As more companies are going digital, advertising agencies have changed dramatically in recent years. Although ideas are still the foundation of creative advertising, elements like social media and experiential marketing now play important roles when choosing an advertising agency.
Today, many small businesses rely on in-house staff for advertising and marketing. However, as businesses expand, a partnership with an advertising agency becomes a valuable asset. Beginning the search for an advertising agency requires an understanding of the best options for your demographics and the current needs of your business.
With that in mind, here’s what you should consider when selecting an advertising agency.
Analyze the needs of your business
Before starting the search for an advertising agency, small business owners must consider what kind of role they want an advertising agency to play in their business. Whether you’re anticipating expansion, redesigning your brand, or growing into new locations, you should fully form your business objectives before reaching out to potential agencies.
Although an advertising agency can serve as a strategic business partner, the decision to work with an advertising agency should not be made impulsively. Searching for the right advertising agency can be rigorous and time-consuming, so it’s important for small business owners to remember that this decision will affect their team for years to come.
In addition, small business owners should also consider the time they’re willing to devote to the partnership and how much money they’re willing to invest, as well as the marketing skills of their in-house team.
Establish selection criteria
There is a wide range of criteria that small business owners must take into account when narrowing the selection process for an advertising agency. One of the most crucial choices in choosing an agency revolves around the size of the agency. When deciding what size agency you’d prefer, consider the current marketing needs of your business and future expansion.
Nearly two-thirds of marketing officers owners prefer advertising agencies with less than 50 staff members, according to the Horn Group and Kelton Research. Choosing a smaller agency means you’ll have a more intimate partnership and more consistency throughout ad campaigns. You’ll also have the ability to work with the same team, and you’ll likely be able to work directly with the agency’s creative director.
Once you’ve decided on your criteria, you can begin searching for advertising agencies. Choosing a local agency makes it easier to maintain a partnership and stay in touch with your agency’s creative team. To start, conduct a Google search for advertising agencies near you, and don’t be afraid to branch out to surrounding areas. For instance, if your business is in Fresno, CA, a search for “Fresno advertising agencies” will yield a multitude of results.
Assess previous client work
After narrowing down your search to a few potential agencies, you’ll enter into selection meetings to discuss technicalities and each agency’s creative capabilities. Selection meetings are a way for you to find out what an agency can do for your business, so it’s essential to keep an open mind during each presentation.
To assess the capabilities of each agency, ask for case studies to analyze projects for previous clients. Although these case studies won’t demonstrate an agency’s experience within your industry, it can showcase the agency’s overall style and give you an idea of what kind of work they can do for your business.
During the selection meeting, you should also take the time to assess members of the creative team. Assessing whether you feel comfortable and have chemistry with the creative team can help you determine if the partnership is right for you.
An advertising agency is a valuable investment in the success of your business. Ultimately, choosing the right agency to partner with can help your business expand and optimize your influence within the industry.