Follow These Steps to Avoid Key Mistakes
Choosing an advertising agency is more difficult than it used to be. Not too long ago, ad agencies gained virtually all their revenue from designing and placing ads for print media (newspapers, magazines, direct mail, etc.), TV, billboards and radio. The agencies also charged big bucks to develop their ad campaigns and it was a very lucrative business for them. So, if you needed a firm to create an ad campaign, you knew who to contact.
Things are different now …
Times have changed, as much of print media advertising has switched to online, forcing many ad agencies out of business. For professional services firms who need advertising-related services, it can be confusing to figure out not just what you need but who to contact to help you.
How to Get Started
The first step in selecting an advertising agency is to figure out what you really want. If you truly only need assistance in an advertising campaign, then it is easier to figure out which agency will best meet your needs, especially if that agency has expertise in helping professional services firms. On the other hand, if you need a greater depth of marketing services, then contact a full-service marketing firm.
What is the difference between advertising and marketing? Simply put, advertising is a subset of marketing, so advertising is just a small part of what a full-service marketing firm can offer. Not to belittle advertising but it is only a portion of what a can be done to effectively market your firm’s services. So, hiring an agency, by its nature, limits your firm’s ability to market itself.
Advertising, by definition, is communication aimed at persuading an audience to take action with respect to products, ideas, or services. It is a part of the “marketing communication mix” which also includes public relations, publicity and promotion; these are all subsets of marketing. Advertisements are viewed via various media, including a wide realm of internet-based platforms, as well as print (newspaper, magazines, etc.), television, radio, outdoor advertising, and direct mail.
Most professional services firms need more than just advertising, so knowledgeable professionals seek full-service marketing firms. Since marketing is actually far more in-depth than advertising, a highly-qualified marketing firm will employ professionals with superior credentials and will offer fully-developed capabilities in many aspects of marketing that can help your firm.