How to Choose the Best Advertising Agency for Your Small Business

As your business grows so does your list of responsibilities. And with that growing list you may be looking to take some things off your plate—that’s where an advertising agency could be a lifesaver. But choosing to invest your business’s time and money into an ad agency can raise a lot of burning questions like:

  • What can an ad agency do for me that I can’t already do for myself?
  • What should I be looking for in an ad agency?
  • How can I tell if they’ll be a good fit for my company?
  • Will I really see a return on my investment in the future?

No matter what questions are running through your mind, it’s important to us here at Mean Joe to make sure those questions never go unanswered. So here are a couple of things you should know as you continue your journey toward working with an advertising agency.

What Ad Agencies Do

Whether it is a colossal corporate franchise or a smaller, more personalized ad agency, it is essential to understand what a good full-service ad agency can and will do for you.

Planning for Success

One of the primary tasks an ad agency performs is creating a marketing plan that is specific to your business. Advertising agencies work with you to establish a plan that caters to your company’s objectives, product/service, and budget. And once a plan is established, an ad agency will help you execute it.

Media Purchasing

Good full-service advertising agencies possess extensive knowledge of the pricing, effective time scheduling, and result-oriented platforms of the many modes of media advertising. Their knowledge of media means they are especially adept at helping you decide what modes of media advertising are right for reaching your target audience. Whether you are looking to market your business in magazines, television, radio, or online a good ad agency will be able to mediate and monitor it all!

Your Brand, Your Image, and Your Ad Agency

How your company is seen by your target audience is a reflection of whether or not your company will succeed, and luckily ad agencies can help with that too! Good marketing agencies possess graphic design and imaging techniques to help put your business’s brand into your brand’s image.

Along with graphic imaging, ad agencies can assist in improving your brand’s online influence. Website and social media management, content creation, SEM and SEO strategies, and display advertising are just the tip of the iceberg for what ad agencies can do for your business and its internet importance.

Results, Results, Results!How to track an advertising ROI stoplight model

Good marketing agencies are nothing if they are not results-oriented. If a part of the advertising plan is not getting the results it was intended for, then an ad agency is never afraid to go back to the drawing board. For you, this means your budget is only going into marketing that is proven to reach your target audience and give your company the business it deserves.

What Matters When Choosing an Ad Agency

Making the decision to hire an ad agency is one thing, but deciding what prospective ad agency is right for you and your business is a whole different ball game. With the number of advertising agencies available in today’s small business marketing world, choosing the ad agency that is right for your business can appear daunting. Thankfully, we have mapped out a few key things to consider while making the “big decision.”

The value of ad agency values

The first step, and perhaps one of the most important steps, in choosing a prospective agency is determining what you want your agency to prioritize when marketing your business. In other words, will your prospective ad agency be accountable for your company’s prosperity—do you want them to be?

Some agencies may wish to only deal in financial affairs, while others will go above and beyond to ensure the success of the relationship between your company and its target market. It is important that you decipher between what prospective ad agencies are here for your business’s success and which agencies are simply here for your business’s money.

Creativity matters

Just about any marketing company can come up with a paint-by-the-numbers marketing strategy, but it takes a special kind of advertising agency to come up with creative and unique ways to reach your target audience. Don’t be afraid to ask what new ideas a prospective agency will bring to your marketing efforts—a good agency will be excited to share.

Staffing is significant

Much like the old saying, “a happy wife equals a happy life,” a happy staff equals a healthy business model. When looking into a prospective advertising agency, you must remember how staff morale can affect the quality of ideas and work put towards marketing your business.

Hang around for a bit after meetings, get to know the people who are working in the agency. Are the staff members dedicated to your small business and happy to help? The answer to this question will often affect the answers to many other questions you have regarding hiring an agency.

Finding the Right Ad Agency for your Company

The right agency is almost always an amenable one. An advertising agency that is right for your business will be an agency that works with your company to achieve a mutual goal in reaching your target market. Remember that your goal in hiring an ad agency is not to create difficulty in intercompany relations, but to find an agency that will take creative ideas for marketing your business and work with you to make them a reality.

The values, creativity, quality of staff, and collaborative energy that a good advertising agency can bring to your company’s marketing efforts have a great impact on how your business grows. And it’s vital that you consider all of these characteristics when deciding what advertising agency is right for you and your business.

A Worthwhile Investment

Smart business people know to put their money into things that will earn it back and keep going, and putting your money into advertising isn't called an investment for nothing. Advertising agencies are focused on marketing day-in and day-out, which means you are investing in their experience and new connections for your business. Hiring a good marketing agency means adding a whole staff of creative problem-solvers who constantly have new ideas and strategies to offer to your team.

Marketing growing businesses requires innovation, an ability to execute, a mastery of data, digital fluency, dedicated staff, and good values—a good ad agency has all of these things, and what’s more valuable than that?