In a story of boy meets girl, erm, company meets prospect, things can go downhill if you’re not confident in your dating, erm, marketing skills, which is why it is paramount to find the right wingman. But before you set off on a quest for a marketing agency, you have to know how to brief effectively, so you get exactly what you want.
We’ve all longed for love, and some of us have considered (or used) the help of others in the search for it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The same goes for marketing - if you’re not finding much success on your own, perhaps it’s time to seek the assistance of a professional. Imagine for a second that the marketing agency you want to brief is a dating agency, trying to match you with the best potential partners (customers). There are some questions they will ask in order to to try and learn as much as they can about your background and intentions, and to find people who will suit you best.
The end result will be the brief - a document which defines your requirements as a client and contains the framework of the project you’ve agreed on with the marketing agency. If your brief isn’t covering all the important points, the agency won’t have the whole picture and may not produce the desired results. What are the 6 questions to ask whether you’re looking for romance or professional success?
1. Why Are You Doing This?
Are you looking to play the field for a while, or do you want serious offers only? Before briefing an agency, you need to know what kind of results you are expecting - raising brand awareness, generating more leads, promoting a product, etc. There is a huge difference between a short-term campaign with a narrow focus and a long-term marketing strategy.
2. Is Your Profile Good Enough?
There’s a reason why nobody will match with a person with an empty profile and no profile pic - there isn’t any info about them that would raise any interest. When briefing an agency, be as detailed as possible about your company; its role in the industry, what sets it apart from other businesses, the unique selling points of your products or services, the company culture, and so on. The better you describe yourself, the more likely the agency is to be able to understand where you’re coming from and what the right approach to take will be when matching you with prospects.
3. Who's Your Ideal Partner?
Who are the kind of people that you are trying to attract? How old are they, what do they do, how much they earn per year, what are their interests and hobbies? Based on your answers, the marketing agency will create buyer personas - fictional representations of your ideal matches. We’ve explained the need to go deep into detail when describing your audience , if the whole concept doesn’t make much sense to you yet. It’s similar to dating - if your only criteria are to find a redheaded female, expect to get a lot of bad matches, like a 72-year-old, seven times divorced lady who has a fascination with string cheese and porcelain dolls.
4. What's Your Strategy for Attracting Them?
Some people out there are die-hard romantics, while others’ gag reflex activates at the very sight of a heart-shaped plush toy. You have to come up with an idea of how you plan to woo your potential matches - do you want to shower them with amazing content, to catch their attention with a brief video, or just get straight to the point with paid media ads? The agency can give you some advice on the best approach, but you need to know what you want before you set foot in their office.
5. What's the Competition Like?
If your inbox is as empty as the library during spring break, you’re doing something wrong. And when in doubt - take a peek at other people’s profiles and get some insights on what makes them good or bad. It’s the same with your professional competition - tell the agency about your biggest threats (or greatest role models), so they can do their own research on others’ strategies and find weak spots you can hit or suggest strategies similar to those that have already proven successful.
6. How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Being a cheapskate on a first date will put off most of your potential partners, so you have to be prepared to invest some time and money in the dating game. Same goes for attracting prospects - define a budget that you’re comfortable spending and brief agencies about the assets and services you can expect for that money. Always ask for specifics to avoid misunderstandings - the number of followers they promise to deliver, the number of content pieces you’ll be getting, etc.
How to Tell If You Picked the Right Agency
The most obvious sign that you made the wrong pick is if you’re not getting the desired outcome for your investment. Ask yourself - does the agency understand what you want, or do they keep matching you with the exact opposite of your ideal partner? Maybe you didn’t provide enough information for them to make a solid strategy, so always try to be responsive and to keep the lines of communication open. For best results, check out 9 ways to get the most from your inbound agency.
If you have a vague idea about what the agency brief should look like, but still aren’t sure how to make a brief, we’ve got you covered. You can download a collection of brief templates that are efficient and can help you to save money when looking for the right agency. You're welcome!