Retaining an Ad Agency More Important Than Ever

Many marketers whether Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) at some point ask the question, should I hire an ad agency to help us achieve our business objectives. The answer is YES and here is why.

The decision to hire an agency is a bottom line issue.

Pepsi Co recently increased market share after several years of stagnant growth. What changed? A renewed aggressive marketing effort guided by their agency partners. In a crowded market product familiarity is crucial. An agency provides a level of creative that cannot be achieved in house – many have tried only to return to the agency/marketer relationship.  The agency environment brings a level of expertise and creativity that is difficult to achieve in house.

When you think about the best marketing campaigns you have seen they all tend to come from that agency and marketer relationship. I frequently give the example of Apple, the largest, most valuable brand in the world. Apple, a company capable of spending whatever is necessary to do it themselves – doesn’t! At the Festival of Creativity in Cannes this year, Apple received the Creative Marketer of the Year Award. Apple’s VP of Marketing Communications was clear to point out that it was the celebrated relationship they have their agency TBWA that drove their success.

An Agency is driven by a different mission

Companies are driven by a transaction metric. Agencies and marketing companies are driven by a mission to create. That environment is difficult to recreate in any other situation. Brand Assets do not show up in a corporate P&L, which accountants have trouble understanding. But in the agency world, it is all about the work, the creativity is the mission and the campaign results it drives. This is why the titans of industry, Coke, Ford, Walmart, Budweiser, Geico… hire an ad agency.

A Marketing firm provides a vast marketing perspective

Agencies spend an enormous amount of effort to stay current on all the media and marketing technologies: digital, social, public relations, broadcast, out of home, sponsorships, e-commerce, over-the-top and emerging technologies. This gives an agency a total marketing perspective and an understanding of how these rapidly changing technologies can be utilized or avoided. This point alone makes hiring an agency more important than ever.

John Manlove is the president and CEO of John Manlove Marketing & Communications.

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