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How to Brief a Marketing Agency

March 2022Becky
How to brief an agency

All companies have processes and a marketing agency is no different. However, engaging and briefing an agency with your requirements differs greatly and can often determine the outcome.

FIG celebrate 25 years in business last year and we’ve learnt a lot of things along the way. And one thing we know for certain is for a project to run smoothly, a good brief is paramount.

We know that different clients prefer to work in different ways, and the way in which they brief in the work they want us to do differs from person to person, meaning FIG’s client services team need to be flexible, focussed and efficient when it comes to relaying that brief into studio so that our design and web team understand what is needed from them, what the project is being created for, who its audience is, what is expected of it, and where it fits in the client’s wider marketing plan – as well as what their budget and timescale are too. There’s a lot to consider.

So, with this in mind, we have created a ‘How to Brief’ guide, to ensure the agency and the client are all working towards the same goal and to make sure that you receive your work back as quickly as possible.

Provide Clear Instructions

Providing an agency with clear, concise information about the project will be of great benefit to everyone. If a brief is vague, chances are the outcomes will vary considerably as the agency will be filling in the gaps and making a lot of assumptions. It can hold up a project as the agency may have to ask more questions or the project may not work the way you intended.

Answer these questions clearly:

  1. What is the required output? For example, an A4 brochure, website, case study
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What is the objective – is it to increase brand awareness, encourage take-up of a specific call to action, increase sales etc?
  4. Do you have clear deadlines, ownership and budgets so everyone knows what they’re working with?
  5. How will success be measured?

This knowledge will really help an agency to get the project to you on time and prevent any unnecessary amends and additional costs.

Provide All the Information

When sending any content to an agency, it’s important to send it as a whole or in clear sections so that the agency understands your intentions. If sending images, the agency needs the original, raw files. The larger and better quality the image, the better. An agency can always shrink it down if required, but an image can’t be expanded without it pixelating and losing sharpness, so don’t worry if it’s a large file.

Ensure all images are labelled clearly and if in your written brief you have referred to any specific images to be used in a particular place, make sure you refer to them as their file name so they can be easily located.

When it comes to naming the images, taking a few minutes to group them together is extremely useful, and if you have a lot of images to send, using a free service such as WeTransfer is a quick, easy (and free) way to deliver them. (Plus, you get a notification when the recipient has downloaded them, so you know they’ve been received safe and well).

Lastly, never ever embed images into a Word document or an Excel file. This is not what these systems were intended to be used for! (See number 3 for more on this).

Make a Change

If you need to make amends, then there are best practices to follow to do this.

Simple changes can be emailed or phoned through but if you have multiple copy changes, then marking up a PDF with what is needed is a great way to indicate what needs to be amended.

Alternatively, you can send a checklist of amends through on a Word document or Excel file.  

Clear and concise, it is easy to see which page needs amending and what the amend is – which benefits both FIG’s web team and the client in question.

To discover more about FIG’s services, visit fig.agency/services

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