5 tips for a successful briefing process
How to deliver a slick brief to get your project off the ground
So you’ve picked your agency, and you’re ready to go. Whether it’s an eight-page brochure, a website rebrand or a sleek sales presentation, you’re excited to get the ball rolling on your next project.
Of course, you have a solid idea of what you want. But how do you communicate that to the agency?
The answer is easy: you need to give them a project brief. What is not so easy, however, is doing this well.
Point 6’s Senior Account Manager, Carla Juniper, is a whizz when it comes to briefing. She approaches every project the same way: with enthusiasm. “We like to really immerse ourselves in our clients’ worlds, especially when the subject is tech-heavy – which it often is.”
Check out our list of five steps to follow for a successful briefing process.
Clarify your goals and objectives
Once you have confirmed exactly what your project involves, it is useful to clarify what you want to achieve.
Do you require punchy sales copy that converts? Does your website redesign need to help drive traffic? Are you looking for a bold leaflet that needs to stand out against competitors?
Whatever the goals are of this project, make sure you let the agency know. “The more we understand the back-story behind a project, the more focused we can make the solution,” acknowledges Carla.
Be prepared to answer questions
Any agency worth its salt will ask questions. So be prepared!
To understand your brand better – and therefore deliver a stronger outcome – the agency will try to read between the lines to find the best solution.
Try not to get frustrated, or think it means they don’t understand. Sometimes an idea can be very clear in your head, but it takes a little teasing to get it out.
Include some background reading
To support your project, it’s a good move to provide some background information as a starting point. Although it’s useful, we don’t just mean a detailed PowerPoint on your company origins!
Your brand guidelines are guaranteed to be well-received. Examples of previous work or relevant articles can also come in handy. You could supply examples of competitors’ work that you like – or dislike – to help refine the process. Basically, anything you think the designers or copywriters could use for reference. Carla advises that “the best outcomes come from briefs with buckets of source material.”
Outline the budget and schedule
Talking money can get a little awkward; but don’t worry, agencies are used to it.
Make sure you have a budget in mind, and be prepared to be flexible. Also inform them of your deadline, even if it’s unrealistic; they can manage your expectations as to what can be achieved.
Once the scope is agreed, they will carefully track their time to ensure they stay within the limits of the project.
End with the basics
It may sound obvious, but: what do you want?
Marketing material to promote your new product or service, right? Sounds great. However, what exactly does this include?
Agencies are not mind-readers (and if they are, they are in the wrong career). You need to tell them if you want an A4 brochure or a PowerPoint presentation. An A5 pamphlet or a weekly newsletter. Work out exactly what deliverables you need, and outline this clearly to avoid any misunderstanding.
But be prepared to be challenged. It’s up to a good agency to spot that actually, there’s a better way. After all, that’s what they’re there for – to help and support your project no matter what.
And – voila! There you have it: a brief that will ensure the best possible results for both you and the agency.
Feeling like you are ready to create a slick brief for your next project? Why not send it over to us and see how we can help!