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The difference between an ad Agency and a marketing partner

02 November 2018
The difference between an ad Agency and a marketing partner

So you’ve been in business for a while, and you’re wondering to yourself, should I hire an ad agency, and why? I’ll tell you exactly why you may need an agency, I’ll tell you.

If you’re running away from the future man, you’re going to get caught up in the past.

Is it time to hire an ad agency? Well let’s talk about it. Today this is going to be a solo-cast. It’s just going to be you and I. We’re kind of preparing up for some great interviewees coming down the road on your Daily Development. And first off, I just want to say thank you to all of our listeners. We grew our listenership by over 40 percent, and that’s amazing. It can’t happen without you guys, so just want to say thank you for it. So should you hire an ad agency, or is it time for you to hire an ad agency? Let’s talk about it.

There’s some business owners, Business Managers, Marketing Directors that feel that ad agencies would just rip them off. I mean, why not? I mean, ‘cause a long time ago that’s what they did. You’d have some ad agencies that would just, you know, they’d bill you every time you pick up the phone, you know, or anytime you had a question, they’re going to bill you, and you see it as them nickel and diming you, or line iteming you, versus just trying to find, you know, a marketing partner.

So I don’t think when you’re looking for an ad agency you should look for an ad agency. You should look for a marketing partner. Now there’s a difference between a marketing partner and an ad agency. A marketing partner, they’re on your side. So if you have a Marketing Director that’s on the inside of your building, you have someone’s kind of integrated, it’s someone who knows your business, who knows your team, you know, what your team likes, what your brand is like, what your brand’s about, and they can actually offer you suggestions, and work alongside of you.

And, normally, an ad agency, or your marketing partner, I’m going to call them right now, they usually have more access to more resources than you would have. And when they have more access to resources than you would have, that means that they can have that production company, they know a little more about digital, and they’re not just trying to sell you to sell, they’re selling you help is what they’re doing. That’s what I think they should do.

So why should you hire an ad agency for your business? That’s a good question. I don’t believe you should hire an ad agency. I think you should look at your ad agency as a marketing partner. A lot of businesses, they have their own internal Marketing Directors on the inside, and I’ve seen it, where the relationships between the Marketing Directors, and some of the relationships between the ad agencies become a little confrontational, where it’s almost like who knows more than whom, versus let’s work together. I think that’s the smart way of doing it.

Okay, so you’ve been in business for a while, you get approached by media vendors, media reps, all walks of life, you know, you get pitched by digital people, there’s tons of digital cowboys out there; and you wonder to yourself, you know, how am I going to be able to, you know, handle all these people, take on all these pitches, and more importantly, how can I run my business? But if you’re trying to do it on your own, you can’t. It’s just the truth.

And then how are you going to be able to decipher what’s great for your business, or what’s great for the salesperson’s pocket. Just being honest, I was once a salesperson, and the goal, when you are a salesperson for a media company is, you go out and you sell. You sell inventory. That is what our goal was. Very few times did I see, you know, Managers pick up the phone, and say, you know, “Hey, thank you for your business”, or, you know, the occasional quarterly, “Thanks for your business. Thanks for the buy. Here’s a gift card, or let me take you to lunch, or take you to coffee.”

Very few times did I see Managers say, “You know, what? You know, we are here because of you”, you know, that local business owner, or that regional business owner. You are getting bombarded with phone calls, cold calls, emails, newsletters, e-blasts, a little bit of everything with everyone, just trying to get in your pocket. Going back to what I was saying earlier, when I was a media salesperson, my job was to sell inventory, and I was going to sell you that inventory.

If I had holes inside of a football game, an NFL game, an NBA game, whatever it was on our station, we had goals that we had to meet. Our Sales Managers would tell us go fill the holes. We’d make deals as much as possible to sell out our inventory. Many times we didn’t really know a whole lot about the businesses that we were going after, except, you know, “Hey, you can be on our station.”

Business owners are kind of at a disadvantage, because they don’t invest in things like Nielsen, ComScore, you know, or have any other website tools, Alexa, anything like that. So they know their business, and they know their business well, but they’re not versed on media. So it’s important that not only do you have people on the inside of your building, or your internal Marketing Director, but you also have a media partner that knows kind of how to decipher all this stuff.

And I always tell people, “If you’re going to go to court, would you represent yourself, or would you hire a lawyer to do it for you?” The same could be said with an ad agency. If an ad agency is doing their job, not only are they going to give you the best creative place to, you know, set up the best media plan to media strategies for you, they should be doing this to work alongside of you, they should act as an extension to your business. They should act as an extension to your marketing team, because that’s truly what they are, if they’re doing it right.

You have to make sure that that ad agency is an advocate for you and your business, not just for a commission, or just for some other media company; that they have your best interest at heart. It’s important, if they’re making decisions for you because, you know what, you’re trusting the growth of your business with that company, or that individual that you’re working with. Now businesses, I mean, just to tell you guys something, ad agencies can come in all shapes, and forms, and sizes. They can be that one-man-band who’s, you know, working out at his kitchen table, or it can be, you know, someone with a 10, 15-person team, but there’s always been a misconception that people think that they have to have a huge advertising agency; but I want you to think about this, if you’re going to have a huge advertising agency, you should expect to pay huge rates.

And I’ve found this out throughout my years is, the bigger the agency the more disconnected they are to you. I’ll say it again, the bigger the agency the more disconnected they are with you in the real world. There’s more bureaucracy. It takes a little longer to get decisions made. Sometimes it takes a little longer to get projects turned around. This is your Daily Development. Every Monday VIP Marketing releases 60 seconds of marketing advice, and a short video just for you, and it’s titled A Marketing Minute. So go to today. Sign up. We promise we won’t spam you at all. And when you’re done, I want you to go to the SoundCloud, iTunes, anywhere that you listen to your podcasts, and give us a rating. A one star is cool, but a five star is even better. You deserve VIP Marketing.

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