February 25, 2016
Many successful businesses rely on advertising agencies. Advertising agencies are the ones that build up the bridge for the clients and their customers to connect. Without them, customers would not be easily attracted and brands would not be as easily identified or recognized. They are not just any simple service providers. They are the tools, resources and ideas that make each brand reaches their target markets. They are also a necessity that plays a key role in having a successful business.
Despite the goods, it is only realistic to have only one advertising agency working for you, especially for one product or one campaign, but never more. It makes no sense to have more than one because it doubles up the cost and will most likely cause conflicts between agencies. If you have decided to hire for one, you will need to pick an advertising agency that suits you. But how do you exactly figure out which is the right agency for you?
One of the best ways to secure the perfect advertising partner is to create a list of your requirements and compare it to the list of agencies that you have access to and their promised services. However, to properly judge which is right for you, you will first need to have an understanding on a few things first. Having seeing what’s written on the agency’s surface doesn’t mean that those are good for you even if it’s according to what you had wanted. It is the same as seeing hawker stalls with the menu or signboard Char Kuey Teow. Not all offering Char Kuey Teow is as good as the ideal one you had in mind. Agree?
While it might be hard to find out which Char Kuey Teow is the best before tasting them, there are a few smart things that you could do before heading to the stall faraway. Likewise, there are precautionary measures that you could do before signing on a contract with an advertising agency especially when it’s your first time. Here is a few tips:
Nobody is perfect and nobody can be good at everything. This is the same for all advertising agencies even if it is a full service or a hybrid agency. Every agency got to be specializing in something. They usually have the certain type of client or advertising type that they always work with despite having what it was advertised on the agency’s website. Not all of the services listed on an agency’s website are ones that they are actually good in. Identify what they’re best at and decide whether if the agency is capable of meeting your requirements.
Most advertising agencies will make suggestions on what you should do based on their respective specialties. For example, a digital marketing company will focus strongly on limiting the scope of advertising to just both web and graphic design, whereas a design company would focus more on redesigning brochures while completely missing the need for branding. Agencies tend to offer services that they’re most comfortable in. If you’re able to listen to their suggestions closely, especially on what they sell you, you will be able to figure out the ‘real skills’ of an agency.
“Knowledge gained through experience is far superior and many times more useful than bookish knowledge,” Mahatma Gandhi said, and the quote is not only applicable to life or general working field but also the advertising field. Consider bookish knowledge what it was written on the website and experience what the advertising agencies had done. While it might be good to do research beforehand through their websites as well as multiple review sites to get an idea of how they have served their clients in the past, it is utterly more important to actually meet up with the agency itself and inquire about their past projects. Their past products are the evidences of what they have done and what they could do. This will tell you whether or not their works suit your style. Not only that, include requesting for references as well in which you could call to their previous clients. A voiced review is always much convincing than a written review.
A consultant, agent and a designer from an advertising agency has to be people persons. A good communication is needed in order to have the advertising plan or campaign succeed. As you pay them a visit for consultation, take note on how they speak as well as how well do they socialize not only with you but among other clients and themselves. They should be able to comfortably express what they think about your ideas, as well as theirs. They also must be good active listeners because every information that came out from your own explanation is always according to what you had wanted. Anything missed could change the end product because of the failure to deliver such information completely. It is also important to note that the effort has to come from you as well. Be open-minded at any suggestions and take them as alternatives. Tell if you’re happy or unhappy but walk away if you’re beginning to feel forced to listen or follow.
Now that you have more confidence in knowing which agency is good for you, don’t go just yet! We’re not done. There’s more advice that you will like to hear. After you’ve decided on which advertising agency that you’ll want to partner with, it is important to make a lasting connection. Switching between advertising agencies frequently can cause a rift onto the road to success, because switching usually means starting all over, which is why it is important to build a successful working relationship with your advertising agency. You will need to learn to work with them regularly in order to make the most out of the relationship.
Bringing an advertising agency into the fold is much like hiring an additional team for your company. There will be a new team completely filled with new staffs that are going to be involved in many of your business activities. Therefore, the core criterias must first be discussed before the beginning of the partnership with an advertising agency to enable a smoother working relationship.