Many American businesses see the value to investing in advertising. Nearly $180 billion was spent on it in 2015 around the United States. More and more companies are planning to move their marketing and advertising efforts to digital channels. In 2014, businesses spent about one quarter of their advertising budgets on digital marketing. Within the next five years, experts in the industry expect that to jump to at least three quarters of their budgets. If you are ready to take the plunge and hire one of your local advertising agencies, there are some things you can do to make the experience better.
- Take some time to get to understand what it is that adverting agencies do exactly. Many people who hire an advertising agency do not really have any idea of what ad agencies do. That usually leads to disappointment with the agency’s performance. Having realistic expectations about what they can and cannot do will make you have a much better experience. Advertising agencies are not sales departments. If you expect to see immediate results, you will be very disappointed with the way things go.
- Go through the RFP process. Not many companies go through these anymore but they can be very helpful for finding the right advertising agency for your needs. It will allow you to really measure how creative the different advertising agencies are, how efficient they are and how well they understand your business, industry and needs. There are a lot of advertising agencies out there, you want to get the right one.
- Work out the marketing budget with the advertising agency. Many times companies will let the ad agency work out the details of the budget. Your experience working with the agency your hire will go a lot better if you take the time to work though your expectations and budget with them. You should also get some deliverables and work out a timeframe along with the budget.
- Go with an advertising agency that asks you a lot of questions. You will have a lot of questions for the advertising agencies you are considering hiring but you also want them to have a lot for you. Some marketing agencies go in to dazzle a would be client. They are extremely interested in getting the contract but then their interest falls right off. You want a company that really is interested in your company, what you do and what your goals are for working with the project.
- It is essential that you and the agency are on the same page vis-a-vis your goals. If you have certain goals and they think you have a different set of goals, you will be working at cross purposes and neither of you will have a good experience working together. You can move this process along by putting it in writing and then also going over that document.
- Think of the agency as a partner. You want to develop a relationship not a one-off.
- Develop your brand identity. This starts by knowing what you want your brand to be and how you want other people to perceive it. Your brand is really your promise to your customer. You need to be careful when developing it. It is more than just a catchy slogan. It represents who you are as a company. You also have to know that simplicity is your friend here. If your brand is confusing, your ad campaign will fail.
- Use the same messaging everywhere. In advertising, repetition is the key to success. Do not promote one message on your web site, another in your press releases and then a third in your print advertising. In politics, experts always say candidates have to “stay on message.” The same principle applies here. Not everyone will see every ad or social media post so you need all to be consistent.
- Never stop working to improve what you do. Advertising agencies can get people in your door or to visit your site but they are not happy with your product, they will soon leave. Successful companies are always looking to be better and more creative.
Working with advertising agencies can be rewarding or awful experiences. Following these nine tips will help yours be the latter.