How do you choose the right ad agency?
The first question you should ask is, do I really need one? Most companies who are looking to send a particular message to a certain community will often think they need help in doing so. Hiring an in-house marketing person rarely proves to be cost-effective because of the lack of resources available to them. This is when companies go out and hire an ad agency. An Ad Agency in Phoenix will often have their own graphic designer, creative team, digital team, media buyer, etc. But please do not get fooled by their fancy offices, extra thick business cards, or any other fluff. Many ad agency owners are just used car salesmen. They are fast talkers and come off as influencers to sell the illusion of credibility. They talk using big numbers with an extreme amount of confidence to make the sale. The bottom line is, they are not selling anything of their own. They are just selling the Facebook, Google, Yelp, TV, Print, or billboard interface to their clients for a commission. In case you are not aware, it is the exact same Facebook, Google, Yelp, TV, Print or Billboard interface everyone else has access to. All of us know how to build ads, run them, and track the results. It is not brain surgery; it is time-consuming. I believe if you were to take the same budget and the same agenda to a high-end agency, a medium-sized agency, and a small agency, you will likely find comparative results. You will not see larger returns because you paid the high-end agency a higher commission. It is all an illusion.
What to look for in an agency
My advice is to take a step back and stop being impressed with an office. Find someone you connect with personally. Someone that you respect and respects you back. Do not let them dominate a conversation, make sure they know how to listen to you. Stay away from the ego-maniac agencies who would rather see their names in lights, not yours.
Every agency has a specialty. Some know an industry behavior better than others. Some know specific markets. The ones that tell you they can do anything and everything are lying to you.
This is how we roll
For example, we work out of our home office and my employees work from their homes. We meet with clients at local coffee shops and take them out to lunch at local restaurants. We wear jeans and a t-shirt on most days. This is who we are. If you are a suit and Rolex type personality, we will be the first to tell you to look for another agency with the owner’s name on the front. Our focus is small and medium-sized businesses. We love Phoenix, understand Phoenix, and want to help the entrepreneurs within Phoenix. We do not charge as much as our competitors, because we are simply not greedy. We still wake up every day believing the work we do is important, and we take pride in that. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing success for our clients, not our own name in flashing lights around town.
Do not get fooled by the fluff. Do not get sold by fast talkers who give you a bad feeling in your gut. Remember, the small ad agency can literally do as much as the big guy but will do it with more love. I promise you will enjoy your experience with someone you can respect and communicate with over someone that makes big promises. Your business is important to you, so make sure you put the marketing in the hands of someone who truly and sincerely cares.