How to Write the Perfect Brief

Posted by: Nicky Lott


A good brief is the starting point and bedrock of every project.

There are many ways to write a brief, but it takes a certain skill to get it right. Getting it right means getting what you want – first time around. If you get it wrong, you can end up incurring extra charges as it takes time to put it right.

As a digital agency, we receive briefs everyday. There is no golden formula to getting it right each time, but here are a set of guidelines you can follow to help you along the process.

Who are you?

If this is your first time working with the agency you will need to provide some information about your company. Set the scene – it’s important to give the agency a feel for who you are, what you do and what your brand represents. Successfully conveying the unique personality of your brand is key and can mean the difference between producing a piece of work that resonates with what you stand for, and a piece of work that falls flat.

What do you want?

Clearly define your aims and what you want to get out of the final product. Be specific about your end goals – whether that’s to increase website traffic, drive enquiries or improve online spend. If your agency understands what you want to achieve, they can use their expertise to help you get there.

Who’s it for?

You may know exactly who your target audience are, what they respond to and what turns them off – but don’t assume that your agency knows everything you do. Whilst they may be experienced in identifying target markets and how to communicate with them, at the end of the day you know your customers better than anyone else. Share your knowledge and provide a clear breakdown of each customer type.

When do you want it?

Unless you have all the time and money in the world, it is important to be clear about your budget and timeline from the offset. If you’re unsure, give a ballpark figure and let your agency know as soon as you have a more concrete framework. When setting your budget, remember that bigger projects such as websites might require a second phase of work.

What do you want to create?

Explain exactly what you want in terms of look, content and technical requirements. It’s worth finding out if any of your more technical requirements will induce an extra cost, as some agencies may charge for things like mobile optimisation as an additional extra.

Find out if you are expected to provide content. If you are, chances are your agency will be happy to provide some guidelines and give advice regarding what works best. Remember, your agency has a wealth of experience behind them – so you might as well use it!

Top tips

  • Make it engaging! If we’ve learnt anything in our years as an agency, it’s that a great brief means an exciting campaign. Remember, a decent marketing agency will be happy to provide recommendations to help you get it just right – don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Avoid jargon – make it simple and clear. It’s called a brief for a reason; don’t complicate it with too many words.
  • And finally, let your agency be the experts. Whilst it is important to be steering the project, from time to time you need to step back and let the experts do their thing.

Good luck!

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