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10 Things to Expect of Your Advertising Agency

10 Things to Expect of Your Advertising Agency

10 Things to Expect of Your Advertising Agency

Posted Monday September 08th, 2014 by in Trends + Technology.

Advertising is as simple as a mission to the moon; it sounds straightforward, but comes with infinite complexity in the creation, deployment and management of the plan. Here are ten guidelines you should expect your advertising agency to follow in its advice to you and your brand, along with pointers for what brands should strive for in their own advertising work:

1. Make sure you put a stake in the ground.

There is no reason to go through a rebranding exercise, or to create a new company, unless the outcome is taking a significant viewpoint on our world. Just rehashing status quo is a recipe for a dial that moves nowhere.

2. Be compelling with what you say.

Half the battle is getting to the consumer, but the other 40% is keeping them engaged. Only after you deliver them value wherever they are can you commit the remainder of the resources to conversion. Try to convert too soon and you lose an opportunity to build a lasting bridge between your brand and your customer. Value yields dividends in more ways than one.

3. Become part of your customer’s life.

Create a campaign that surprises your audience and impacts their world at a mundane intersection. No matter what a customer is doing – whether it’s laundry, picking up the kids at school, or reading at night – there are endless opportunities to make your brand relevant in our daily routines.

4. Be super-relevant to those you want (and leave out the rest).

Similar to putting a stake in the ground, brands should strive to shift perceptions by going right to the heart of a consumer issue. That will give brands as many lovers as haters, but if you’re not creating either than your “vanilla” strategy is too bland to be relevant to your most die-hard audience.

5. Don’t stop innovating.

The correct mix of past vs. present is about 30/70. Spend 30% of your ad planning by considering what’s worked in the past, and a full 70% forgetting the past and innovating. Create new ways to say what you do, and new ways to reach potential customers. Again, maintaining the status quo is the higher-risk strategy.

6. Allow creative people to be creative.

Rather than impose ideas or muddy the slate, keep the slate clean by only giving your agency the nuts and bolts and letting their audit and research process guide the creative process. If brands could see themselves clearly in the first place, they wouldn’t need an agency! Let creatives bring their energy, passion and wild ideas.

7. Be open to all consumer touchpoints.

Advertising in today’s world competes with any story-driven medium, including the news and even your friends! Because there are so many more sources for stimuli than ever before, agencies and brands must work together to be bolder, braver and louder. And, notwithstanding the foregoing, brands must also be hyper-targeted to be relevant.

8. Minimize risk and maximize return by being a smart business.

Using a creative message to leverage your brand isn’t rocket science, it’s just good business. Rather than interject too many “bang points” like an old-school tri-fold brochure, produce creative pieces that stand on their own and carry the brand forward. Minimize the risk by letting new creative stand out and away from the sales pitch.

9. Knowing when to be quiet is important, too.

Agencies should be great at being loud and proud on behalf of clients, but a great agency also knows when to quiet down and let the ebb counteract the flow. Letting things cool down sometimes isn’t just good for avoiding consumer-exhaustion; it’s also good for assessing internal business risks (supply chain faults lead to lack of product to sell!) or listening to broader market signs that indicate threats or opportunities that will require a messaging pivot. Advertising is about ebb and flow.

10. It’s all about people and your relationships with them.

Remember, people power businesses and people react to messages. Always be people-centric, both within and outside of your organization. Demand this of your agency (or, better yet, look for an agency that values relationships first and the work second – good stuff is bound to follow).


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