Outsourced Marketing: Five Steps To Better Briefs for Better Results


Ensure your own briefs are effective

You can’t execute a marketing strategy if you don’t have one. And if you want to get that marketing strategy executed, you are going to have to explain it unless you do all of it yourself. So you need to create a brief. Everyone uses briefs. CMOs brief their internal staff or agencies that they are using for outsourced marketing. And growing agencies in turn use briefs when they outsource marketing tasks to fill gaps in their internal staffing. Briefs are perhaps the most essential step in delegating work.   Fortunately, according to a recent survey, marketers who write briefs requesting service from agencies are confident, with 80% reporting that they do a good job. Or maybe that is not so fortunate. Because only 10% of agencies agree that the briefs they receive are good.   Let’s look at five steps to ensure your own briefs are effective. These tips can also help you identify and explain what is missing from briefs that you get from your clients.

Five Steps For A Successful Briefing

  1. Present A Clear Strategy
  2. When You Delegate, Delegate
  3. Assign Responsibilities Clearly
  4. Stay Engaged and Follow Through
  5. Build A Relationship

Present A Clear Strategy

The first step to writing a terrible brief is to be confused about the difference between tactics and strategy. We could write an entire article about the difference between tactics and strategy (so we did). A strategy is not a list of techniques and actions. A strategy should answer three questions.  
  1. Who do you want to target with your marketing? You need to answer this by defining your market segments.
  2. How do you want to position your offer for all of your target audiences. To answer this, you need to lay out your basic value proposition and your tone. Some ideas about customer personas might help too.
  3. Finally, what are your most important objectives, and how you can measure them?
  Briefings for most tasks will focus on tactical execution, and that is fine. But if you don’t also communicate a clear strategy to guide people in putting those tactics to work, your outcome will not necessarily align with your objectives.

When You Delegate, Delegate

If you are choosing to delegate, then, well, delegate. You are in charge of the strategy and you are delegating some tactics. Perhaps you are fundamentally creative and have some skills in particular tactics. But you can’t do everything because there are not enough hours in the day. So it is your responsibility to find someone who can do what needs to be done and do it better than you can. Then give them clear instructions and feedback as needed. Then let your creative and tactical teams come up with the ideas and execute them. If you focus on guiding them with a clear brief instead of trying to do their job for them, you will get better results.

Assign Responsibilities Clearly

If nobody is in charge of a process, the results will reflect this. For every step, defining the strategy, creating the briefing, executing the briefing, and approving the results or sending them back for revision, one person must be responsible. If there is no clear authority, the work performed will reflect the lack of direction. You may find a simple tool like the RACI matrix can help with this.

Stay Engaged and Follow Through

The briefing that you write and deliver to your tactical team is not necessarily the end of the briefing process. As you monitor the work product, you may realize that something has been misunderstood, or a detail has been omitted. Think beyond the brief and make sure the team understands what you want.

Build A Relationship With A Great Outsourced Marketing Provider

Find an outsourced marketing service partner who wants to work with you, not just for you. A mediocre partner will take whatever you give them and go through the motions. A great partner will let you know if something is missing from your brief. Practice makes perfect. As the relationship goes along, cooperation will improve and the results will reflect the increasingly clear two-way communication.   Viral Octopus (VO) is an excellent partner for agencies that need to outsource some marketing to accommodate changing client needs. VO is not another agency, but it is not a freelancer platform either. VO is a collective of carefully vetted marketing experts with specific skills. The VO system quickly creates teams to deliver gigs – bite-sized marketing services that you can mix and match. And it comes with a lot of extras, strategy templates, a knowledge base with new weekly articles, a top marketing news feed curated by the core team and an AI, and a powerful DSP with great placement options. And Viral Octopus teams care about your business. You can trust them to tell you if something is missing from the brief. Take a look at what Viral Octopus can do for you: Viral Octopus Outsourced Marketing Services for Agencies.

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