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How To Write A Great Digital Brief: Tips From Our Senior Digital Project Manager

We sat down with our Senior Digital Project Manager, Laura, to get her expert tips on how to write a great digital brief and what essential elements you should include.

Did you know the average internet user spends 6 hours and 8 minutes online each day? With so many digital opportunities available for promoting your business, from websites and apps to eBooks, the possibilities are endless. However, the key to any successful digital product is a well-thought-through brief. We sat down with our Senior Digital Project Manager, Laura, to get her expert tips on how to write a great digital brief and what essential elements you should include.

What Is A Digital Brief?

“A digital brief is a document covering what is required, specifically for a digital product (digital products include things like websites, emails and apps) that we’re working on. The brief outlines the approach and deliverables for that specific project. A brief must be as correct and full of information as possible so everyone working on the project understands what needs to be done and the best recommendations and actions can be taken.”

How Does The Digital Brief Fit Into An Overall Marketing Strategy?

“How it fits into the full marketing strategy depends on why the client is looking to change what they currently have or are doing. It depends on what they’re hoping to achieve with the new digital product and what brand, social media and SEO objectives they have. Knowing all of this allows us to align the digital brief and what we are doing to help reach their overall goals.”

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What’s The Importance Of Having A Digital Brief? And Why Should Businesses Have One?

“Quite often clients come to us and they’re excited about their vision coming to life and how it’s going to look visually. However, I like to compare it to an iceberg, the overall look and aesthetic of the product is important but it isn’t everything. There are a lot of little things underneath the surface that are also important to be able to keep that brilliant-looking product going whilst being useful for the audience. Again, it all depends on what the goal of the client is, and what they are currently doing so it’s important that the brief covers all of this to build a strong digital product not just a pretty one. For example, if there are follow-up marketing campaigns you want to ensure the website is optimised to help with this and the goals. People tend to get fixated on the look of the product, however, a good digital brief would tell you all the things that come with that product that hold it up underneath as well as how it will function, the user journey and any integrations they may need.”

What You Should Include In A Digital Brief

  • Goals and objectives - think about what you’re looking to achieve

  • Overview of why you are changing the current digital product - what are the current pain points?

  • Target audience and user demographics - Different age groups and demographics use digital products differently, we need to know who the product is being made for so we can understand how they will use it and their pain points. A great example of a project that really needed to understand its audience was the app we produced for Sciensus. They required an NHS-approved self-management app for their patients. Insights from a focus group showed that many patients using the app would struggle with mobility because of conditions like arthritis, this meant we would need to design the app so that all interactions were in the lower third of the design. Read the full case study and see how the importance of understanding your audience can make a huge difference when it comes to building digital products and a great brief.

  • Any competitor sites/products you like - this could be visuals, a transition or the way the pages are designed

  • Any integrations you may need, include programmes and tools like CRM’s, analytics, tag manager, search console, HubSpot or Mailchimp. Certain integrations may require a designated technology to make the connection work.

  • Budget - this isn’t just so we can spend it, having an idea of the budget allows us to understand if the build will be fully bespoke or if we need to use different technologies to build it to meet the budget. We want to be able to use the budget to meet the goals and make realistic and correct recommendations.

  • Timings of the build (be realistic as well!)

  • Finally, any other comments or thoughts you have. Building a digital product is like buying a house, you will have a list of wants, needs and deal breakers. Including all of this in your brief will help make the process run smoothly and keep everyone on the same page.

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What Makes A Great Digital Brief?

“Detail, detail and more detail. There is never too much information, I would always rather more than less, this way we can pick out all the necessary bits we need to incorporate it into the digital strategy and brief.

Also, having an idea of the business background and future is really helpful. What is the business likely to be in 5 years? You want to build a product that grows with the business so that it is sustainable. If they are using a CRM now, we need to ensure this can be integrated into the digital product. If they’re not, we need to know if they plan to use one so the correct technology is used so that it can be used at a later date.

Having an idea of what pages or aspects are needed in the digital product. This helps us understand the full scope and scale of the product so we’re prepared and ready to go. Finally, if the client has any previous data and analytics from the old product that's extremely useful to take learnings from.”

How Do You Align Project Objectives With Client Goals In The Digital Brief?

“To ensure we align with the client and their goals in the digital brief we like to hold workshops. In these sessions, we are able to discover all the client needs and users' needs. The digital product must be desirable to both parties, for example, a lot of businesses look to gather data on their customers but they’re unlikely to give out this information for nothing. The product must be of use to the customer to get this transaction of information.

We also need to ensure the product is usable, attractive and that the user journey is seamless so the end goal or objective can be met.

Depending on where the client is at in their journey we can set key performance indicators (KPIs) within the brief to aim towards to ensure the goal is being met. If they already have reports we can set benchmarks on how the new product will perform against those. Either way, we set up the products so that if there is any other digital marketing activity going on this can easily be picked up.”

Best Practices And Tips You Can Share About Creating A Great Digital Brief

“The more details the better the brief. We need to know what content is involved, what integrations are needed, and if SEO or PPC activity is happening we need to be in contact with those managing that to ensure the goals align and reporting is solid.

Making sure we have access to the domain is one of the most important aspects when it comes to building a digital product, sometimes this is overlooked and can become time-consuming and difficult to get the correct access. Also knowing any hosting requirements and sustainable website needs, having all the information upfront is what leads to a great digital brief and a smooth process.”


If you’re looking to spruce up your website or have another digital product in mind that could do with a bit of TLC, speak to one of our team today. Alternatively, head over to our digital page to learn more about our digital products.

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