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How to write the perfect brief for a digital agency

How to write the perfect brief for a digital agency
So, you’re looking to work with a digital agency! This might be because you’re looking for a new website, or you may be looking for marketing services that will aid growth. Whatever it is, you’ll need to give them a brief of some sort to bring them up to speed.

We’re asked almost every day to put together a proposal or quote for a new piece of work. This is often followed by us asking for a brief to make sure we understand what the client is looking to achieve. Being asked for a brief document can sound scary, especially when you’re pushed for time, so we’re hoping reading this will simplify the process for you, and help you write it in just 15-30 minutes.

The first thing we need to point out is the length of the brief. Don’t restrict yourself to writing one page, but equally don’t write a book. The ideal brief is a couple of pages that includes all of the information an agency is looking for, but nothing else.

We’ve put together a list of things below that you should include in your brief:

The task
Detail the problem that needs to be solved. What are you focusing on? What will this bring to the business – a presence or a sales channel? Do you know what you’d like to use to gain the results you’re looking for? It might be you’ve tried things before. Detail what you think needs to be done, which gives the agency a chance to advise based on their experience. Equally, have you got any ideas? Don’t be afraid to put these in, as it may spark a collaboration. The agency may challenge these ideas, but let them.

What are you looking for from the chosen agency? Give some bullet points on what you wish to see from their hard work, including any mandatory items that absolutely must be delivered. What needs to be achieved in terms of results? Are there any challenges? How will you measure the results?

Background information
Tell the agency what you do and why you’re different. Keep it relevant – don’t give them a life story. More importantly here, what has led you to writing the brief? Has something dropped off, or have you got large growth ambitions? Get them up to speed.

Your audience
Who are we doing this work for? What do we know about them? Tell us about the tone of voice that needs to be used, along with age, genders, positions in businesses.

What are the key messages? Do we need to research this, or have you already done the ground work to find out what works and what converts visitors into customers? Have you already got a brand, or brand guidelines?

The most difficult one, but one that can’t be skipped. It’s difficult for any agency to approach a new project without an idea of budget, even if it’s an estimate rounded to the nearest £1,000, £10,000 or £100,000. We need to understand your investment to pitch a return on investment to you, and scope out the most cost-effective solution to what you’re looking for.

Include a series of dates here, even if it’s just months for now. Give the agency an idea of when you’d like a proposal or pitch from them, let them know when you’d be looking to contract the work, and when you’d like it delivered.

Including all of the above will help an agency put together a brilliant proposal for your project or campaign, ultimately focusing on return on investment and results.

If you’ve got a project that you’d like a digital agency to pitch for, just let us know and we can begin a conversation. You can catch us on or 0800 084 3086.