Advantages & disadvantages of using advertising agencies

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Joseph Levine, legendary film producer and advertising guru, said, "You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough." This quote summarises the essential pros and cons of hiring an advertising agency.

When you hire an advertising agency, you get highly educated, experienced experts to help you craft creative and effective advertising. The cost of advertising, however, often gives marketing managers sticker shock. In the end, you typically will get what you pay for.

Advantage: Strategy development

An advertising agency will assign an employee to be your liaison within the agency and to communicate your company's needs to the people who will execute your advertising. This person, along with a team of research and strategy experts, will craft a messaging and distribution strategy that comes together to give your advertising the biggest return on investment.

Advantage: A creative team

Most business owners and business managers need a little (or a lot of) help when it comes to developing creative, fresh advertising campaigns. Advertising agencies hold a treasure trove of brilliant writers, artists and creative thinkers who can craft your message in such a way that it captivates the attention of your target audience.

Advantage: Media buying power

Because advertising agencies do so much purchasing with media outlets and vendors, they typically are afforded hefty price breaks that an individual business can't get. This could save you quite a bit, potentially even more than you plan to spend on the agency's labour and production.

Disadvantage: Time

Hiring an advertising agency will add several steps to your marketing process. Therefore, your advertising planning will need to happen sooner and you'll need to plan on blocking more time for the approval and production process to be complete. In some cases, however, an advertising agency may be able to complete the work far quicker than your business could internally, since most companies don't dedicate many staff members, if any, to the task of marketing.

Disadvantage: Money

Not surprisingly, the most significant disadvantage of hiring an advertising agency is cost. There is a wide range of talent and quality among advertising agencies and of cost. Your safest bet for hiring an agency that is both affordable and of good quality is to do a request for proposal.