By Tom Polanski
As a business owner, you already juggle many different responsibilities. These often include being your own promotion, marketing and public relations department. For every “mini position” you hold within your own company, you take away that much time you could be spending landing new client accounts.
As soon as you start to feel like your business is running you, rather than the other way around – it’s time to consider hiring an advertising agency. But what do you look for?
A qualified ad agency will save you time while bringing you the kind of results you need for your business growth. Before deciding which ad agency is right for you, consider the following:
- Resist to do business with the very first agency you contact (or who contacts you). There are many great agencies to choose from. The more you research about them – the more it will pay off for you in the end. This can be done as easily as typing the agency name in your favorite online search engine. Chances are, there will be links to their client websites as well as possible discussions on advertising forums or message boards about them.
- Ask for the agency’s client list – both past and present. If they refuse to give you this information, look elsewhere. You want to be able to contact their clients and find out what the agency was able to do for their bottom line – or not. Read over the client list. Have you heard of any of their clients before? If so, that’s certainly to the agency’s credit for being able to promote the client in a positive way.
- Ask about the agency’s marketing and promotional skills. Of course, no agency is going to reveal all their secrets, but if they’re dead set on the latest-and-greatest promotional avenues while ditching more traditional, proven methods, you might want to consider other options. Having trendy promotional methods is great, but there are also some standby advertising techniques that can work just as well for your industry. Don’t be so caught up on “modernizing” your company that you forget your audience and how they’re most likely to receive the message!
- Inquire as to how the agency will be tracking the results of the marketing campaign they create for you. How often will you be advised? Will they do online or offline reports – or both? Finding out the agency’s plan of action is crucial to making sure you get a high return on investment.
If you’ve managed to find an advertising company that has no problem answering any of these questions – you may have found a winner! Be sure to comparison shop – after all, your business image is everything!