March 10, 2016


The Price War: Agency Vs. Printer


Advertising programs have been around since the 18th centuries. They work as a way for businesses to get their products or services around the public to know. Over the past few centuries, it had always been proved that these programs are able to push up not only sales but as well as brand awareness. Businesses from all around Asia and the world, until today, have utilized creative, design, and media agencies as part of their marketing strategies. These agencies are part of what they are called ‘advertising agencies’ which they shared similar purpose but had different roles. However, while it is already competitive enough between these advertising agencies, we also now have what it is called ‘printing agencies’. These agencies offer print ads at what it seemed to be at cheaper rates, and their low prices are what easily attract most clients, causing a conflict between them and other advertising agencies. Since then, clients have begun to be even more divided and they began to weigh out which one is the best for them especially in terms of cost.  


The Common Question: Why Spend A Fortune When The Printing Company Is So Much Cheaper?


Printing is where the ad creation process ends, often the last stage of its development. When an advertisement is created from scratch, edited to enhance its quality, modified to suit the customer’s needs and wants, the final product will be then send to a printing company to get it printed for the ad campaign. The cost that comes from a printing company is usually just the portion of the printing process instead of the whole in-the-making process that was just mentioned, which what makes these companies much cheaper than typical advertising agencies. Advertising agencies especially of creative, on the other hand, creates the advertisements from zero. It involves a lot of resources, time, money, and professional expertise. This sum up the cost, resulting in a more expensive price. However, the result will be of worth because each money spent are to produce an advertisement that is long lasting, impressive and with good quality.




The Problem: Clients Approaching Printing Agencies Directly

Without much knowledge, clients have begun approaching the printing agencies directly because of their price. What’s worse, printing agencies do accept creative advertising requests, because who wouldn’t want to earn the money especially when it is already right in front of them? And when they have accepted the offer, it means that clients have found a way to cut down cost of their budget, thinking they could try to minimize for maximum profit. However, many fail to realize that printing agencies are called printing agencies because they specialize in printing, but not in creating these advertisements. Printing agencies wouldn’t be able to produce advertisements which are as effective as advertising agencies. Advertising agencies, such as creative agencies for an instance, on the other hand, could give better service and advices such as the kind of material to use in order to enhance the appearance of the product. There are a lot of other things that are involved too, which printing agencies could easily miss out. By cutting down the kind of money that is going to be invested here, it also means cutting down the kind of revenue that could be potentially gained through these better advertisements.

There are some clients who hire an advertising agency, and then starts to complain when the costs start to add up. Many do not understand how much the process, effort, time and manpower that are involved in the making of a good advertisement. All they could see was just the surface; the price. They compare the cost of creative services vs the cost of printing services and are immediately confused on why they’re paying so much. Most clients also think that it’ll be much cheaper and easier to go to the printers directly.

There are also clients who already have a planned advertisement plan by themselves. All they need to do is to just launch them through the printing agencies. Since they already have made the advertisements themselves, they feel it is unnecessary to consult other advertising agencies as it’ll be a waste of time, money and effort. 




The Solution: Educating Clients That Printing Is Only Part of The Process

In order to make a high quality ad that is sure to succeed in doing what it intends to do, you’ll need a professional agency that can handle the process from the beginning to the end. Going for cheaper options in this case would result in poorly written and design ad content that can negatively affect your brand, be it in the form of name, reputation, impression or miscommunication. A successful campaign is much more important than an unprofessional campaign because a campaign that is well done has even greater potential to bring in more revenues that could make the cost seems somewhat little. 

To summarize, this price war that exists between advertising agencies and printing agencies could come down to one logical explanation: advertising agencies offer the whole process of producing an advertisement while printing agencies only provide the last step in the process. Even though some printing agencies do offer advertisement creation services, there will be no guarantee of success as it isn’t their specialization.

Not many know this. Therefore, it is up to us to educate the clients, especially when we’re given the opportunity, to let them know what advertising agencies are truly about. It is worth saying again that, putting in a more stable investment into a good quality advertising will yield a bigger return. A good ad agency can give you more bang for your buck.