Does advertising work?
Does it increase sales?
Is it worth what you pay for it?
These are difficult questions to answer. As a business you want to know you’ll get a good return on your investment. This is only right and proper. Businesses have been through a very difficult few years and are only just beginning to look at some form of spending on advertising again. Making sure you choose the right advertising agency to work with and who will deliver results is vital. It is wise to discuss with an advertising agency what you are actually expecting from them. False promises are common and should not be listened to. Discuss what they will offer and how they will deliver it.
You should be able to tell quite quickly if you are happy with what the agency is telling you.
Do you feel comfortable with them as people?
If you are going to work with them you need to be able to be relaxed with them and trust what they are saying. Do they relax you? Do you get on with them? Do they give you a good sense that they understand your business and your objectives?
Do they give you confidence?
It is pointless choosing an ad agency that you are not confident in or who you don’t actually like. You should be happy with everything they advise and feel comfortable enough with them to say if you do not agree with them at any point. This is so important to building a working relationship and getting a good understanding of each other.
Do they have good ideas?
Any advertising agency creative should be brimming with ideas as soon as they get a grip of what you are selling. There will be thoughts and visual images flying round their heads. They wil be picturing how they can start selling your products or business right away, so try and get a hint of this while you are talking to them. Obviously this will be just initial ideas, but it will demonstrate a level of creativity.
Who will you be working with?
A common approach is to have a discussion with an account handler. The creative may not even be at the meeting. They will be briefed by the account handler who will be offering you coffee and biscuits. This is an approach many ad agencies use and it is not always good for getting to grips with what you want quickly. I’m sure their coffee and biscuits are very nice but this only extends the time needed to grasp your brief and requirements in order to start creating. We only use creative people. We talk to you yourselves as we believe this allows us a much better and clearer discussion enabling us to identify your needs better and quicker. This will save you money. It will mean less meetings and much better communication for the meetings we do have.
Your advertising agency should be able to get you results based on what you are trying to sell. Providing you have briefed them sufficiently and they have a clear idea of what needs to be done with the creative there should be results. How good the results will be depend on where you have started from in terms of advertising you have done before. If you have been actively getting your message out there but just not doing it very well there will undoubtedly be an improvement when it is done more strategically and with purpose.
However, if you have not used an advertising agency before, and have not actively tried to advertise your services there will be a huge improvement in your promotional gain and therefore your sales enquiries.
So, does advertising work? Yes when it is done right by using an advertising agency who understands your market and your business. They will ensure the message is targeted at your specific audience to get a response.
Does it increase sales? Yes it does. By presenting specific messages and visual appeal to your target audience it will get a response. And by getting a response you will increase your sales.
Is it worth what you pay for it? This is the vital question. You can certainly pay way too much for advertising. Costs can very easily escalate without being able to see an appreciable return on your outlay. It is crucial to find an advertising agency you are confident in. An agency you can trust, who understand your products and business, will be invaluable to getting the best results possible for you. They will do their utmost to get you the best, most competitive costs for their creative work and that of the media they will buy for you.
Find an advertising agency you can trust. Talk to them and get a feel for how they will work and create what you need to sell your business. Work with them and discuss ideas and concepts they have. Some of these will be great and clever. Some of them will not. Consider strap lines and tag lines and how they will appeal to your market. Listen to the advice given and try and understand what the creative guys are saying. They want, as you do, to make the advertising work as effectively as possible. This is in your best interests as a client, and most certainly theirs as your agency – making you more successful makes you want to use them more in the future.