Best Practices: Creating a Clear Defined Statement of Work

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In the marketing world, a statement of work (SOW) plays a vital role in ensuring that all stakeholders involved in a project are on the same page and clearly understand the goals and expectations. Without a well-defined SOW, marketing projects can quickly derail, leading to miscommunication, missed deadlines, and, ultimately, overrun budgets. Leaving you less money on ad spend, and less money to your bottom line.

At Wild Coffee Marketing, we serve as a trusted strategic advisor and outsourced CMO for our clients. We believe in the power of integrity and delivering high-quality, high-impact results that help our clients scale their multi-location and franchise businesses quickly. One of our core values is, “We do what we say.” That’s why we are passionate about creating clear and well-defined statements of work that ensure our clients receive nothing less than exceptional marketing services that stay within budget and are delivered on time.


What is a Statement of Work?

A statement of work is a detailed document outlining the scope of work for a project. Its primary purpose is to establish clear communication and expectations between the client and the service provider. The SOW clearly describes the work to be done, including timelines, milestones, deliverables, and budgetary constraints. It acts as a home base for everyone involved in a project by aligning goals and objectives, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and conflict.

What can you Expect in a Statement of Work?

The components of a statement of work may differ based on the nature of the marketing project and your unique business goals. However, some common elements of an SOW include the following:

Project Description: This is a concise overview of the project, its objectives, and the desired outcomes.

Scope of Work: This details the work to be done, including the deliverables, timelines, milestones, and approval criteria.

Assumptions and Constraints: Any assumptions or limitations that may impact the project’s success, such as resource availability, technical dependencies, or regulatory requirements.

Payment Terms: The agreed-upon payment structure, including the schedule, method of payment, and invoicing procedures.

Roles and Responsibilities: The tasks of each party involved in the project, including the client, service provider, and any third-party vendors.

Change Management: A process for managing changes to the SOW, including how changes will be requested, evaluated, approved, and communicated.

Statement of Work Best Practices

Here are our Statement of Work (SOW) best practices to help you avoid costly mistakes and set you up for success before your next marketing engagement.


Best Practice #1: Ask Clarifying Questions

The Statement of Work is often written after the pitch with your potential marketing partner. Oftentimes, our clients have a big vision for their project but are uncertain about what they need in order to bring their vision to life. To facilitate a seamless transition from pitch to project, we recommend coming to the meeting with a prepared list of clarifying questions that will establish clear guidelines for the project objectives, scope, budget, and timeline.  If you are feeling uncertain about what to ask, don’t worry! We have created a list of questions you can take with you into your next marketing pitch that will collaboratively define the SOW and ensure alignment of expectations before heading into the project.

  • Project Objectives: What specific goals and objectives do you recommend for this project, and how will we measure success?
  • Scope of Work: What is the scope of work for this project, and what deliverables are included?
  • Timeline: What is the timeline for this project, and what are the key milestones and deadlines?
  • Budget and Payment Terms: How will the budget for this project be managed and tracked, and what is the schedule for payment?
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Who will be assigned to this project from your team, and how will they contribute to the project’s success?
  • Change Management: What is the process for managing changes to the project scope, timeline, or budget, and how will communication be handled?

Best Practice #2: Always Have a Project Kick-Off Call
You signed your Statement of Work, and now you are ready to get this marketing project started! Before you should begin, we always recommend having a project kick-off call. The project kick-off is the defining moment of the inception of your marketing engagement. During this call, you come together for the first time and are introduced to your marketing team. This call serves as an additional opportunity to affirm the work that will be done and answer any outstanding questions.

As our client’s strategic marketing partners, we believe in the value of connection and collaboration. The majority of our clients do not have an in-house marketing team or only have one dedicated marketing professional. This kick-off allows us to officially become an extension of their team and establish a strong working relationship before we get down to business.

Best Practice #3: Communicate Early When the Scope Changes
With a fast-scaling multi-location and franchise business, it’s normal for things to change! That’s why one of our core values is to be able to pivot quickly so that we can effectively and efficiently accommodate our clients’ evolving needs. To avoid project delays that can result in missed opportunities and budget overages, we recommend communicating with your marketing partner early if and when the scope needs to change. This allows your team of dedicated experts to make the necessary adjustments to shift direction and ensure your deliverables meet the new expectations. 

When a scope changes, expect a Change Order or a completely new Statement of Work (SOW) that clearly defines the new objectives, scope, budget, and timeline, so that the project can proceed smoothly. Just like embarking on a new journey calls for a new set of directions, the updated SOW serves as a revised roadmap for the project. By outlining the new goals and expectations in the SOW, the project stays on track and your marketing initiative can successfully reach your goals.

Curious to see how Wild Coffee Marketing can deliver results-driven strategies for your next marketing initiative? Book your free consultation today to learn how we can serve as your strategic partner and extension of your marketing team that will accelerate your growth.


Is your messaging ready to address key concerns and ongoing opportunities? Wild Coffee Marketing can help. Contact us today to learn more. At Wild Coffee Marketing, we love helping companies grow better.

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