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Eight Elements of a Successful Agency Brief

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Advertisers depend mightily on the expertise and creativity of their agencies; however, their ability to capitalize on these partners' strengths is often gravely compromised by shortcomings in the guidance that they provide them with — a failure of communication that perhaps is put most glaringly on display during the process of developing briefs.

As a corrective, the ANA's on-demand agency management training course identifies eight crucial elements that such briefs should contain, which are summarized below.

  1. The target audience and relevant customer insights, which specify whom the effort is endeavoring to engage
  2. Brief essentials and mandatories, which should include the general information about the project and the guardrails, such as necessary legal signoffs and image use requirements, as well as required vendors, time dependencies, and privacy policies
  3. Budget parameters, which might designate a specific number or a range, but which must be specific enough to prevent the agency from coming up with ideas that the client can't afford to execute
  4. Intelligence on the competitive landscape and marketing conditions
  5. The business and marketing objectives
  6. The communication strategy, which should identify how the consumer currently feels about the brand, the proposition for them, what the advertiser wants the audience to think, feel, or do; and the "right to believe," i.e., why the target audience should believe what's being communicated to them
  7. Success metrics, that is, the KPIs on the basis of which the efforts success will be judged
  8. Approvals and signatories, identifying which stakeholders will be invited to give input but designating one final decision-maker

The above may seem like a long list, but remember, the brief should be succinct, as its name implies. It should not be a data dump or provide your overall marketing plan or be overly prescriptive; rather, it should highlight just the relevant insights and give the agency room to creatively develop solutions.

The tips above represent just a morsel from the banquet of valuable insights and best practices available through the ANA's on-demand agency management training course.



"Agency Management." Bruno Gralpois, co-founder of and principal at Agency mania Solutions. ANA Agency Management On-Demand Training Course.

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