Advertising is an important part of any business, but it can also be expensive and time consuming. In today’s market, businesses have to work harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. But with so many advertising agencies offering their services, how do you know who to trust? The first thing, you have to know is “what are advertising agencies?” and how do they impact your business.
What are advertising agencies?
Advertising agencies are businesses that produce advertising for commercial enterprises. These companies may focus on one type of product, industry, or service; they may serve several types of clients; they may be local, regional, national or international.
They employ individuals with a broad range of educational backgrounds and professional experience in art design, media planning and buying, copywriting, account managing, and research.
History of advertising agency
The profession of “advertising” was created in the late 1800s as a way to raise awareness about a product or service for an individual or company at the same time bringing value to both consumer and producer. Prior to this period, companies relied on newspaper ads from commercial offices, handbills or printed material distributed in public spaces. The first step towards modern-day advertising was to take out an ad in a newspaper or magazine , but this was expensive for companies and limited the number of people who could be reached.
The ‘father’ of modern advertising is considered to be John E Kennedy (JK) who started Kennedy’s half-crowns in 1891 ; his success prompted him to start his own company: JKL.
Kennedy’s main strategy was to place advertisements in newspapers and leaflets created for soldiers fighting in the Second Boer War. His association with the military gave Kennedy an advantage over his competitors, who were forced to invest heavily in poster campaigns, although they did not see much return.
Another early advertisement mogul was Thomas J Barratt, the first advertising manager of the infamous Pears Soap company.
Although both men’s companies were successful, it was Claude Hopkins who is generally considered to be the father of modern-day advertising.
What is the purpose of an advertising agency?
Many companies require assistance with marketing and product promotions, so they hire a company or individual to handle these tasks for them. The main goal of advertising agencies is to create advertisements that will convince an audience to buy a product or service.
Advertising agencies usually employ teams of experts from different departments, each with its own specific role. A successful campaign will use copywriters who create the text for adverts, artists who design them, and media planners who choose where they should appear.
Creative advertising is one of many specialisms within the industry, others including marketing, media buying, and public relations.
What are the types of advertising agencies?
There are many types of advertising agencies , all created to suit the specific requirements of different clients.
Some examples of these are :
- Creative Advertising Agencies — mainly artists, copywriters and media planners who create unique ideas for products or services, e.g. adverts on television or online.
- Media Agencies — plan media strategies and insert advertisements into all types of media such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV , radio and online.
- Direct Response Agencies — create direct mail pieces for companies to use in projects requiring a response from the audience – e.g. leaflets, catalogs or emails containing special offers and discounts.
- Marketing Agencies — work with a company to create a specific marketing plan , usually using advertising as a key element of the process.
- Public Relations Agencies — work with companies to help control their public image and influence perceptions towards them from the audience’s perspective. A good example of this is crisis management when an organization has been involved in an incident that could have a negative effect on its reputation.
- Measurement Agencies — provide companies with information on how their advertising is faring in the marketplace. They use a range of research techniques to measure this, including telephone surveys , focus groups and diary-based models.
Other types agencies include digital agencies , media buying agencies and design agencies.
Where can I find an ad agency?
Advertising agencies can be found in a variety of different settings. Some are based in a building known as the ‘ creative hub ‘, where all employees from each department gather to share ideas and work on projects together. Others have their own premises, while some agencies operate from home or another company’s office . There are also companies that create websites to advertise their services to clients. Many of these can be found on the web but others are based in print media .
Do’s and Don’ts While Selecting an Agency
Agency selection is a big step for any business. Here are some important things you should consider to make sure you get the best agency for your money:
- The first and foremost thing that must be checked in an ad agency is their experience level in the industry. If they have been in this field for a long time it means that they have better experience and skills to offer.
- Some agencies offer free trial services which you can avail of as a part of their new client surfing package with no additional cost. Take maximum advantage of these opportunities as this is the best way through which you can judge the potential of an agency.
- Before hiring any agency it is very important to have complete insight into their services and what all they can offer. The more knowledge you have about an agency the better it is for you.
- In case of any doubt or confusion, be sure to get in touch with them beforehand. Make use of this opportunity to gather as much information as possible from them so that there is no confusion at the time of execution of your projects.
- Check for their previous works and examples which they have done in the past for similar clients. This will give you an idea about what kind of work they are capable of doing for you.
- Get yourself familiar with their manners and behavior as well. If you like them personally, you can be rest assured that they will carry out your project efficiently.
- Make sure to ask for their rates and price quotes in advance so that there is no unpleasant situation at the time of payment
- Discuss terms and conditions in detail with them before you sign any contracts.
- Always request for a written contract signed by both parties, so that no scope of disputes is left.
- Don’t get carried away with just their portfolio alone. As once they have started working on your project it will be necessary to check frequently on them for quality and content output of work done by them. So always ensure that the agency you are hiring works closely with you.