What Is An Ad Agency & How Do They Work ?
Advertising agencies are simply what they sound like, companies that create ads. But what is an ad agency?
An advertising agency is much more than just the creative team in charge of making those advertisements.
In this blog post, we'll go over what an advertising agency does and how it goes about doing its job to create those fantastic commercials.
Ad Agency :
An advertising agency is a company that creates, plans and executes advertisements.
They may work with clients directly to create ads or they may be contracted by other organizations to produce ads on their behalf.
Advertising agencies have three main functions- creative, media and account management.
The creative team is responsible for developing the ad concepts and creating the final product.
Media planners determine where and how the ad will be placed while account managers handle client contact and keep track of the budget.
Ad Agency Mechanism:
Advertising agencies typically work with clients in one of two ways- project basis or retainer basis.
On a project basis, the agency is hired for a specific job, usually with a fixed timeline.
If the client is on a retainer, they pay an agreed upon rate for ongoing services like designing ads and creating concepts throughout the year.
For their efforts, advertising agencies can take home a nice chunk of what you spend to advertise- typically anywhere from 15% to 50%.
Structure of Ad Agency :
1) Creative :
Creative team designs creative ad campaign for the client with a creative idea. In this, they incorporate what is usually called as "Brand Identity" of a product or service.
A creative person can be an art director/production artist who visualizes what the final design will look like and how it will translate into various mediums- print ads, billboards etc.
He does so by using different tools such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop etc to create sketches which are then passed on to production artists who actually start making those images in real life onto all sorts of media platforms from television commercials to newspapers across cities.
2) Media Planning :
Media Planners are responsible for the placement of an advertisement in order to get the most exposure for their client. They buy ad space and time across various mediums- TV, Radio, Online etc
They decide what type of audience to target with each campaign and what outlets will be best suited to reach that audience.
It is important to note that while creative team creates ads, media planners do not create the content of the ads but rather choose what and where they will appear.
Media planners usually have a degree in marketing or advertising.
3) Account Management :
Account managers are what keep advertising agencies afloat. They work with clients to ensure that all their needs are being met and take care of the day-to-day operations, billing etc.
This is because advertisers can be difficult at times, especially if they're unhappy about something within a project or process which could lead to lack of payment for services rendered.
Account management works directly with clients rather than creative team or media planners as it focuses on keeping client happy by taking care of things like invoicing, payments etc.
List of services offered by Ad agencies:
Advertising agencies offer various services to clients and usually fall into the following categories:
1) Client Services :
Client services are all the things that an advertising agency does to keep your business running smoothly.
From updating you on what is happening with a project and billing for work done, account managers also troubleshoot any problems or questions clients may have about their campaigns and provide support when needed.
This ultimately leads to increased client satisfaction because agencies want to ensure that they're doing what's best for both parties involved in order maintain long-term relationships .
2) Strategic Planning :
Strategic planning is what sets an advertising agency apart from say, a design firm.
Advertising agencies have the ability to look at the big picture and develop long-term marketing plans for their clients that involve traditional and digital media buys.
They can also help with crisis management should things go wrong for a client and need to be pulled out of a hole quickly.
An advertising agency's strategic plan usually revolves around reaching goals set by the client such as increased brand awareness or sales growth over time .
This involves developing creative ideas and campaigns that will achieve these objectives while staying within budget parameters provided by the client.
In order to do this, agencies conduct market research on what works and what doesn't to better understand what will resonate with the target audience .
As you can see, there's a lot that goes into what an advertising agency does and it's not just about creating pretty ads.
By understanding what services are offered, you can get a better idea of what to expect when working with one and how they can help your business grow.
3) Marketing :
Marketing is what allows an advertising agency to stay in business.
Without clients, there would be no reason for agencies to exist and they can't rely on just one type of client because let's face it- different companies have different needs .
This means that ad agencies often work with multiple types of businesses across various industries which increases their knowledge base and overall expertise when it comes to what works, what doesn't etc.
Agencies are also able to reach into the media buying side of things using this ever expanding network of connections allowing them stretch beyond traditional ads like TV commercials or print magazine spreads by placing digital ads more readily than most other firms could do so themselves .
4) Research & Development :
When it comes to what an advertising agency does, research and development falls somewhere in the middle.
It's what helps agencies stay on top of trends within their industry as well as develop new ways for brands to reach consumers through technological advancements.
R&D is a key part of what makes ad agencies so valuable because they understand how changing technology will affect consumer behavior .
For example, if you work with one today, chances are that they already have someone dedicated specifically to staying up-to-date on developments such as virtual reality or artificial intelligence since both hold great promise when it comes what types of ads can be created down the line .
In order words , R&D allows ad agencies to explore what's possible, not just what is .
5) Branding :
Branding is what creates brand awareness in consumers' minds so that they can recognize your goods/services among other options available on the market.
It aims at building familiarity with your products over time through continuous exposure using different types of media platforms simultaneously rather than just one platform (like direct response).
The objective here is not necessarily immediate sales but rather creating an impactful image in consumer's mind over time which results in long term sales.
Once all the research and development is complete, what an advertising agency does next will depend on what type of business they're working with.
For example , if it's a consumer brand like Coca-Cola or Nike, implementation would involve devising ways to get their product in front of as many eyes as possible .
This could take form through traditional media buys such as TV commercials during NFL games or print magazine spreads for clothing companies that want to reach women aged 18-34 who enjoy fashion and shopping etc.
However, these ads need someone trained specifically in this area to plan out where exactly the money spent should go so there are no wasted marketing dollars down the line which is what agencies excel at doing.
There's a lot more that goes into what an advertising agency does than just creating pretty ads.
By understanding the different services they offer, you can get a better idea of what to expect when working with one and how they can help your business grow.
So, if you're looking for help reaching your target audience or want to stay ahead of what's coming next in the industry, consider what an advertising agency can do for you.