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How to create a brief for a digital agency

Before your digital agency can get started on crafting your bespoke campaign, they need to know what it is you want them to do, and what you expect the results of that work to be. That's where a brief comes in. 

A detailed, clear, and concise brief will ensure that you and your agency are on the same wavelength from the start, and increases the likelihood that your campaign will deliver the returns you want. 

This article outlines the key elements that your agency brief needs to include. 

What to include in a brief for a digital agency

Company background

The first thing your brief needs to do is give an introduction to your company. Help the agency understand who you are, what you do, how long you’ve been doing it for, and any key milestones or successes. This is also where you would want to talk about your company values and the culture. Any information that outlines what you as a company stand for and offer will help the agency understand the context in which they’ll be working, and start to tailor solutions to your specific needs. 

Clear objectives

What are you trying to achieve with your campaign? Is this purely about generating sales, or do you want to improve brand awareness, or even increase your customer engagement? Whatever your desired objectives, you need to be able to clearly articulate them so the agency can then understand – and in some instances challenge – them. We find that using the SMART model of goal setting (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) is a great way of succinctly conveying your needs. 

Target audience

You need to clearly define who your target audience is. This could be either who the business is targeting generally with your product or service, or who specifically within that audience you want to reach with this specific campaign. Knowing who your audience is,and what their demographics, behaviours and motivations are will help to craft compelling messaging and targeting strategies that will ensure your campaign resonates with them. 


This is a critical part of the brief, as your budget will dictate what the agency will be able to deliver. Obviously a larger budget means more can be delivered, but be realistic about your means. Similarly, if you are working on a smaller budget, having an idea of what you’d want to prioritise and what are ‘nice to haves’ can help an agency respond to your brief. If possible, try to provide a range rather than a fixed number, as that allows the agency to show you more options. 


Provide a timeline of when the project or campaign needs to be completed. If there are any key milestones or deadlines that the agency needs to be aware of, make sure to clearly state them. This helps everybody understand the level of work required, and can also help an agency push back if they don’t feel your goals align with your budget or timeframe. 

Any contextual information

This section is for anything else you think might be helpful for the agency to know. It could include what you’ve tried previously, things you’ve seen other companies do that you really liked, or any general inspirations or ideas you’d like the agency to explore. Use this space to explain why you think a campaign is the right approach – it may be smarter to look at a different solution to better meet your objectives. You might also want to talk about your brand guidelines here. 

Key contacts

Who should an agency reach out to in the first instance to discuss the brief, and who are the key contacts they would be working with should they accept the work. 

Top tips for approaching an agency

Any good agency will be able to take the above information and provide you with a campaign that will meet your goals. However, there are things you can do to elevate your experience and, in turn, your campaign. 

Be open and honest

Although it may seem like they work miracles, agencies can’t read minds. If you have a particular idea of how you want something delivered, or you have a particular way of working, be upfront and let the agency know. In most cases the agency will be able to adapt to your particular needs, and if not then they can let you know to save you time. 

Have some flexibility

It’s great knowing what you want, but don’t be dogmatic about your approach. Agencies have a wealth of experience, and their input will elevate your ideas, or take your initial concepts in new and potentially exciting directions. Leave them the wiggle room to show you alternatives, and you can always steer their thinking closer to your original design if you’d rather. 

Remember: You’re not bound to any agency

Deciding to bring an agency on can be a big decision, both financially and culturally. You’re suddenly trusting an external agency with your brand, and hoping that they’re going to understand what you’re about. If you don’t like their ideas, their way of working, or even if you feel the vibe just isn’t right, then do not be afraid to walk away. And that’s true whether you’re just starting out, or if you’ve been working with an agency for years – if you’re unsatisfied, and there doesn’t seem to be a viable resolution, go elsewhere and take the learnings with you. 

If you are thinking about working with an agency, Brew Digital run a free discovery workshop for prospective clients where we can gain more of an understanding about your business and specific objectives, and you can learn more about our way of working. These come with no obligation, but we’re pretty sure you’ll love working with us! 

Reach out today, and let’s start to envisage your campaign, together. 

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