How to choose and work with an advertising and marketing agency?

Whilst having a social distanced conversation with a business owner the other day, a business owner who doesn’t currently use an agency for any of their marketing or advertising, I asked the simple question that I guess every marketer should always ask… “why?”

The simple answer from this business owner was this. His perception was that it can be complicated to work with an advertising and marketing agency, it can also be really expensive and too much effort, especially when he wants to stay focussed on generating sales and awareness for his business.

Working with an advertising agency doesn’t have to be any of these things… if you pick the right agency.

Whether you want a new website or a new brand – some online advertising – or you simply want to grow your business and don’t know how. It’s sometimes difficult to understand how it works and how much it costs and what the return on both investment and effort will be. But if you pick the right agency who believe in an honest approach, working hard and giving a fair price, you can soon build a trusting and valuable relationship that helps you achieve things you have only dreamed about with your business. That’s the power of a truly great advertising and marketing agency.

So how do you decide if it’s the right agency for you and how do you go about finding them?

Don’t think about it, just call an agency.

First of all, an agency will not charge you anything until you have agreed all costs and they will not charge for any initial meetings to understand what you are trying to achieve, so don’t worry about making the call to an agency. They will get calls from people in your position all the time.

There are just 4 steps to understanding how an advertising and marketing agency works.

But let’s make it clear what Advertising (or ads for short) is – it’s a marketing tactic to promote a product, service, or a cause. The goal of advertising can be to reach people most likely to be willing to pay for a company’s products or services and entice them.

Step 1: Understanding

It all begins with understanding what you are trying to achieve. What’s the problem you are trying to solve – or what’s the desire, the aim. Sometimes this will be really clear but sometimes there are so many options – it helps to talk it all through with the agency. You will speak to a customer service person in the agency who will guide you through all the steps to make sure you get what you need. The agency might show case studies to show you what types of advertising has worked in the past for similar companies or work it has designed for past clients.

Example: https://www.outsidethebox.co.uk/work/

Step 2: The brief

Write a brief. The agency will help you write the brief so that its really clear what you are aiming to achieve. The agency will have briefing templates to make it easy for you. The brief is vitally important as it holds everything that you want to achieve and communicate and say about your business or offer. It essentially also forms the contract between you and the agency as to what you are paying them to do and is referenced back when judging the work they send back to you. So it’s vitally important you take time to get this right.

Step 3: Menu of options

The agency will now take the brief and explore options for you. Its likely they will look at a menu of options and various prices to meet your goals. At this stage the agency will pitch to you some ideas they have had. They will also make recommendations. They will give you a quotation and a schedule of work so you know how long it will take.

Step 4: Clarity on everything

Having considered all the options (and this is better if you take some time to consider it) you will be clearer on: the costs and schedule of payment, the timescales, what the agency will do for you, what’s expected of you and you will be clear on what you will have to show for it all at the end. When you are happy with everything – you give the go ahead. Prior to this stage there are no costs involved.

And that’s it. The agency will get on with what they do best. The customer service person you met will keep in touch throughout the journey. There will be no surprises, actually it will be fun, and it will be very rewarding. Remember marketing is an investment, you expect to get a good return on your time and money. So, choose a good one, like: https://www.outsidethebox.co.uk/about-us/

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