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How business owners can write the perfect brief: Don’t

All too often, business owners and marketing managers become stuck when it comes time to pull together a brief to share with their digital agency. Usually, it’s along the lines of; the issue being experienced and the solution they want to be implemented. 

The problem with this? It’s like going to a doctor with symptoms you don’t understand and telling them what medicine you need. Instead of coming to digital providers with your attempt at a brief or solution, business owners need to work more collaboratively with their digital partner to ensure the right project is briefed in. 

How can this be done? 

Work with all relevant stakeholders

Business owners should be careful to make no assumptions on behalf of their team or colleagues. For a digital partner to get a holistic understanding of the business’ needs, it’s important to get the relevant stakeholders into a room together. Each stakeholder has insights that need to be heard and considered, even if this results in conflicting perceptions of what digital solution is the best way forward. This debate between stakeholders often reveals a core need, and this is exactly what progress looks like! It gives your digital provider the background needed to make an informed decision that will benefit the business as a whole. There is no cookie-cutter approach to digital transformation, so getting everyone in the same room — or virtual room — means all concerns can be voiced, and a solution can be workshopped with all elements of the business in mind. 

Talk about where you are and where you want to be 

Recognising there are elements of your business that aren’t perfect can be challenging for business owners but ultimately, it’s essential for your success. Be transparent with your digital provider and give them an honest overview of what you’ve been working with, what has and hasn’t worked, as well as what you feel you need to see your business succeed. This helps your digital partner understand the challenges you are facing and define what success looks like. 

For many business owners, growth is a top goal they’re working towards. When talking tech with your digital partner, it’s important to discuss your plans for growth and the associated timings. Good digital providers will work with you to create a scalable solution that algins with your goals and can adapt to your business’ growth. 

Let your digital partner guide you 

Business owners and marketing managers know their business and its needs better than anyone else, but they don’t know every technical solution under the sun. When looking to brief a digital provider, it’s important to work together collaboratively, rather than have one side or the other dictate a predefined solution. 

When seeking a digital partner, it’s common for business owners and marketing managers to vet agencies based on their ability to deliver this predefined solution. This is a mistake. Instead, they should discuss the issues they’re having and what they’d like the outcome to look like. From there, your digital provider can work with you to recommend an actionable plan that is tailored to your business and its specific needs. Combining your expertise is where the magic happens. 

Dictating a digital solution with an under-prepared or vague brief is an outdated and inefficient approach to digital transformation. It disregards expertise and favours a pigeon-holed idea of the right path. This misstep can be incredibly costly for businesses, especially those who only built solutions for the short term. Collaboration and transparency are the best way for business owners to work with their digital partners; this combination will lead to long term business success. 


Read more: Six steps to creating a digital transformation strategy


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Andrew Cornale

Andrew Cornale

Andrew is the Co-founder and Digital Experience Director of digital agency, UnDigital. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry, specialising in the creation of technical solutions for real business problems with a focus on user experience strategy and software.

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