So what the heck does an advertising agency do, and is hiring one right for my small business?
One of the questions we hear often is, "What does an Advertising Agency do exactly?"
Well, without going too broad in scope, we thought it interesting to answer that question pointedly from our perspective and what I2D strives to offer clients. Basically an ad agency is a service provider, and the service involves planning, creating and placing advertising for a client (most often a business). At Inspired 2 Design, most of our clients are small to medium sized businesses, and we look at the definition of advertising agency as the service of bringing those businesses to market by getting out the word.
Questions about advertising agencies answered:
1. Do you help me create a plan for my business marketing?
Yes we do. I2D has helped business owners review their products and services, target market, and goals, then developed a plan including pricing and calendars for reaching those marketing goals. Typically this service falls under consulting and is billed hourly.
2. When I started my business, everyone said I should advertise in their publication. How do I choose?
It can be very confusing, as each advertising opportunity seems like the right one for your business. But one of the most important services an agency can provide is partnership. Our marketing experience across B2C and B2B platforms helps us partner with you to zero in your specific positioning, your target market, and then help leverage your exposure using the most effective spending.
3. Do you offer graphic design?
Yes we do. I2D creates 100% original designs including logos, business cards, business stationery, postcards, fliers, brochures, publication ads, banner ads, gift certificates, booklets, billboards and of course, websites and multimedia projects. In fact, we made it a point to offer the full range of design services to clients so that they would have the convenience of going to one source, one-stop shopping, for all their advertising needs. This was intentional, as it's time consuming and costly for clients hire multiple companies. It also ensures consistency of brand usage.
4. How about printing?
I2D has printing partners locally and out of state whom we call upon for the best quality printing. Again, our goal is to handle the projects for you, so you can focus on running your business. We can handle the project from concept to customers including printing, mailing, and other promotion if the client chooses. We're also happy to work with your choice of vendors - whether it's a promotional product, sign, banner, labels, publication ad, we are happy to contact your chosen vendor, and provide them all the necessary files for your job to be complete with as much or as little interaction from you as you'd like.
5. I just need a business card designed, can you do that?
Because each piece of your advertising pie is important for your business, we strive to make your project the best it can possibly be. We'll spend the time to get your input, background and goals to design a business card that's effective at making and leaving the impression you want for your company. The same goes for each and every project. Regardless of size, your business is important and is handled as if it's a multimillion dollar account!
6. How long does a project take?
Depends on the project, however even expansive websites and multimedia projects can be completed as quickly as two weeks. Completion dates often hinge on the client, as their ability to provide content and approvals often determine the project cycle.
7. Do you work on a retainer fee basis?
No. Each project is individually priced and often bundled as a group to offer even more savings. We quote hourly rates for some projects - and deliver on time and within budget. All additional charges are submitted to the client in writing and must be approved. Some clients take advantage of monthly contract savings on their marketing projects, but many hire as needed. We also strive to make professional design affordable for small business owners. We look good because you do!
8. What other services might an ad agency offer a small business?
Other services from I2D include: public relations, multimedia, 3D models and animation, website design, hosting and search engine optimization, copy writing and editing, and we are a reliable resource for the many other business needs of our clients. We offer free information through our Articles and our Blog; we're also one of the 5 Keys to Business Success - a free seminar coming back to Canton on May 28. We also have an extensive network of business associates that are reliable and reputable - many are tops in their field. I2D is always happy to make a suggestion to help you grow your business.
And isn't that the bottom line? What exactly does an advertising agency do? An ad agency is a partner and a service provider, working with a business owner to grow their business through awareness and action. Now that you know the benefits of working with an ad agency to boost your business, why would you try this at home?? Call or contact I2D for specific information on marketing your business.