5 Key Elements a Regional Company Should Include in a Brief to Their Agency

A client brief with missing or vague information will only result in sub-par return for any mid-market company.

By providing these five key elements, a regional company will have a better chance to ensure that their agency doesn’t miss the mark. You want them to hit the bullseye and deliver exactly what you need. Results.

1. A Descriptive Assignment (Include Background Information)
The initial brief a client sends to an agency should include detailed information on exactly what the client expects. What they hope to create, plan and deliver as well as background information to help give insight on their future direction. If a regional company is looking to expand their brand into a new market the agency will need to know specific details about the expansion. Items should include, when the brand entry is expected in the new market, which specific audience subsets the brand is tailored towards, what other brands are their stiffest competition and finally brand differentiation.

2. Specific Objectives
A client should never be vague. Get to it. Vague objectives can leave an agency feeling like they are aiming in the dark. Remember, you are working with them to achieve a certain level of success. Be specific. The best input a client can provide to their agency is measurable information. Clearly outline the percentage you’re expecting to increase sales or store traffic. Which KPIs will be utilized to gage the success of the campaign, etc. The duration of time in which these results will be evaluated. Be sure that these objectives are realistic and attainable.

3. Include Key Deliverables
An agency needs to know exactly what you need from them. The types of channels you would like to see them investigate and/or use. If you’re uncertain, then ask them for input. Remember they’re experts in their field that is why you enlisted their assistance in the first place. Will it be one medium or an integrated marketing program? The types of materials you expect them to create and provide for you.

4. Budget
This information is often kept very close to the vest, yet it shouldn’t be. Too often, clients provide a plethora of details but will not divulge the budget. The agency needs the budget, so they can craft the best possible plan and be certain it’s still affordable based on the client’s budget. There is no benefit creating a plan so grandiose that the client cannot afford it and the agency needs to go back to the drawing board and revisit everything. This waste time and money. Share the budget information with your perspective agency partners and let them all show you what they can deliver for your budget. This will help you determine the best agency to reach your goals.

5. Time Frame
Be specific about your timing. The RFP timing, the decision process timing, planning, launch and flight schedules. Again, be specific. Timing is extremely relevant when planning a course of action. The more informed your agency is, the better you’ll both do. Allow them to be a part of your team, help with design and scheduling the media in a timely fashion.

You either trust your agency or you don’t. If you don’t then you should have another agency. Don’t tie their hands and expect you’ll win, you won’t. For both you and your agency to be successful you need to align with them to ensure they have real clarity with the assignment they will be given. Including these five key elements in your next brief will foster better communication, a stronger strategy and overall, better results.

Author: Frank Gussoni

President & Founder of A3 media. We're Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.