Published On: Sun, Feb 9th, 2020

Small Advertising Agency Business Strategies

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For any capitalist, any businessperson, there are few investments that make better economic sense than choosing a smart, creative agency to craft winning advertising to sell its products or services. But some agencies are better than others. And some — maybe not most, but still many — are imposters that use commercialism to dupe serious businesses into making silly advertising that doesn’t even pretend to achieve a company’s marketing goals. Beware these faux agency types that don’t have commercial success in mind.

Bad Words as Vernacular

Be on the lookout for creative people that try and sell their overly artsy work as serious commercial endeavor. Most agency creatives know they exist to sell products. But others are more interested in doing work that will win them creative awards and accolades and only see the commercial side as a means to their underhanded end. For example, there was once a writer who thought that slipping inappropriate language into his copy would win him the applause of other writers who would judge him for awards. This poor hack would put an impolite word for one’s backside into copy, under the pretense that it would shock his peers into handing over silver-plated trophies. He snuck the word and others like it into copy, claiming it was a valid use of the vernacular, over and over again only to have it excised like so much dead skin. Yet, he persisted. Finally, he managed to get the word into a print ad, but the publication the ad was presented to spotted it and refused to run the advertisement. The poor company who paid for the ad had to go back to the production table and re-do the ad at added expense.

The Re-Run

An award-winning creative director had an idea for an ad that he thought would win him accolades. He prepared a comprehensive storyboard for the TV spot and presented it to a client looking to make sales from new customers. The company bought the ad and produced the TV spot at great expense, running it on local television. The only problem was that another company saw the ad and realized it had been presented to them a few months earlier — with a different logo, but with the exact same slogan. They called and complained, demanding repayment of the fees they’d paid for having the idea developed in the first place. The first company threatened a lawsuit for reimbursement, holding both the ad agency and the second company — who’d actually aired the ad — responsible for a fraud. With the ad already on the air, and with tens of thousands already spent to produce it, the second company eventually settled. Then they fired the ad agency.

Undue Credit

Small Advertising Agency Business Strategies

But advertising stealth isn’t limited to ad agencies. The marketing director for a large, suburban hospital was mad when her bosses hired an ad agency to create work for them, usurping her authority and creativity. So when the agency developed a series of clever ads to promote the hospital — and got noticed by several marketing publications — the marketing director lied and said that she herself had created the ads in-house, without the help of the agency that had actually made them. She received credit for the ads, won the approval of the publications readers who believed the ads were really in-house creations and won an award for the work she had stolen. The agency screamed foul, but the bell had already been rung: although a small correction was published, the agency never got credit for the work it had created. Worse, companies who might have seen the ads and contacted the agency to do work for them never knew who had really been responsible for the popular ads and the agency never got any new clients as a result. The marketing director was never punished for her wrongdoing.

The Bad Data Trap

A marketing man with an ad agency wanted to sell an idea that had been kicking around the agency a long time. The client had commissioned research to define his marketing situation and recommend a strategy for increasing sales. Unfortunately, the research indicated that while strategy “A” was called for, it wasn’t the sort of campaign the agency wanted to create. So, the marketing man prepared a summary of the research that slanted the findings so they would lead to the conclusion his agency wanted. He presented it to the client, claiming superior insight into the research findings and guided his customers to the outcome his agency had in mind. Unfortunately, the client trusted the agency too much and didn’t use much common sense when it came to the report. The result was that the client approved the budget for a campaign that had no basis in the research they’d paid for and produced advertising that had nothing to do with reaching their real goals.

Not All’s Well that End’s Well

A few sad tales about the pitfalls of unscrupulous businesspeople, right? Fortunately, these are exceptions to the rule. Most agencies are sound marketing experts with rivers of knowledge about how to craft advertising that achieves the marketing goals of the client companies footing the bill. However, a word or warning: Businesspeople should always be alert for ulterior motives. Ad agencies are staffed with people who may or may not share the client’s objectives. Sometimes — and it’s truly rare — ad agency people are working from a different playbook and have no compunction about bastardizing otherwise solid advertising for their own selfish goals. Buyer beware.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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