How To Know When You Need A New Advertising Agency

Even though many of us don’t own or run our own businesses, we know that times can be pretty rough in the business world. In order to stand out and compete, businesses will take on the services of an advertising agency so that while the business focuses on having a solid product or service to offer, the advertising agency can focus on making the business a consumer juggernaut.

In practice, this sounds great. In fact, the argument can be made that this is the way to go for businesses looking to stay ahead of the game versus their competition. Far more often than you’d think, businesses will try to take on advertising internally, figuring that no one knows their business better than they do. The problem with this is that at some point, you’re too close and drawing conclusions on advertising strategy is being done based on emotion rather than analysis & assessment. In the same way you can’t really tickle yourself, it’s hard to handle your own advertising.

But, sometimes the job isn’t getting the job done. What was once an exciting partnership isn’t quite as productive, and you wonder what the future holds. Moreover, you hope you see the signs of decline before it starts affecting your bottom line.

How can you tell it’s time for a new advertising agency? Well, that be harder than you think. Here are a few tell-tale signs it’s time to part ways:

You Encounter Nothing But “Yes” Men – A business owner may find the idea of uniform agreement pretty nice simply because it makes you feel as though you’ve got all of the answers. The problem is that an advertising agency needs to be able to challenge their client to think differently.

You Lose Track of the Numbers – How advertising dollars are spent weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly helps a business know where they stand financially, where they need to re-group, and how best to move forward. Transparency is key, but if an advertising agency isn’t keeping communication about these numbers open, the business who hired them is flying blind.

Your Advertising Agency is Missing in Action – When things are new & exciting, the advertising agency you hired for your business is maintaining regularly scheduled communication, providing a breakdown of all that is happening with your account. Over time, though, the communication becomes less frequent, and the business starts feeling left out and less important. Tension can fester, making subsequent meetings with the agency feel forced and uncomfortable. Both sides may dread appointments. It’s time for a change.

The one thing businesses need to keep in mind when working with an advertising agency is that in order for plans and strategies to play out, it takes time. Each side plays their part in achieving goals & milestones along the way. However, keep in mind that an advertising agency works for your business, and if they aren’t cutting it anymore, you have to find an agency that will.

Description About Advertising

Advertising is an audio or visual form of marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. Sponsors of advertising are often businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser usually pays for and has control over the message. It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual. Advertising is communicated through various mass media, including old media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages. The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement or “ad” for short.

Commercial ads often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “branding”, which associates a product name or image with certain qualities in the minds of consumers. On the other hand, ads that intend to elicit an immediate sale are known as direct-response advertising. Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Non-profit organizations may use free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement. Advertising may also be used to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful.

Modern advertising originated with the techniques introduced with tobacco advertising in the 1920s, most significantly with the campaigns of Edward Bernays, considered the founder of modern, “Madison Avenue” advertising.

In 2015 advertisers worldwide spent an estimated US$529.43 billion on advertising. Advertising’s projected distribution for 2017 was 40.4% on TV, 33.3% on digital, 9% on newspapers, 6.9% on magazines, 5.8% on outdoor and 4.3% on radio. Internationally, the largest (“big four”) advertising-agency groups are Interpublic, Omnicom, Publicis, and WPP.

In Latin, adventure means “to turn towards”.

Egyptians used papyrus to make sales messages and wall posters. Commercial messages and political campaign displays have been found in the ruins of Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Lost and found advertising on papyrus was common in ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Wall or rock painting for commercial advertising is another manifestation of an ancient advertising form, which is present to this day in many parts of Asia, Africa, and South America. The tradition of wall painting can be traced back to Indian rock art paintings that date back to 4000 BC.

In ancient China, the earliest advertising known was oral, as recorded in the Classic of Poetry (11th to 7th centuries BC) of bamboo flutes played to sell confectionery. Advertisement usually takes in the form of calligraphic signboards and inked papers. A copper printing plate dated back to the Song dynasty used to print posters in the form of a square sheet of paper with a rabbit logo with “Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop” and “We buy high-quality steel rods and make fine-quality needles, to be ready for use at home in no time” written above and below is considered the world’s earliest identified printed advertising medium.

In Europe, as the towns and cities of the Middle Ages began to grow, and the general population was unable to read, instead of signs that read “cobbler”, “miller”, “tailor”, or “blacksmith”, images associated with their trade would be used such as a boot, a suit, a hat, a clock, a diamond, a horseshoe, a candle or even a bag of flour. Fruits and vegetables were sold in the city square from the backs of carts and wagons and their proprietors used street callers (town criers) to announce their whereabouts. The first compilation of such advertisements was gathered in “Les Crieries de Paris”, a thirteenth-century poem by Guillaume de la Villeneuve.

The Experience Economy: Why I Can’t Sell My China

My husband and I are on a quest to downsize and get rid of “stuff” that serves no purpose in our lives. This includes our two sets of beautiful Wedgwood china that we lovingly chose many years ago. But, to our dismay, no one wants it. Not even our sons. And it’s not just me. My friends who share a few gray hairs are experiencing the same.

It turns out the world has changed dramatically since our young days of hedonistic consumerism. And it’s probably changed forever. What’s going on? Consider the following:

According to Business Insider, millennial home ownership is at an all-time low. In fact, according to Trulia, 71% of millennials surveyed regret the purchase in the first place. They simply don’t like the debt, and they regret investing money into a permanent home. Furthermore, they are moving to smaller urban spaces that do not allow for the “collection of stuff.” In other words, “things” don’t matter.
The obsession with Tiny Houses. I can count at least four television shows that promote this streamlined type of living. Personally, I’m obsessed with the idea. According to a ValueInsured survey, millennials are not investing in large homes. And even more surprising, it’s the baby boomers who are more likely to purchase lower-priced homes.

What’s going on? People (not just millennials) are moving toward collecting experiences over things. The “Experience Economy” values more time with family and more money to travel, as well as more time and money to experience all that life might offer. Something other than things. In fact, one could argue that we are a society looking to simplify, even moving toward a minimalist lifestyle. What’s even more telling is the fact that our digital world takes the place of stuff we needed in the past (storage for CDs, for example).

Recently, I was sitting around a C-level roundtable discussing this very topic, and one gentleman even claimed that the move toward “experiences” is for social bragging rights. You’ve seen it – pictures of food, concerts, vacations, etc. – all over social media. Whatever the reason, the Experience Economy is here.

So, if you are a brand like Road Scholar, you are in pretty good shape. But what about the rest of you? Brands that listen to consumers and find opportunities among their evolving wants and needs, rather than in spite of them, are the ones winning today. Consider Nordstrom and their “tiny store” model that offers experiences over shopping. Or Bonobos, who has created a unique retail experience in which you cannot walk out the door with merchandise. Or even ThirstyNest who offers personalized wine gifts to newlyweds who are interested in creating memories over filling up a china cabinet.

So, with smaller living spaces and fewer dollars being spent on things, what’s a brand to do? Ask yourself the following three questions:

How do my products create an experience or enrich the lives of my customers? If you sell puzzles, shouldn’t you really be selling family time, allowing loved ones to gather together and enjoy each other? If it’s a pair of shoes, are they comfortable enough for someone to enjoy the concert they’re attending, or are they lightweight and easy to pack for their next adventure? It’s critical you change the selling benefits of products to reflect how the world has changed.

Are you evolving your product line to reflect the down-sizing of America or the Experience Economy? Are you moving toward products that provide simplicity, efficiency or multi-use? Or, are you developing products that provide unique experiences and allow for social bragging? A word of caution: Just because you have a best-seller today doesn’t mean it will fit into the lifestyle of your customer tomorrow. Evolve!

Have you considered out-of-the-box ideas or shopping experiences with a unique twist that your customer will appreciate? I’m sure there was a time we might have laughed at brands like Bonobos, but who’s laughing now? And didn’t we think continuity programs were dead? Nope. Consider brands like Blue Apron, Birchbox or Stitch Fix that have turned consumerism into a streamlined experience.

Unfortunately, marketing has become more difficult! But, only if you are thinking about selling “things.” People don’t need or want your things anymore. The sharp marketers of tomorrow will be the ones who understand this strange new world we live in and wrap their products into experiences. As for my china? I’m going to change my Letgo description to: the perfect set of breakable dishes for your next Greek gathering.