Are you ready?
|Manufacturing and service companies are streamlining
operations, striving for improved quality, pushing for faster delivery,
getting closer to customers and establishing partnering arrangements
Conversely, most ad agencies still operate the same way they did 30 years ago.
If you have (or are considering) an ad agency, does it exhibit any of the following?
How does their stuff look? Do you see a thousand unique ideas or the same idea applied a thousand times? Look for an eclectic collection of clients, projects and applications.
Will they be able to weave your message throughout all appropriate media outlets? Are they as nimble and clever in PR as in advertising, as in direct mail, as on the web, etc.?
Despite scrambling in the last 10 years to add such services as public relations and what they call "collateral" (brochures, flyers, newsletters, etc.), most agencies still think and do advertising.
(Notice that term collateral. Webster defines it as, "accompanying; attendant; auxiliary.")
Many ad agencies sidestep such simple, inexpensive solutions as data sheets, business letters, or presentations.
They'll do "collateral" for you. But it doesn't make their eyes sparkle. Chances are they don't do it best.
Does your agency push an advertising solution for every communications challenge you bring them?
The Vice President of Fancy Footwork shows up for your first and last meetings, skipping creative input sessions. Yet that person is added to your bill under some inscrutable charge like "client service" or "research."
Your all-important input sessions are held with the agency AE (Agreeable to Everything) who generally takes sparse notes if any, rarely asks challenging questions and seldom grasps the overall picture.
How many layers of management - and therefore overhead - does the agency have?
Effective communications are not necessarily expensive. It's really the ideas that attract attention, that people remember, that achieve results.
What's the billing rate? Expensive talent is not necessarily better. Chances are they're not getting the money anyway. Someone has to pay for fancy offices and extra people.
What's your agency's overhead?
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