How to get the admin right in a marketing brief 📝
By this point, you’ll be at the business end of writing your brief. (If you're not, check out our guide on 'How to write the perfect brief'). You should have done all the inspiring, insightful, creative work. Now it’s the serious stuff. And we get it - collecting all the details, the numbers, the admin may be boring, but it’s essential.
What to include in your marketing brief
Besides all the other sections in your brief template that tell your agency what to make, you’ll need to following sections to tell them how.
Pssst... you can grab a free, best-in-class template here.
Marketing brief considerations
This is the easiest section to get wrong. Considerations aren’t random, sideways thoughts you might have about the brief. Nor are they creative thought-starters. Think of your considerations like stabilisers on a bike. What can you tell your agency here to keep them from falling off track later down the line?
Good things to mention here are:
- What do we have to include?
Do you have a campaign line, a brand mascot, a specific logo lock-up that you need to use in this campaign? Or maybe there are 8 seconds of Ts&Cs that you need to include.
- What must we not include?
Are there specific words or phrases you have to avoid? Is there any regulation that limits what you can say?
- Business ‘gossip’
There will undoubtedly be multiple opinions that enter the fray later on. Can you pre-empt anything so your agency aren’t caught off guard? For example, does your CMO particularly like campaigns that feature a lot of people using your product?
Now it's time to navigate the treacherous waters of roles and responsibilities within your marketing brief creation process. Fear not, for the RACI matrix will be your guiding star:
- Responsible: These are the hands-on deck responsible for writing the brief itself. This should be you.
- Accountable: One ultimate captain must steer the ship - the person who is accountable for the success of the marketing campaign. Usually, this role falls on the marketing manager or the project lead. They can sometimes be the brief writer as well.
- Consulted: Some shipmates have valuable expertise to offer. Consult them when gathering information or making crucial decisions. These could be specialists from different departments or external stakeholders.
- Informed: This includes team members, executives, or any other stakeholders with a vested interest.
Without creating a whole timeline, what are your expectations in terms of responses and dates? Essentially - what do you expect to get back at each stage, and when do you expect to get it.
You need to give your agency at least an inkling of the budget allocated to this campaign. All too often, this particular detail gets left out, because "budgets are fluid at the moment." And it will always come back to bite you on the behind.
Even if indicative, a budget will help an agency to size the creative challenge. Without this, they may well produce an idea that works great for a $5m media budget but will fail hopelessly for your $15k tactical campaign. The last few weeks of the project will be spent trying in vain to right-size the existing ideas to fit this new project scope.
Channel strategy is its own endeavour. But when it comes to simply writing your deliverables, you should include 3 pieces of information:
- Channel: what advertising channel are you using? TV, radio, Meta, Snapchat, press, OOH - there’s a sea to choose from.
- Format: What are the specific assets you need for each channel? If it’s TV, do you need a 30 second ad? 40 second? Is it DRTV or BRTV?
- Number: How many do you need?
Your channel mix may be up in the air when you're writing your brief. If that's the case, communicate this clearly to your creative agency and ensure that they and your media agency (or in-house media team) are connected from the outset.
Filling out these sections may be tedious, but they will go a long way to getting all the admin right in your brief and ultimately reducing headaches further down the line.
Of course, if you want to make writing a great brief easy, you can always try Briefly 🌱