So You’re Working With An Ad Agency…

I’m not sure how many of you that read my blog are business owners or decision makers that work with an ad agency. If you are, or perhaps you may be in the future, I encourage you to read on. This blog will help you to work more efficiently with your agency, save you time, and make you more profitable.

I want to write this blog for my industry, not so much my company. Marketing is something I am extremely passionate about. I share that passion with the people I work with. We LOVE when a campaign we executed or an idea we created generates success. It’s a great feeling, really, and it’s one we get with every client we work with.

That sounds like bragging but, candidly, that’s not how it’s meant. At ReThinc, we can say with a great degree of confidence that we are successfully executing for all of our clients. I’m very proud of that and would bet the women and men that I call peers would say the same about their clients as well as their ad agencies.

What I want to put forth to you this month is advice for any client of any ad agency or any potential client of an ad agency so that they can accomplish what should be a top priority for their marketing efforts … your business success.

I don’t want to speak for other agency owners but I guarantee you that everyone in this business wants to make their outreach efforts more effective while saving their clients’ time and money by streamlining important agency touch points.

To what I would imagine is to a varying degree, each agency logs and charges their client for the services they provide. Essentially, the agency business model works on billable hours, commissionable media, and promotional product purchases. One of my friends at a larger agency told me that the minute the phone rings a client is on the clock and being charged.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Totally get it. We don’t do it like that at ReThinc, but I can see why as you may have a client needing, demanding, or just getting hours upon hours of marketing work and only paying for one component of service (i.e. graphic design).

The agency and the client should work together to create efficiencies that save them both time and money while improving the communication process to ensure success with the marketing execution.

If you are working with an ad agency or considering the value in hiring one, do yourself the favor of making sure you (or your staff) are buttoned up so that you don’t increase the amount of hours your agency is working or worse, decrease the effectiveness of what they are executing for your brand.

Here’s a few clarifying points to help any company that is paying an ad agency to grow their business.

1. Have a single point of primary contact for day-to-day communication. It’s totally OK if you are a business owner and you want to be involved, but for your sake, and the agency’s sake you really should not have a group of employees who are autonomously engaging your ad agency. Simply put, communicate internally and speak with one voice.

2. Have a formal process for approvals; this is especially important for companies with multiple decision makers. This keeps your company on the same page and keeps you from having multiple unnecessary revisions that drive your monthly marketing costs up.

3. Make sure that there is an appropriate flow of information coming to and from the agency. I put this on the agency to be sure to execute but sometimes clients get distracted with the many responsibilities that come with running a business. Regardless of the workload, it’s important to keep the weekly calls, the monthly updates or the quarterly market visits.

4. Be upfront with your budget and trust your agency to do what’s right (once you approve the plan, of course). In paragraph 5 I identified the primary ways that an agency makes money. I can assure you that it never comes to play when an agency makes a strategic marketing decision. That’s just foolish. An agency MUST make the right strategic decisions for a client or they will lose that client in very short order.

If you can’t trust your ad agency to act in your best interest then you have the wrong agency working for you.

5. Don’t get too high or too low on your agency. Yes, a good agency should be providing you with solid marketing services but know too that your product, your service, and your company has to provide a positive consumer experience for any campaign to really work. The best ad campaign in the world can’t save a bad restaurant with terrible food and poor service.

We position ReThinc as a different kind of ad agency. Our number one goal is to achieve marketing success for each and every one of our clients, regardless of size, regardless of need, regardless of industry. Part of that marketing success starts by saving them time and money. Following the steps above will do just that and whether you are working with us or one of our peers … we wish you the very best in achieving marketing success!