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The 5 Things Your Advertising Agency Won’t Tell You (Unless You Ask)


Your advertising agency just wants you to be happy. That means they want to do great work for you to boost your profits.

But it can also mean that they just might hold back a bit from telling you every little thing that comes to mind about your business.

You can empathize with the awkward spot in which your agency finds itself if you have ever been asked: “Do I look fat in these jeans”? Nobody likes being asked that question. The frequent result is that unfavorable news sometimes remains unspoken.

Here are the top 5 things your advertising agency won’t tell you (but most will if you ask):

1. Your Agency Does Their Best Work When You Treat Them As A Partner

Advertisers and marketers know from experience that many of their clients view them as order-takers. In other words, the client hires the agency for a specific task and the agency is expected to just get it done. And agencies always find a way to make this work. But more often than not, your agency will perform at maximum output if you shift your perspective to seeing them as a partner in growing your business. A partner will be much more invested in your success than will an order-taker.

2. Your Creative/Website/Logo May Not Be All That Great

Love your website? Think your logo is the bomb? They may be just that great. Or maybe not. If you hire your agency to run a display ad campaign but ask them to leverage your old creative from 2007 (or even last year) – you may be hobbling your own campaign’s success. Be bold enough to ask your agency their opinion about your creative, website, logo – and be prepared to listen to what they tell you. You just may be doing yourself a huge favor by avoiding a campaign misfire.

3. You May Be Spending Just Enough On Advertising To Fail

Hiring your agency for a specific task, such as buying ads for a billboard or running an email campaign – is perfectly acceptable. Happens every day. But how much should you spend to be effective? If you give your agency a relatively small budget to work with AND you prescribe the type of advertising yourself, you may be greatly constraining your chances for success. And your agency may not want to tell you that you’re spending just enough to fail – or that you are spending money on the wrong type of campaign. A healthy dialogue can fix all of that. Give it a try.

4. They See Your Business More Objectively Than You Do

If you are like 99% of business owners out there, your company is your baby. It’s special. It’s unique. There is no other quite like it. And in a sense, all of that is true. However, an experienced agency has worked with dozens and dozens of companies over time, so they have become adept at seeing patterns. They see trends. They see your business for what it is – at least from the outside. While nobody will ever know many of the details of your business like you do, an experienced agency can see your business with a fresh set of eyes. Work with your agency to take advantage of what you both know in order to make the best decisions for your advertising.

5. They Are Not Masters Of Every Universe

Many agencies specialize in one or two areas of marketing, such as digital or branding or media buying. Others are full-service and can more or less “do it all.” But no matter how strong the agency may be in delivering value in multiple types of advertising, they will inevitably be more experienced at some things than others. How will you know which are their strong points? It’s simple – ask them! A reputable agency will tell you what they excel at most.

Feeling more in the dark than ever about your advertising choices? Never fear! The good news is: most agencies will tell you whatever you want to know, provided that you open the door to dialogue. It can be a little scary to ask the hard questions, but doing so clears the path for an immeasurably more effective agency/client experience. And it greatly increases your chances for campaign success.

austin advertising agency, decision-making, marketing