Business owners know one key to profit and successful growth is an effective advertising campaign. After all, it’s tough to stay in business when people don’t know about your business. Hiring an advertising agency is a smart way to get creative solutions for company recognition, but sometimes that’s not enough. Your sales may remain flat and your customer base may stagnate or even drop off if you’re not getting good work out of your advertising agency. If you’re not getting the results you were hoping for – the ones that you’re paying hard-earned money for – here are five reasons why that may be case:
You’re not being honest with the agency
An ad agency is there to solve problems, not read minds, so give clear direction on where you’d like advertising to take your company – and if you don’t know the answer to that then make sure you let your agency know. If you see something you like in an otherwise bad strategy, point it out and let your group work on that. Give open feedback to a new pitch by talking about what exactly it was you liked about a suggestion or idea. Speak up about what you didn’t like, too. Vague reactions such as, “It was okay,” and “I’d like more zing out of this,” don’t help clarify objectives. And that just lengthens the process of discovering your company’s best direction.
Some agencies specialize in social media campaigns. Others excel at search engine optimization. And others still are best at working on in-print initiatives. What you need is an agency that works with where your customers are. Finding an agency that does everything well is obviously ideal but may not be realistic with your price-point. Therefore, if you’re not getting the results you expect be sure to ask your agency where they’ve placed their advertising emphasis and why it’s there. High quality agencies will have data to back up their focus, and not just say it’s because that’s where they get their best results. If your agency doesn’t have a satisfactory answer to this simple question, it may be time to search the marketplace again.
You’re lost in the shuffle of a big agency
Let’s face it, an advertising agency is a business and like any business it’s looking to make money. Sometimes that means growing bigger and gaining other clients – some of the same goals your company may have. However, as a client of a growing agency it may mean a lapse in the attention your company deserves. It doesn’t even take a massive agency for this to happen either. If you’ve been with a particular group for a while you may find that your business takes a backseat to their appeal of gaining the favors of a new client. Chances are the solution to this is a straight-forward discussion (see reason 1 above) with your advertising director in order to get back to receiving an appropriate and prosperous level of devotion.
They’ve lost their objective viewpoint
An agency should have a mixed bag of clients in their portfolio. The ability to tackle creative hitches from a myriad of industries allows for a fresh perspective on each niche’s glitches. Make sure you know what other clients your agency has. If most of them are in a field that is similar to yours then the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” may apply. You need an agency that can lend you an outside perspective on gaining recognition, customers, and revenue. That’s what sparks innovation. Going through the same old motions over and over will only make a for a unimaginative rut and an ineffective advertising directive.
The chemistry isn’t right
In reality, just about any advertising agency can do the type of work your business is asking for. They’ll all have different ideas, and some will be more successful than others, but the way to ensure your agency is providing you the ideas that work best for your business is by ensuring you have great chemistry. No advertising strategy is going to be a hit on the first pitch. In fact, it’s going to take dozens of meetings and hundreds of emails, phone calls, and texts to crystalize the best creative content. So if you’re going through this process and you don’t really like the people you’re working with, or maybe they don’t like your company, then getting to that golden place where a novel idea meets measureable results is going to be ever more unlikely. Make things easier on yourself: work with an advertising agency that understands your needs AND that you enjoy working with. You’ll get receive better work and much less stress along the way.