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Choosing an Advertising Agency to Fit Your Needs

When your business wants to launch a new line of products, update your website to better take advantage of digital advertising, completely rethink and rework your brand, or move your products into a new market; that is a great time to pursue choosing an advertising agency that will fit your needs and help you succeed. Choosing the right ad agency can be a big task. 

There are actually many types of advertising agencies. Agencies vary greatly in their scope, their capabilities, their specialties and even their focus. While one agency will work only with digital advertising like SEO and Pay Per Click, another will offer traditional media and print services while yet another will offer a full menu of advertising services including package deals. 

Big agencies have often gotten that way by being successful. But if your business isn’t a high flyer they will likely assign you their B or even C team while charging top dollar. Smaller agencies can be a great option because they often offer top talent at a lower price and can be more flexible. Smaller agencies can still offer all the functions of an advertising agency, but without the large bureaucracy and high overhead to work with. Because of this they are often willing to go the extra mile, meet shorter deadlines and work quickly and nimbly.

So what do you need to look for when choosing the right agency? Take your time and look closely at these 4 functions of an advertising agency for your answer.

Experience

This idea of experience involves three different issues. First, what kind of work has the agency done before? Most agencies have a list of their clients as well as their creative work available for viewing on their websites. This is a good place to start to get an idea of what kind of work they have done in the past on projects similar to yours and the breadth of their work for different industries and businesses. Make sure the agency you hire creates work that you are drawn to, admire and like a lot.

Second, do they have an area of expertise and does that match with what you are looking for? There are agencies that specialize in one or two areas of advertising while others will offer you a selection of options as long as Mexican menu. Is it most important that this project gets done quickly and expertly? Is this a potential entrypoint into larger and widely varying projects that will require broader expertise and experience?

Third, are they experienced in working with your line of business so they can hit the ground running with the project(s) you have in mind? Or would you rather work with an agency that has little or no experience in your area of business and therefore will come to the table with fresh eyes and ears? As you can tell there are lots of questions and discussions throughout the process. Your final decision will also depend on what your business decides it really wants and needs from an agency partner and how their experience meshes with that vision.

Creative Work

How an agency handles the details is very important for final outcomes, timeliness and budgeted expenses. But the most important role of an advertising agency is to be creative with their work and projects. The average person sees thousands of advertisements daily on their phones, computers, tv, tshirts, hats, billboards, busses and taxis, etc.  When you are putting together an advertising campaign for your new product you want it to stand out among the thousands of other products people see every day. 

Creativity is one of the most important functions of an advertising agency. As you consider who you want to hire and work with, make sure that you are looking closely at their creative work. It must capture your attention and stick in your mind. Most people can see a cookie cutter style campaign from a mile away. It is the really creative campaigns that get remembered and capture peoples’ attention. 

Culture

The main role of an advertising agency is to listen carefully to your needs, provide creative solutions and work collaboratively to meet those needs. This role and the process entailed in meeting it are what defines the culture of an ad agency. So the million dollar question is, how do you discover the culture of the agency you work with? There are several important steps to this discovery.

Take a long walk through their website, see what they highlight about themselves, see the kinds of work they do, get a feeling for how they communicate their culture to their potential clients. Then go to their social media sites and discover what people are saying about them and how they are communicating with their followers. Finally, ask them some questions about their vision and their philosophy of advertising and marketing. Do they communicate that they are inclusive, collaborative, creative, bold, welcoming, open to new ideas, fun? 

Connection

Even after working through these very important functions of an advertising agency, the decisive factor is going to be, is there a connection between us? The reason this is so important is because of the amount of time you will be spending on your campaign together. Your chosen agency is going to be your partner in whatever you are asking them to do. And if they do it well maybe they will continue to work with you on further projects and ongoing work. 

Because communication is so vital to the success of any advertising campaign or project it is really important that there is a palpable connection between your business and the agency team you work with. Your people should like their people and enjoy working collaboratively. Could you see yourself going out for a beer together to celebrate the launch of your campaign, then that indicates there is connection.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier there are lots of different types of advertising agencies and you will need to decide which type of agency best fits your needs for this project and for the future. After all the role of an advertising agency is to unearth and creatively serve your desires to grow your business. Doing your homework, seeking a connection, admiring the creative work, discovering the culture and finding the right level of experience for you will all lead you to the right fit for your business. 

Here at zo agency we work to build long term relationships with our clients. We call it Tribe! 

We will work diligently to discover your vision, your passion, your needs, your hopes and dreams for your business and then will create an overall marketing plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.  Visit us today at www.zo.agency

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zo agency serves as the marketing department for small to midsize businesses that are typically too small to have their own internal marketing department and invariably too big to manage without one.

We’re your marketing director, strategist, account manager, project manager, family and tribe.