Advertisers have cultivated an air of mystery around our industry. We’ve managed to turn a pretty normal, if more creative than usual, job into something cool and oblique. This is good from a branding perspective – people want to know they’re hiring someone who can say something in a way that they can’t, but it can sometimes create weird expectations from clients. Rock Candy Media has been in the marketing business in Austin for a while now, and over that time we’ve had all sorts of clients – some who get it and some who don’t. To help you shed some unrealistic perceptions of your advertising team, we’ve put together a few handy tips for getting the most out of your advertising agency.
Have Clear Goals
We’re in the marketing business, and it’s directly tied to business development. Your advertisers can help you achieve what you set out to do, but they can’t decide what your goals actually are. Be as literal as possible. For example, “We need to sell 5 units a month, three months from now” works. If there are still a bunch of holes in your business plan, you’re probably not ready for an ad agency yet.
Dedicate a Realistic Portion of Your Budget to Advertising
I hate to break this to you, but you’re probably not going to go viral – which means you need to get your product in front of lots of eyeballs the old fashioned way. You also need to be ready to pay for advertising that people are going to be attracted to. It’s a waste of money to try to sell people anything based on a blurry picture you took with a cell phone camera at your last happy hour. Even the most creative campaigns are going to be hamstrung if you aren’t willing to spend on what it takes to succeed. Different sources give different suggested amounts to budget for ads. We suggest trusting your agency.
Communicate With Your Ad Agency
Your marketing team isn’t a bunch of elves that disappear into a forest with ideas and come back with deliverables. They need feedback and communication just like any other strategic partner. When you get an email from your agency, read the whole thing (even if it’s long) and respond to all of the questions. Giving vague or half-answers only slows things down and creates more confusion down the line – and confusion costs you money. We will never pretend to know more about your industry than you, and hopefully you won’t know more about digital marketing than us. By sharing information a truly collaborative partnership can flourish and results will be apparent when everyone knows they are on the same team. If you don’t grow, we don’t grow. It’s as simple as that.
Be Proactive About Growing Your Business
Advertising works best when it’s paired with a business that isn’t afraid to be hands on about promoting its own brand. We create the brand awareness that will drive qualified prospects to your door, but you need to make sure they have a good, cohesive experience once they are there.
It’s Called the Creative “Process” For a Reason
If you get the first deliverables back from your agency and you don’t like them, don’t freak out! The first round of proofs is to ‘get your temperature’ – meaning the more you tell us why you didn’t pick something is just as important as why you do love something. Explain to your agency what you like and don’t like about the deliverables to help guide them as they rework the strategy. Once everything is finessed just right, you’ll be happy you took the time to make it perfect.
Expect a Lot from Your Agency and Hold Them to Their Promises
There is no need to be polite when your ad agency gives you something you don’t like. There is no need to be silent when they miss a deadline. The closer you can hold your agency’s feet to the fire, the better the results will be. This does not mean you should expect an agency to read your mind–however the goal is to get us as close to it as possible. You should expect your agency to perform at their peak for you consistently.
If you’re ready to start growing your business through advertising, reach out! Rock Candy Media can help you with your Austin marketing, branding, responsive design and content strategy needs. Together, we can make great creative (and a lot of money).