available for strategy, and how much for things like content creation, community management, a paid marketing plan (e.g. Google adwords, Facebook ads, promoted Tweets)? You don’t have to split it up if you don’t know how to allocate it (after all, that comes from the strategy) but at least give a total budget and say what it needs to include.
8. What’s the timeline?
When does everything need to go live? Do you have other fixed deadlines, for example a PR event that’s already planned or a particular holiday you want to tie into? What’s the overall time frame? Are you just asking for a one-off project deliverable or do you need ongoing support to manage your social platforms, to write blog posts, to track your results?
Clear communication on what you’re trying to achieve, and how, will help the agency or consultancy that you’re briefing to understand exactly who you are and what you want, and ultimately will enable them to deliver something that meets, and hopefully exceeds, your expectations.