Myths about business groups and industries abound. The full-service advertising agency is no exception. Here are nine common myths we encounter during our early discussions with those who run and manage successful businesses. Warning, you may find the actual facts somewhat surprising.
Myth #1: My company doesn’t need an ad agency. We only do digital and printed sales collateral.
Reality: The full-service ad agency possesses a wealth of experience in all forms of communications, including digital and printed sales collateral. In fact, an agency can typically develop and produce more effective, cost efficient digital and printed sales pieces than a company can on its own. This includes providing valuable counsel on the proper structuring of the message for the collateral.
Myth #2: Full service ad agencies require a monthly retainer. We don’t do business that way.
Reality: The majority of agency work is now project-based. These projects can be estimated beforehand by working together to define the scope. This way, you can ‘date’ an agency first, before marrying it.
Myth #3: TV advertising is dead. Our customer doesn’t watch.
Reality: According to comScore, in a recent study, traditional television still dominated over video delivered via the Internet. An average of 5 ½ hours of traditional TV was viewed for every hour spent viewing online video. Even those that fondly embrace online video spend twice as much time watching traditional TV. Streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, continue to act more as a supplement to traditional television rather than a replacement.
Myth #4: Ad agencies are composed of arrogant prima donnas.
Reality: While there may be a certain number of prima donnas in the agency business, just as in many others, the majority of agency folks are reasonable businesspeople. They understand that a client’s needs matter more than their own egos. Do these people care passionately about what they do? Definitely. But for any true ad professional, the ultimate goal is to serve the best interests of the client.
Myth #5: It would cost a lot extra to enlist an ad agency to buy our media.
Reality: This myth is rarely true. In most cases, an agency’s media buying clout—combined with the superior negotiating skills of a seasoned, agency media strategist—pays off in terms of lower rates, more highly targeted buys and a greater return on media investment.
Myth #6: Ad agencies refuse to test anything before spending a lot of money.
Reality: Any respectable ad agency should be willing to test an idea before allocating a client’s full budget. Our experience has shown that upfront research often produces key insights that contribute to more effective campaign results.
Myth #7: An ad agency can’t help with my marketing strategy challenges.
Reality: One of the greatest benefits of working with a full-service ad agency is the depth of marketing expertise available to clients. Most agencies offer a broad range of strategic thinking, as well as multiple perspectives from various disciplines. An agency also offers a level of objectivity that’s difficult, or even impossible, for most clients to match on their own.
Myth #8: A full-service ad agency can’t help me with my website issues.
Reality: The key term here is “full-service.” By definition, this includes all forms of communication that contribute to the success of a client’s business venture. As a core element of your overall communication efforts, a professionally executed website falls firmly within this realm.
Myth #9: An ad agency doesn’t know enough about my business to help, and the learning curve is just too steep.
Reality: Granted, even the best agency may never know as much about your business as you do. Challenging a full-service advertising agency to learn more, however, can net fresh perspectives from experienced marketing minds. Some agencies will even do much of this learning at their own expense. In the end, the best communications come from a deep understanding of customer perceptions about your product or service. Consider collaborating with an agency to conduct the kind of studies that deliver thoughtful insights, rather than simply relying on long-held assumptions.
Care to suggest a myth we haven’t covered here? We’d welcome an opportunity to address it. Feel free to reach out to Glen Peak at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 813-227-8006.