The agencies are there to offer you tailor-made services, so why ask them for ready-to-wear? Unfortunately, this is what most prospects and agency clients do. Here are the keys to an effective web marketing brief, the first step in a successful project …

Let’s start with the catastrophic scenario (and unfortunately far too frequent) for an account manager in a CWT Advertising agency:

Agency : “What is your project ? ”
Prospect: “I would like an online communication plan, look at the existing one and tell me what you can offer to develop our business. The important thing for us is the ROI. ”
Agency : ” What is your budget ? ”
Prospect : “I cannot communicate it to you, make us a budget with drawers and we will see. ”

Things are starting badly and this prospect is likely to get a “standard” proposition that is irrelevant and then need to go back and forth a lot to achieve his goal. To work effectively together, both parties need to get to know and understand each other. You have to agree to speak to an agency in all transparency, to introduce yourself, to confide. The best for that is to take the time to write a brief as precise as possible then make an appointment with the agency to discuss it.

Here are the different points to be specified in a brief:

– A summary of the mission you wish to entrust to the agency

– The context, the history of the company and the communication actions already carried out illustrated by figures (number of customers, turnover, average basket, traffic, conversion rate …)

– The brand (positioning, values, etc.)

– The target (age, sex, socio-professional category, etc.)

– Some information on your market and on your competitors with possibly the communication campaigns which they made and which will have pleased or displeased

– Objectives, preferred figures and timing

– A budget. This last point is essential so that the agency knows what service to offer and how to distribute the efforts. This is an essential point to build a thoughtful and effective strategy.

The brief must remain concise and must not exceed 3 to 4 pages. It is possible to append documents to complete it (photos, videos, studies, etc.).

This may seem simple but from experience if large companies do (sometimes) written briefs, only a tiny percentage of SMEs take the time to write a brief before making a request. No consultation without written brief: a good resolution to take for 2014!