Creative people such as website designers have one goal in mind and that’s to deliver the best possible creative solution for your marketing project. And having learnt their craft over many years gaining experience in different design and marketing techniques, you need to trust them to give you the right creative input for your project. But how do you get the best from your investment?
You need to produce a proper brief, and your graphic design agency will thank you for it!
Here’s an example – you need a new leaflet to send out to customers.
What do you do next?
Lots of clients expect us marketing experts to come up with the creative solution, but the reality is that often they do not have a clear idea of what it is they are trying to achieve before they start. The poor old graphic design agency is left to fill in the gaps and make certain assumptions – and as they say the word assume is made from – ‘ass’ ‘u’ and ‘ me’ – figure it out. What you (and your agency) need is a Marketing Brief.
And here are 10 top tips on what you should include in the marketing brief to get the best from your agency:
Describe your Business in a Nutshell
What is your purpose in business, the products do you sell and how big your company is. Then fill in the gaps in this sentence.
“Many ……………. (your target consumer) need ………………. (solution to a problem). The reason for this is ………… (consumer pain). Our ……… (your core product) has ………….. (key features of your core product) but because it can ………… (key benefit) it is able to ………………………… (remove consumer pain).”
This is your core marketing positioning statement – and its important – spend time on this and get it right. Download a detailed paper on marketing positioning here.
What do you hope to achieve after the campaign, e.g. 50 requests for quotes.
This is the sector of consumers who the leaflet is aimed at (and not necessarily who is buying – more for another blog!). For example, men in their 30s who are interested in gadgets and technology.
Then characterise what a typical customer might look like. Josh is 35, unmarried, owns his own home, owns a iPhone and drives an BMW 3 series. He reads T3 and GQ magazines and only watches sport on Sky and only at the weekends TV. Your positioning statement defines the needs.
Main point for communication
This is the key issue you want the target audience to ‘get’ on seeing your marketing communication ….. could be a key benefit and again this will drop out of the positioning statement – see how important that exercise was!
What benefits will accrue on acquisition of you offer – save money, bragging rights? Testimonials of other delighted customers – all good stuff.
Tone of the communication
Stylish or Funky. Authoritative or empathetic.
Any pictures that must be included – for example products and how they should be presented – with or without people for example – in a room setting or standalone.
Your logo, how its to be used, how its to be placed on the page and colours (Pantone reference) – check out our blog on Brand Guidelines here.
Lastly – Other Mandatory Stuff
Document anything else that has to go into the marketing piece. This could be business address, phone number, website address (think about a specific landing page with a unique URL – helps you track success – another blog idea!) also legal information.
If you give your agency a checklist like this, you will find that not only will they produce some great work for you, it has the best chance of being ‘on message’ – and aligned to your business objectives. They should also come back with a couple of alternative executions for you to choose from.
Use a good agency to do what they do best – to deliver great creative solutions. But give them a fighting chance to create some that makes the right (and hopefully lasting) impression on your target audience by doing some prep first!
Author Matthew Simmons