Hiring an advertising agency

Sending the right message to your prospective customers is paramount to business success. A successful advertising campaign can be the making of your business, helping to get your brand known and put your services or products on the map. It is also one of the most commonly used marketing tools around.
What it is

An advertising agency is a business that is dedicated to creating, planning and handling the advertising and promotion needs of its clients. Often clients will include companies looking to promote a new product or service or rejuvenate an existing one.  While some firms may have their own advertising departments, an advertising agency is independent from the business and is beneficial in that it can provide an unbiased and outside view when it comes to creating innovative and exciting ways to sell your products or services. An advertising agency can also assist with the handling of the overall marketing and branding strategies and sales promotions.

Need to know

Most advertising agencies, will offer a full service that will take your advertising campaign from start to finish. Advertising agencies generally consist of several different departments which each handle a specific part of the advertising campaign. These include:

  • Research: this team will conduct market research for the client and provide analytics on the prospective customer to help target the audience of the final advertising campaign . They will also research how competitors in the market are advertising similar products to help create a unique ad campaign that will have the maximum effect. 
  • Creative: any good advertising agency will employ a team of creative experts who can put together unique and innovative campaign ideas, which will help boost your company's profile. It's the role of the creative department to set the theme and tone for your advertising campaign. They should also be able to provide copy writing services for print or online ads and scripts for television or radio ads, and graphic design services for the presentation of print ads. 
  • Media buying: will decide where to place the finished advertisement by using the original market research to help maximise the potential audience. Most agencies will negotiate the terms of the contract and should be experienced in dealing with radio, television, newspaper and magazine producers in order to achieve a successful media strategy.

When choosing an agency, ensure they've had experience in your sector and you've seen some of their previous work. Hiring an agency can be very costly and the bill could include some expensive surprises unless you agree costs before the work begins. Fixed fee agreements are likely to be the best way of keeping costs under control.

Guidelines could help ensure your brand isn't used or advertised in any ways you disagree with. Regular meetings with the agency will also help you to have peace of mind that everything is progressing well and that your time and money isn't being wasted on advertising you aren't satisfied with. You also need to clarify who owns the finished creative to avoid disputes later.

What next

Visit: UK Advertising Agencies for a list of agencies in the UK: www.freeindex.co.uk/categories/advertising_and_marketing/advertising_agencies/

Top tip

Shop around. Look at how agencies have handled and conducted advertising campaigns and note down anything you like or dislike about the promotion. Consider whether the agency is suitable for your advertising needs. This will help you build your own strategy and choice the advertising agency that is right for your business.


(will not be published)