Just Sayin’

What’s In An Advertising Agency?

Unlike the legal or accounting professions, the standards and practices of the advertising industry have no real uniformity. Most standards have to do with procedural interactions with media vendors such as payment terms, buying rules, etc. Other than those particulars, most methods and practices vary greatly. That is why it is difficult for potential clients to measure one agency candidate versus another because there are not many real “apples-to-apples” comparisons that can be made.

So, then what happens? If there is a multiple-agency review undertaken, then the decision is often made on the merits of one creative idea versus another. Or one strategic idea is valued more than another. Unfortunately, what some potential clients don’t consider is that those creative ideas and strategies all have limited shelf lives. This phenomenon is at the heart of why there is so much turnover in agency representation in our industry.

The high expectations the client develops during the sizzle of the presentation are usually over-promised and sometimes under-delivered. Additionally, even though the potential client may be infatuated with a great creative concept, that idea may not adequately connect to the company’s long-term financial goals or sound strategic positioning. So, if the client makes their choice based solely on the merits of a strong creative idea, they have to take a leap of faith that the prospective agency can also construct a long-term marketing plan that is affordable and functional enough to have long-term value.

What should someone look for in their advertising agency? Is an agency even necessary? How much money should be invested in a company’s marketing profile? 
In my next entry, we’ll take a look at these questions and provide some options to consider. If you have any questions about advertising or marketing, please drop me an email and I’ll be happy to weigh in on any topic. Or if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.

~ Paul Quebe, Owner of JP Marketing