An advertising agency is defined as a business entity that provides advertising services to other businesses. It usually focuses on the planning and creation of ad campaigns, with the goal of boosting awareness of the client’s brand and products or services.
Today, the words marketing and advertising are often used interchangeably. Indeed, the line between the two is not so clear-cut. Considering that the services of both kinds of agencies can have a larger and smaller scope in each individual case, you will need to check with the agency in question when you’re looking for specific services. Some advertising agencies only offer the creation and distribution of promotional material, while others are well-versed in research and branding as well. The responsibilities of advertising agencies are often included in the offer of marketing agencies or the two overlap each other in some respects. Sometimes, advertising agencies are categorized as a type of marketing agency, too.
Important Functions of an Advertising Agency
In either case, the services of an advertising agency are simply indispensable for any kind of business today. Without marketing through the appropriate channels, achieving brand recognition, which is so important for business success, will be difficult, to say the least. To give you a more in-depth explanation, here are the most important functions of an advertising agency and how employing one will help your business.
1) Researching the market
Every marketing or advertising campaign starts with thorough research. The advertising company will first get acquainted with your business and your brand. They will do in-depth research about your product or service, to better understand its qualities, such as its advantages and possible limitations. Additionally, they will look at your standing in relation to your competition. They may also research the market and your target audience in order to create a presentation that will fulfill the current needs better. Good agencies will place great attention on this aspect to deliver the best results.
2) Planning ad campaigns
The next important function of an advertising agency is creating an advertising plan. Based on all the information obtained in the previous step, advertisers will determine what the right media, platforms, and channels for your product or service are, and develop the appropriate approach to marketing it. This will partly depend on the audience you intend to reach with your message, which is why it’s paramount that you have a clear idea about your ideal customer. The agency may suggest traditional advertising channels like newspaper and direct mail ads or they may suggest the use of digital marketing. A mix of the two is also very much possible.
3) Creation of advertisements
One of the central functions of an advertising agency lies in the creative department. Advertising agency workers are well-versed in devising messages and efficiently delivering them, be it in written or any kind of visual form. So, the next step in the process is the creation of the ad content. Specialists on the agency’s creative team will undertake tasks like copywriting, graphic design and illustration, photography, creating layouts, filming footage, and the like. It’s extremely important that this part is properly executed since attractive ads will bring the best results. These highly professional roles can hardly be substituted in businesses that don’t have a dedicated advertising department, which makes it clear why the role of an independent advertising agency is so vital to today’s marketing.
4) Preparation of materials
Another function an advertising agency may fulfil is actually creating the materials as planned and developed in the previous step. Once the planning portion of the campaign is completed, the ads may go into production. If we are talking about digital materials, then the process is quite straightforward. However, digital advertising is not the only kind of advertising still relevant today. Certain industries still benefit more from traditional advertising. If you are to use traditional means of advertising, like print ads, then you need to think about matters like high-quality banner printing. If there are any adjustments to be made before production, the agency will take care of it.
5) Distribution of ads
Once all the previous steps are approved, the next service an advertising agency offers is placing the ads on the appropriate channels. Since the agency has extensive knowledge and connections on this front, they can execute this part much more effectively than if you were to do it yourself. First of all, each platform has different criteria which the advertisements must fulfil. The agency can ensure that everything is in the correct size and format to be accepted. Secondly, this step involves the purchasing of media spots – on radio, television, in newspapers, in magazines, and so on. The agency knows who is to be contacted for this and will pick the best arrangement for your business.
6) Management and relations
The work of an advertising agency does not end when the ad is finally placed or is aired. Advertising agencies will also monitor the further developments regarding the ads already out there. The agency will continue to communicate with the client and coordinate between the client and the media entity responsible for the distribution of the ad. In addition, a full-service advertising agency may also offer the service of dealing with public relations. Needless to say, letting professionals handle such a delicate sector can only benefit your business and the way it is perceived by the public. The agency will also continue maintaining the relationship between its client and the media owners for future collaborative work.
As you can see, advertising agencies have far more roles than just that of the creation of creative content used in advertisements, though, that is certainly one of their most important function. Whether you want to handle the majority of marketing tasks in-house, given that you have the capacities, and outsource advertising to an advertising agency, or you are looking for all-around services, leaving such a crucial business aspect as advertising to seasoned professionals is the most beneficial approach for a business of any size, and in any industry.