I was thinking about this recently when reading posts in one of my Digital Agency FB groups, especially since so many ‘ad agencies’ have tried to stay competitive by sharing their agency discount percentage with their clients. Heck, one ‘agency’ in my town even states that “He’ll work for free- the stations pay him a commission, so his clients don’t have to” or something similar. A good advertising agency will pay for itself very quickly. Here are a few choice reasons why excellent Ad Agencies are a worthy business investment:

  1. STRATEGY – Business owners often are looking for the best value for their money, but buying the cheapest radio or TV spots does not always yield the best return. Nor does buying prime inventory always make sense. For example, I know of a local business that bought a ‘Super Bowl package’ because it was THE Super Bowl, and they thought SO many people would be watching that they spent their entire ad budget around that one high-profile event. But guess what? I learned after the fact that the business owners were angry that they spent all that money and got NO sales off it. However, there is a media strategy that can work for every budget! Prime time, off-peak, overnights, weekend, and other day parts can be a profitable option for the agency that understands the business and their client’s target customers. Does a business owner have time, money, and energy to figure that out? Probably not.
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY – Accountants and CPAs check to make sure that the dollar amount contracted for is what the invoice shows. The accountant also might check the number of commercials to make sure those add up, too. But do they also check to make sure all the units ordered aired in the time negotiated? Do they make sure that the rotation was evenly distributed within the days and times ordered? Will your accountant check each unit aired and send a discrepancy report to the stations that have not cleared the spots as ordered to secure make-goods or a credit against the invoice? Probably not… it takes special software OR a human being examining every invoice from each station to ensure that every single unit ran as ordered, with the commercial specified.
  3. PRODUCTION – Most stations will offer their non-agency clients free production or greatly discounted production rates. There are several reasons this is not the best option: (A) the rep rarely knows the business as well as the owner (or an industry expert) (B) most sales reps are not professional copywriters, which means that the commercial may be “ok”, but it might not be good enough to motivate potential in-market buyers to respond. (C) the production provided by the station may not mix well with all the other messages that the business has airing at the same time. Therefore, the corporate message will be diluted due to message confusion that can occur when a business has several different uncoordinated commercials airing at the same time (D) the added expense of a professionally produced commercial is small compared to the agency discount an advertising agency will garner for their client.

These are the top three money-related reasons a business will still benefit from using a professional ad agency in 2017. This list does not even begin to scratch the surface of the other areas where a local business can benefit from a savvy marketing pro. A good agency will help their clients find parts of their budget that are ineffective, and re-route those dollars to better platforms. This means that while the overall budget won’t be higher, the effectiveness will be increased!   For retail and service businesses, strategy is a critical part of success. However, even the best strategies will fail unless proper execution happens. Agencies play a vital role in making sure that execution happens correctly, with proper timing and a relevant message that will resonate with the business’ customers. These are just a few of the reasons ad agencies are still retained by the top companies in many industries…top performing companies know that it takes talent, work, and an investment to stay in front of their competitors!

Has your company done an advertising audit this year? Does your company focus their advertising dollars on their best prospects? To learn if your business can benefit from partnering with an advertising agency contact Tanya today!