The Modern Advertising Agency White Paper
When thinking of an advertising agency, many picture tall high-rises with men in suits dictating how their business will operate. While this was the advertising agency of old, the modern advertising agency is different and provides business owners with advanced marketing solutions previous generations could only have dreamed of.
What Does a Modern Advertising Agency Look Like?
As H. H. Kynett once said in a 1924 marketing journal, “If necessity is the mother of invention, the modern advertising agency might well be said to be the father of merchandising.” What the author is referring to here, is that without the modern advertising agency industry would not have expanded as it did in the early 20th century.
Back in those days, advertising agencies had only one or two corporate accounts, and would not work with smaller businesses. They were after top-dollar clients, and if you were a small business owner, finding an agency to work with you was almost impossible. What’s more, old advertising agencies worked primarily with printed media and TV commercials. These marketing channels are typically expensive and required corporate-sized budgets which were out of reach for the average small business.
Today, the game has changed, and the modern advertising agency operates under a hybrid structure, working with many smaller clients offering full-service advertising solutions. Most notably, digital is the primary marketing driver these days, and small businesses can create a successful digital marketing campaign for only a few hundred dollars. With lower costs, the gap between the agency and the client is reduced, and small businesses have many more options.
Questions to Ask of An Advertising Agency
With more advertising agency choices than ever before, you want to make sure that your selection speaks your language and aligns their strategies with your company’s desired outcomes. Here are a few questions that you should ask during preliminary meetings:
How much experience do you have?
The most basic of all questions, this is still a necessary question to ask. Advertising agencies come and go over the years, and if they’ve managed to stay around for a decade, it is a sure bet that they’re good at what they do. Here is a list of of some of the most influential advertising minds of the 20th Century. Such names include David Ogilvy and William Bernbach
Also, keep in mind that just because an agency hasn’t been established for long, that doesn’t mean that the people working for the agency aren’t experienced. Ask about the individual experience of the team members as well.
How can you help me reach my desired results?
Your end goal – whether it’s increased revenue, higher brand awareness, or increased word-of-mouth – is your priority. The modern advertising agency should provide you with clear answers through their services.
How many accounts do you have?
Larger agencies will offer more services; however, a smaller agency might specialize in a few areas of advertising, providing your business’ strategy with an expert touch.
Do you have experience in my industry?
Not all campaigns will work for every industry, and you don’t want a cookie-cutter strategy either. Make sure they have experience reaching your segment of customers with proven data to support their claims.
What services do you offer?
Not every modern advertising agency will offer the same things. While many will offer social media, PPC, and website advertising, others might specialize in only one area. Depending on your business’ needs, you might choose a specialist over a full-service advertising agency.
Have you ever lost an account? What was the reason?
This question is aimed at learning more about the agency’s experience and their honesty. It could reveal an underlying issue in their services, and depending on their answer, you might want to consider a different option.
Current Advertising Trends
Digital advertising is the primary driver behind modern marketing trends. AdWeek reported on the latest marketing trends based on research from eMarketer. These are the most impressive statistics from their report:
- Total U.S. ad spend will grow by 5.2% reaching $205 billion
- 40.5% of all ad spend is in digital
- 42.2% of all digital ad spend goes to Google
- Experts predict 34% growth in social media ad spending
- TV ad spend will only grow by 0.5%
With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that digital advertising will only to continue taking over the industry, pushing out traditional vehicles like TV or print media. The most alarming statistic on the list is the last one, noting the TV ad spend will only sluggishly grow, although the authors point out that, in total, TV ad spend is still worth $71.7 billion.
To keep up with the current trends in advertising, your business must focus on digital efforts as they’re more accessible and can often cost less in the long run while providing similar returns.
Should Your Business Advertise?
Every business, no matter if it sells gloves or rocket fuel, needs advertising to reach its customers and convince them to buy their goods or services. No matter if you’re a small business with a limited budget or a multi-national corporation, you need advertising.
While capturing organic traffic either online or physical foot traffic is still possible, to scale and grow your customer base, you need to reach out to them; otherwise, they might not know that you exist. This is why it’s crucial that your business is known throughout the community and online, and you’re communicating a message that resonates with your target audience.
Marketing Your Business on A Small Budget
With the modern advertising agency, you no longer need corporate-scale marketing budgets to see a return. In fact, in a study from Blue Corona, they found that 50% of small businesses spend only $300/month on online marketing. Even with this small investment, you can still achieve remarkable results if you’re creative.
The modern advertising agency is different and provides business owners with advanced marketing solutions previous generations could only have dreamed of.
Create Captivating Content
Blog posts and articles on your website can boost your SEO rank, and if you’re a savvy writer, it doesn’t have to cost you anything!
Leverage Organic Social Media Traffic
Many businesses launch paid social media campaigns with great success, but if you share quality content and provide followers with value, you can boost your traffic without boosting a single post.
Read more about cheap or free advertising ideas here. This list could be just what your business needs before investing in professional help.
Your Pre-Advertising Campaign Checklist
First, ensure you’ve aligned your digital assets including your website and social media accounts. Make sure they’re relevant to your industry, injected with quality content that provides value, along with mobile optimization.
Second, you’ll need to verify your local and social channels including Google My Business, Facebook, and Instagram. In the same Blue Corona report referenced earlier, they state that 70 to 80% of all customers research a business online before visiting them. Make sure they can easily find you and draw them in.
Do you have business cards? Although not digital, business cards are still essential in the business world. Take the time and spend the money to have them professionally done to make the best impression on your prospects.
Finally, make sure that all of your communication channels work, and you’ve listed them correctly on your website and social media profiles. You’d hate to spend a couple hundred on social media advertising only to see no results because of a typo in your phone number!
Who Doesn’t Like Free Stuff?
As a side note, working with a modern advertising agency provides a few perks including:
- Free tickets to concerts and local events through their connections
- Apparel and swag
- Business meetings out on the golf course
- Charity outings to help the community
Ad Trends of The Future
So, where is the industry headed? Expect to see digital to continue its dominance, with new channels and technology potentially changing the way companies advertise.
Virtual Reality: Expect for companies to put their customers in their store with immersive VR advertisements.
Wearables: Smartwatches and other wearable tech are here to stay, and advertisers will begin pushing advertisements to them once they can find unobtrusive, natural formats.
Social Media: Social media is already one of the premier digital advertising channels, and it will only grow in the future. If you’re going to advertise your business, you need to have a sound strategy for the future.
The modern advertising agency looks a lot different than those of old but shares many of the same core values. The primary difference you’ll see when working with a modern advertising agency is the assortment of services and new, innovative approaches to selling. Work with a trusted partner and they could be the difference your business and bottom-line needs.
-  – https://www.adweek.com/agencies/18-bullish-stats-about-the-state-of-u-s-advertising
-  – https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/29-small-business-digital-marketing-statistics
-  – http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/000271622411500124?journalCode=anna&
-  – https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/10/01/marketing-ideas-for-small-businesses