Ad Agency New Business Development Secret - Mystery Shopping

For decades advertising agencies and communications firms have competed for new business in a high stakes race to show prospective clients how they can help them improve their business. The process usually involves review of credentials as well as demonstration of initial business ideas and thinking. Sounds exciting? Not really.

So, how does an ad agency get up to speed on a prospective client's business enough to show them smart and relevant thinking?

Well, the internet has had a huge hand in helping agency management find information on a specific company as well as their industry - and often their key competitors. And many, if not all advertising agencies are using that approach in varying degrees. But that still leaves the burning question: "what are the decision makers and influencers experiencing throughout the sales process AND how can we control that in our favor?"

Traditionally, that is where agency quantitative (statistically sound surveying through the mail, phone or internet) as well as qualitative (more intimate, one-to-one communications usually through methods like focus groups) research is used to provide the foundation for strategic recommendations that will hopefully knock the socks off of their prospect and win the account.

Innovative advertising agencies are finding alternative ways to access this important insight which they previously obtained from those costly, time-consuming research approaches. These innovative ad agencies are developing their ideas and recommendations for the "review" or "pitch" by using an old mainstay from the restaurant industry - Mystery Shopping.

Mystery Shopping: An Innovative Business Development Tool

Mystery shopping has been used extensively in the hospitality sector to manage and improve customer service performance - as a way of more effectively managing the customer engagement from the first call to the check. This helps companies identify areas needing sales process improvement. Used in a slightly different context, it becomes a cost and time-effective goldmine of insight to perfect a business development pitch.

Mystery Shopping Process:

- Mystery shoppers, who represent the targeted customer profile, visit a specific site, experience all aspects of the sales process and fill out a customized online survey which is compiled with other shopper's data from the company's geography.

- The mystery shoppers are also trained to obtain any collateral or relevant materials, as well as take photos, and mail it back to the ad agency, giving the agency the ability to see, touch and feel tangible aspects of the experience and potentially use this information in their pitch.

- Using this approach has other advantages, too. Mystery shopping firms have large pools of trained researchers who can rapidly deliver on fast turn-around projects over broad geographic areas, including global reach.

- These surveys are tracked and trended against each location, for regional differences, and even against national averages. The data can then be used to direct recommendations, or support new ideas.

- In some cases mystery shoppers are only shopping competitive locations to provide information that will translate to opportunities for improvement and differentiation.

Instead of leaving behind somewhat dry research, advertising agencies are now immediately able to add interest and dimension to their pitch that sticks. Eliminating the problems inherent in focus group research such as one individual dominating a group's input. What are some of the additional nuggets of information that ad agencies glean from their mystery shopping results?

1. Identifying Strategic Opportunities

2. Testing Brand Positioning

3. Discovering Triggers for Promotional Planning

4. Uncovering Valuable Competitive Intelligence

Savvy advertising agencies are even using mystery shopping as a form of insurance for promotional program executions. Mystery shopping is put in place when a promotion is rolled out to monitor and manage the operational aspects; ensuring that from signage placement to sales conversations everything is supporting the promotional message.

Mystery shopping is also helping both advertising agencies and their clients manage the multiple "Touchpoints" necessary to ensure a successful sales process improvement and customer relationship building. For the business it translates to sales and profit - reducing the expense to both acquire a new customer and to keep a customer engaged and loyal.

For ad agencies it provides the critical data on a prospective client that they need to show them relevant recommendations, sell themselves to, build a relationship and create loyalty. And, it provides it in a way that lends color and interest to the pitch - it excites, it is valued, and it sticks. The opportunity for strong, relevant insight exists in this simple, tried and true research process: mystery shopping. No wonder more ad agencies are using it!

Select The Best Ethnic Marketing Agency To Skyrocket Your Business

The motive behind hiring an advertising agency is to support and promote a product or service and improve its public image in front of the targeted audiences. No matter the advertising agencies in Chicago are small or large; the only function of the advertising agency is to promote the product. Hiring an advertising agency becomes successful not only when people remember their ads but also when people realize the need to buy the product or service so that they can benefit or have satisfaction from the product that the ads shows them.

You will find many advertising agencies in Chicago, some offer basic services and some offer specialize services. Under the basic services offered by Chicago ad agencies, you will have creative services which include media placement and planning. Some specialized services offered by advertising agencies in Chicago includes help wanted ads, classified ads, recruitment ads and those you can find yellow pages. Also, an engineering or industrial agencies advertisement requires product specific ads. There is some layout or terminology which may not be a part of full service advertising agencies and which may require marketing niche strategy.

As a businessman, you must have realized how tough the competition is in the today's world. It is important to have great marketing strategy if you want your business to be a success. Great Chicago ad agencies can help your business to flourish.

The main benefit of hiring advertising agency is that they help you find the target market for your product and they also find the best method to reach to your target audience. This helps you to save lots of your time and also your money as they know where actually to target your product or service, thereby saving the cost to advertise in a wide area.

Another benefit of hiring an advertising agency is that they are well-experienced and they have marketing niche strategy. They know how exactly to advertise different products and what methods to use. By using their marketing niche strategy, they would create a plan especially for your product and it will specifically for the audience targeted.

The Chicago ad agencies spend lots of their time in knowing the product or services for your business, this helps them to understand the benefits and the hot buttons of your products and the reason why anybody would like to buy your product. The advertising agencies would help you to create a marketing strategy which will highlight your product's positive aspects in different types of media like television, radio, print etc.

A great ad agency would help you to brand your product or service. Branding is the art which helps you to create a design, symbol or a term which would differentiate your product from the rest of the products. Therefore, ad agencies would not only strengthen your product's credibility but it would also motivate your target audience to buy it.

As a businessman you must understand the importance of advertisement for your product so that you can save some time and money as well.

The History and Evolution of the Advertising Industry

An advertising company is a potentially very successful and enjoyable business, but only if done correctly. Advertising promotion is older than most people think, and here is a brief history of advertising companies.

There are four very influential inventions that have shaped the media and thus the advertising industry - the printing press, radio, television and the Internet. The printing press made the wide dissemination of information with words on paper possible, mainly advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Selling material had to be created and advertising agencies were born.

The first advertising agency, Volney B. Palmer, was opened in Philadelphia in 1841. By 1861 there were 20 advertising agencies in New York City alone. Among them was J. Walter Thompson, today the oldest American advertising agency in continuous existence. Radio became a commercial medium in the 1920s.

For the first time, advertising could be heard, not just seen. Soap operas, music, and serial adventures populated the new medium, and as radios appeared in virtually every home in America, sales of products advertised on the air soared. Advertisers rushed to write infectious advertising jingles, an art form that still has its place in the advertising repertoire of today.

Then television changed everything. Although TV was invented in the 1920s, it didn't become a mass commercial medium until the 1950s when the prices of television sets began to approach affordability. Print and radio had to take a back seat because, for the first time, commercials were broadcast with sight, sound and motion.

The effect of the television on the advertising industry and the way products were sold was remarkable. Advertising agencies not only had to learn how to produce these mini movies in units of 30 and 60 seconds, they had to learn to effectively segment the audience and deliver the right commercial message to the right group of consumers.

Cable television was the next great innovation, offering a greater variety of channels with more specific program offerings. That allowed advertisers to narrowcast. Before the advent of cable television, the networks attempted to reach demographics by airing at different times throughout the broadcast period. Soap operas were broadcast during the day to reach women, news in the evening to reach an older target audience.

Cable television, on the other hand, brought with it channels like MTV that catered to young music lovers, ESPN, for (typically) male sports fans, and the Food Network, for people who love cooking (or at least love to watch others cook). These new advertising channels were delightful for advertisers who wished to target certain audiences with specific interests, though less so for the networks who saw their share of ad revenue dwindle.

Why Radio Advertising Is One of the Most Cost-Effective Forms of Advertising Available

More individuals and businesses are using radio advertising to reach prospective customers and clients now more than ever before. By engaging a top-notch radio ads agency, individuals and businesses can reach millions of people locally and nationally who enjoy listening to the radio at all hours of the day and night.

What makes radio ads more popular than any other form of advertising is that radio advertisements can be played across a variety of radio networks, including traditional radio, national satellite radio and Internet radio. Millions of people listen to the radio each and every day. In recent years, Internet radio has become very popular and now reaches over 70 million people per month. By using a variety of cross-marketing channels and other innovative marketing techniques, a radio ads agency can help advertisers reach a countless number of prospective clients and customers locally and nationwide.

Radio advertising has also become one of the most popular forms of advertising because it offers advertisers the biggest return on their investment. Ads on the radio happens to be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach millions of prospective customers and clients locally and nationwide. Individuals and businesses with a wide-range of advertising budgets can advertise on the radio. The cost of having a radio commercial produced and aired is much less in comparison to other forms of advertising.

By working with a top-notch radio ads agency, individuals and businesses can have advertising professionals put together a unique radio ads campaign that gets results. When choosing an agency, individuals and businesses should choose a radio ads agency with a proven track record. An agency with a proven track record will give advertisers a greater chance of success.

Selecting a good advertising agency is important and crucial in receiving positive results. You should note that a well-developed direct response radio campaign realizes conversion rates much higher than online media alone. The industry standard conversion rate for online media is typically 2%-5%, whereas a good direct response campaign starts at a 10% conversion rate.

In order to have a successful radio commercial created, businesses need to enlist a full-service advertising agency that can deliver results. By choosing a radio advertising agency that has copywriters and radio personalities on hand, individuals and businesses will see results. Advertisers that advertise their business or service on the radio know that the key to success with radio commercials is achieved by developing the perfect message and picking the best person to deliver that message. By choosing a radio advertising agency that has access to well-known radio personalities, advertisers yield better results.

When selecting an advertising agency, advertisers should consider everything the agency has to offer. By choosing a well-known full-service agency that knows everything there is to know about radio advertising, advertisers will have the added reassurance of knowing that they are working with an agency that can and will deliver results.

Breaking Into The Field Of Advertising

Advertising is defined in Wikipedia as, "a one-way paid communication through a medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled by the sponsor." Fields that are similar to the field of advertising, and that are often used interchangeably with it, are publicity and public relations. Media that are used to convey the message include TV, radio, the Internet, billboards, magazines and newspapers.

The field of advertising can be difficult to get into as jobs are in great demand and there are numerous talented and creative people waiting to get them. Advertising is rewarding, but it is also hard work, the hours are long, with a lot of overtime, working on weekends is practically mandatory. There is also untold stress as deadlines loom, ideas are rejected or projects fold. But for many people the creative expression alone is worth all the difficulties that are encountered. When all the crying is done, there is also the pride of seeing your work in magazines or on television.

If you are looking for a way to break into the fast-paced world of advertising, here are a few pointers on how to go about it:

Intern: many advertising agencies view their interns as potential employees. Interning will also enable you to see what really goes on in an advertising agency. You will work in different departments and thus be able to determine where in advertising you would like to work, or if you would still like to work in the field at all. It is important to speak up and let your enthusiasm be known so that you can display your talents to the best advantage and gain as much as possible out of the internship.

Start at the bottom. No one ever starts out in the business world with a nice office and some big name clients handed to him or her on a plate, unless there is nepotism involved. It is important to realise that you will have to earn your place in the company, taking an entry-level position and working your way up just like everybody else. If you feel that you are doing good work that is going unrecognised, you can always look at it as experience gained and use it to find a job elsewhere.

Freelancing is a great way to get into the business if you're a copywriter or graphic designer. It allows you to come up with your own unique campaign to advertise yourself, you can set your own rates and by approaching small businesses you can build a reputation for yourself before you approach any large agencies or companies.

SPEC ADS are your version of an ad that has already be published. You may not like the way a particular ad is written, or designed, or you may not like its jingle. In creating a SPEC AD, you rewrite it, redesign it or rewrite the lyrics or music to the jingle. You might even decide to rework some ad in your local paper. SPEC ADS should be included in your portfolio if you have no previous advertising experience as they give some indication of your creativity and talent.

Contact radio and television stations, considering that many employ people especially to write advertisements. Getting a job writing these adverts would be an excellent start in the advertising industry. Unfortunately these jobs aren't that highly paid and there's a high employee turnover rate. However, the opportunity presented to gain experience and break into the field is well worth it.
Schooling and learning as much as you can about the advertising industry is very important, especially if you're serious about working in an agency. The Internet has many courses on advertising and enormous amounts of information on advertising available for anyone to make use of.

Introduce yourself. This is a good idea, if you're looking for something along the creative side of advertising. Write a letter of introduction to the Creative Director of an agency. It should be written in a friendly, but professional tone and should include a short bio. Don't just address the letter "To whom it may concern," as that is very impersonal. Use the Director's name and be sure to spell it properly. Make sure you know whether the Director is male or female if the name is ambiguous. You can follow up your letter in a few weeks with another letter or you can give the Director a call, but remember, don't cold call them first. It can be very annoying when you're busy trying to keep on top of things and a stranger phones out of the blue to introduce themselves on the off chance that you have a job for them.

Networking is when you take advantage of opportunities to meet people who are actively involved in the industry. Local advertising clubs, or even agencies themselves often sponsor special events, educational seminars and professional workshops. It is important to attend these events, mingle, be sociable, show interest and meet people who could turn out to be your next employer.

Work in sales. While there's undoubtedly a big difference between advertising and sales, the experience of working at any retail outlet, dealing with accounts and people, may help you to bridge the gap between having no experience at all and working in an agency.

Enthusiasm. Being passionate about working in advertising means that when you see adverts on television or in magazines, and you had nothing to do with them, you think, "I could have a much better job than that!" Being passionate also means that you don't mind long hours, late nights and sacrificing your weekends to the job. If you can convey that kind of enthusiasm and passion in your interview, chances are that you'll remind the interviewer of why he or she got into the business in the first place. Passion and enthusiasm and a willingness to learn also make up for a lack of experience.

Media Relations Tips For Advertising Agencies

Creating and maintaining healthy professional relationships with media contacts are key components of promoting your clients and their products. Below are a number of simple tips for working with the media:

1. Most reporters, particularly those with daily morning shows or publications, prefer to get calls fairly early in the day. Their deadlines are typically in the afternoon or early evening.

2. Return all reporters' calls within the hour, or as promptly as possible, even if you know the inquiry is about a negative topic.

3. If time permits, familiarize yourself with the reporter and the publication/station. Read past articles the reporter has written or tune in to the station's broadcast.

4. Anticipate questions and practice your responses, especially regarding topics that may be negative or complicated.

5. Any media interview is an opportunity to appropriately advance the goals and activities of your business.

6. Begin the interview by spelling your full and last name twice, along with your title.

7. Make your major points or key messages early in the interview. This sets the tone for the session and will help ensure that your comments are reported in the proper context.

8. Do not overuse industry jargon.

9. Use anecdotes and examples more than weighty statistics to carry your key messages. Real life experiences give real life to your interview.

10. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't guess. Tell the reporter that you are unsure, but that you'll find out and call him or her back.

11. Don't speak "off the record." It's acceptable to give the reporter background information but never say anything that you wouldn't want to see in print or broadcast later.

12. Avoid the temptation to "wing it." Listen to the entire question before responding. Don't be drawn outside your area of expertise.

13. If you discover you've provided inaccurate information during the interview, contact the reporter right away to correct your error -- before the story is printed or broadcast.

14. Do not ask for an advance draft of a story before it appears. Many reporters will deny such a request and interpret it as an effort on your part to censor or control the news. However, you should offer your assistance, if needed, in verifying facts or figures contained in the story before it goes to print.

15. Don't attempt to go "over a reporter's head" to influence a story. Most likely, you will be unsuccessful and only create resentment. If you believe the reporter has treated you unfairly, contact your regional public relations manager for the proper strategy.

16. Don't offer or send gifts to the news media. Even inexpensive items could be misinterpreted as an attempt to influence the news coverage. If you are pleased by the way a story turned out, a complimentary phone call or thank you letter will suffice.

17. For television interviews, arrive at the TV station at least 30 minutes before the program. Upon arrival, ask for the show's producer or the designated contact. It is acceptable to ask the producer if you can discuss the upcoming interview with both the producer and the interviewer. This will make the question and answer session easier on both you and the host. Don't be bothered, though, if the host is unavailable.

18. Do not wear the color white, stripes or any complicated patterns to an on-camera interview.

19. Remember that radio and television interviewers often develop a regular following and that the audience does not know you. Avoid alienating the interviewer. Be friendly, address the interviewer by his or her first name, but don't "fake" familiarity.

20. Feel free to have brief notes in front of you (that don't necessarily have to be discussed) for your easy reference.

21. Always provide your interviewer with your business card and thank them for their time.

22. Let reporters know you are available for future stories, to increase the likelihood that they will call you again. This will help you to develop ongoing relationships with the media.

23. Be proactive in developing relationships with reporters. If you see an article that is within your area of knowledge, call the reporter to introduce yourself.

What Exactly Does an Ad Agency Do?

Cornerstone to an Ad Agency is high profile clients. Clients include businesses and corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies and we are often hired to produce multifaceted new media advertising campaigns. While some advertising agencies limit the amount and kind of service they offer. Such agencies usually offer only one or two of the basic services. For example, although some agencies that specialize in "creative" also offer strategic advertising planning service, their basic interest is in the creation of advertising. Similarly, some "media-buying services" offer media planning service but concentrate on media buying, placement, and billing. On the other hand The McKenna Agency has 5 specilized divisions;

1) Northwest Photo and Video - HD Video and Stock Photography services,

2) The Web Masters - technically advanced & highly visual web design services,

3) System Interactive Communications - search engine marketing services

4) Avondale Studio - voice over recording and commercial music composition services and

5) Systemic, Inc - organizational development and related business consulting services..

When the client chooses to use limited-service advertising agencies, it must assume some of the advertising planning and coordination activities that are routinely handled by the full-service advertising agency. Thus, the advertiser who uses limited-service agencies usually takes greater responsibility for the strategic planning function, gives greater strategic direction to specialist creative or media agencies, and exercises greater control over the product of these specialized agencies, ensuring that their separate activities are well-ordered and -coordinated.

Specialist Advertising Services
In addition to the full-service, general-line advertising agencies, there are also agencies that specialize in particular kinds of advertising: recruitment, help-wanted, medical, classified, industrial, financial, direct-response, retail, yellow pages, theatrical/entertainment, investment, travel, and so on. As a general rule our agency does not focus a specific industry.

Specialization occurs in such fields for a variety of reasons. Often, as in recruitment advertising, for example, specialized media or media uses are involved that require knowledge and expertise not ordinarily found in a general-line agency. In other cases, such as medical or industrial advertising, the subject is technical and requires that writers and artists have training in order to write meaningful advertising messages about it.
Such specialist advertising agencies are also usually "full-service," in that they offer all the basic advertising agency services in their area of specialization plus other, peripheral advertising services related to their area of specialization.

Interactive services
Interactive services differentiate themselves by offering a mix of web design/development, search engine marketing, internet advertising/marketing, or e-business/e-commerce consulting. Interactive agencies rose to prominence before the traditional advertising agencies fully embraced the Internet. Offering a wide range of services, some of the interactive agencies grew very rapidly, although some have downsized just as rapidly due to changing market conditions. Today, the most successful interactive agencies are defined as companies that provide specialized advertising and marketing services for the digital space.

The digital space is defined as any multimedia-enabled electronic channel that an advertiser's message can be seen or heard from. The 'digital space' translates to the Internet, kiosks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and lifestyle devices (iPod, PSP, and mobile). Interactive agencies function similarly to advertising agencies, although they focus solely on interactive advertising services. They deliver services such as strategy, creative, design, video, development, programming (Flash and otherwise), deployment, management, and fulfillment reporting. Often, interactive agencies provide: digital lead generation, digital brand development, interactive marketing and communications strategy, rich media campaigns, interactive video brand experiences, Web 2.0 website design and development, e-learning Tools, email marketing, SEO/SEM services, PPC campaign management, content management services, web application development, and overall data mining & ROI assessment.

The recent boost in the interactive agencies can also be attributed to the rising popularity of web-based social networking and community sites. The creation of sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube have sparked market interest, as some interactive agencies have started offering personal and corporate community site development as one of their service offerings. It still may be too early to tell how agencies will use this type of marketing to monetize client ROI, but all signs point to online networking as the future of brand marketing and Interactive being the core of Brand's Communication and Marketing Strategy.

Due to the social networking explosion, new types of companies are doing reputation management. This type of agency is especially important if a company needs online damage control. If a customer becomes disgruntled, it is very easy to damage a companies reputation over social networking sites. Because of how rapidly the information spreads, it becomes absolutely necessary to address any rumors, gossip or other negative online press immediately.

Search engine services
Lately, pay per click (PPC) and (SEO) search engine optimization firms have been classified by some as 'agencies' because they create media and implement media purchases of text based (or image based, in some instances of search marketing) ads. This relatively young industry has been slow to adopt the term 'agency', however with the creation of ads (either text or image) and media purchases, they do technically qualify as 'advertising agencies'.

Social media services
Social media agencies specialize in promotion of brands in the various social media platforms like blogs, social networking sites, Q&A sites, discussion forums, microblogs etc. The two key services of social media agencies are:

•social media marketing
•online reputation management
Legal communications services
Legal communications delivered via print, video, web and mobile communications for both marketing services and trail presentations for any business in Law related fields.

Healthcare communications services
Healthcare communications agencies specialize in strategic communications and marketing services for the Healthcare and Life Science industries. These agencies distinguish themselves through an understanding of the strict labeling and marketing guidelines mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and industry group guidelines, most notably ADVAMED and PHARMA.
Notable examples include: Dudnyk

Medical education services
Medical education agencies specialize in creating educational content for the Healthcare and Life Science industries. These agencies typically specialize in one of two areas:

•Promotional education - education and training materials tied to the promotion of a given product or therapy
•Continuing medical education - accredited education and training materials created for continuing physician and medical professional education.

The Left and The Right Brain

Technical services

While not advertising agencies services as such, our enterprise technology services often work in tandem with our advertising services to provide a specialized subset of services such as those offered by Web 2.0 website design and development, Content management systems, web application development, and other intuitive technology solutions for the web, mobile devices and emerging digital platforms.

General Agency Services

Creative services
The people who create the actual ads form the core of an advertising agency. Modern advertising agencies usually form their copywriters and art directors into creative teams. Creative teams may be permanent partnerships or formed on a project-by-project basis. The art director and copywriter report to a creative director, usually a creative employee with several years of experience. Although copywriters have the word "write" in their job title, and art directors have the word "art", one does not necessarily write the words and the other draw the pictures; they both generate creative ideas to represent the proposition (the advertisement or campaign's key message). Creative departments frequently work with outside design or production studios to develop and implement their ideas. Creative departments may employ production artists as entry-level positions, as well as for operations and maintenance. The Creative Process forms the most crucial part of the advertising process.

Account services
Agencies appoint account executive to liase with the clients. The account executives need to be sufficiently aware of the client's needs and desires that can be instructed to the agency's personnel and should get approval from the clients on the agency's recommendations to the clients. Creativity and marketing acumen are the needed area of the client service people. They work closely with the specialists in each field.

Media services
The media services department may not be so well known, but its employees are the people who have contacts with the suppliers of various creative media. For example, they will be able to advise upon and negotiate with printers if an agency is producing flyers for a client. However, when dealing with the major media (broadcast media, outdoor, and the press), this work is usually outsourced to a media agency which can advise on media planning and is normally large enough to negotiate prices down further than a single agency or client can.

Without the production department, the ads created by the copywriter and art director would be nothing more than words and pictures on paper. The production department, in essence, ensures the TV commercial or print ad, etc, gets produced. They are responsible for contracting external vendors (directors and production companies in the case of TV commercials; photographers and design studios in the case of the print advertising or direct mailers). Producers are involved in every aspect of a project, from the initial creative briefing through execution and delivery. In some agencies, senior producers are known as "executive producers" or "content architects".

Modern agencies might also have a media planning department integrated, which does all the spot's planning and placements.

Personnel; well versed in changing hats
As a small agency; employees may do both creative and account service such as production work, Internet advertising, planning, or research, for example; an often forgotten, but integral, department within an advertising agency is traffic. The traffic department regulates the flow of work in the agency. It is typically headed by a traffic manager (or system administrator). Traffic increases an agency's efficiency and profitability through the reduction of false job starts, inappropriate job initiation, incomplete information sharing, over- and under-cost estimation, and the need for media extensions. In small agencies without a dedicated traffic manager, one employee may be responsible for managing workflow, gathering cost estimates and answering the phone, for example. Large agencies may have a traffic department of five or more employees.

• Research and analysis: Gathering information regarding industry, competition, customer product or service; as well as presenting findings in verbal/written form with recommendations
• Involvement in internal meetings and, when appropriate, client meetings
• Assisting account services in the management of creative projects

Interns often take part in the internal creative process, where they may be charged with creating and managing a website as well as developing an advertising campaign. Hands on projects such as these help interns learn how strategy and well-developed marketing are essential to a sound advertising and communications plan.

During their internship, the intern will experience the development of an ad, brochure and broadcast or communications project from beginning to end. During the internship, the intern should be exposed to as much as possible within the agency and advertising process.

How to Start an Advertising Agency

An Advertising business opportunity on the Internet is just exploding with possibilities. This is one of the most profitable endeavors available in the field of Internet advertising. If you have advertising experience and know even the basics of Internet, you have potential to start your own advertising business on the Internet.

There are many areas of the Internet that need to be learned before starting your advertising business opportunity. Multi level marketing, or MLM, is one way of generating advertising and sales at the same time. MLM is a system that allows someone to collect commissions on their own sales as well as on people they recruit under them. This used to be known as pyramid schemes.

MLM has become very popular with product sales, helping the organization build wealth by paying commissions on multiple levels. The concept from an advertising point of view is great, the more motivation you have to recruit people to sell your product, the more your product is out there on the market. Some examples of companies that use MLM are nutritional product lines, make up product lines, and home decoration lines.

Multi level marketing has been around for years and not likely to go away anytime soon. Focus needs to be clear however on what the drive is for the company. If your focus is only on recruiting people to recruit more people, then your product sales are going to suffer. When your product sales suffer, your business as a whole suffers and then no one wants to be a part of the industry. Keep your focus when dealing with MLM with your advertising business opportunity.

Ezines are another emerging way to get a product or service out to the public. Ezines, or electronic magazines, are usually specialized to a certain areas of interest. This is very much like conventional magazines. However, advertising in ezines is low-cost and even occasionally free. Another advertising business opportunity that is wide open.

Ezines in themselves will need advertising to get their word out. A perfectly written ezine does no one any good if no one knows that it is out there to be seen. Finding an audience for your ezine may be easier than you think. Make sure when going into ezines that you know your material and that the writing is concise and accurate.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a proven method of advertising on the Internet and a field, which is very much in demand at this time. SEO is a system of writing web content that uses specific key words and phrases that will pull the page up when that keyword or phrase is typed into any of the search engines. Knowing how to effectively use keywords to get a site recognized is critical for small businesses on the web.

When you open a search engine such as 'Yahoo!' or 'Google', and type in the phrase Internet advertising, you will get a list of results. Those results are formulated by the words Internet and advertising. Sites that have those two words incorporated consistently throughout the site will come up on the list. These lists are in order by the most hit on sites at the top of this list. Of course, that is where you want your advertising business opportunity clients to be.

Educating your self on these concepts and a few more will allow you to start marketing your Internet advertising business. Becoming an Internet business advertising consultant to companies who are looking to expand their presence on the web is a first step in building your reputation and presence in this field.

You must have a well-written profile centered on your Internet advertising experience and an up to date resume'. Businesses today are being inundated with new, and sometimes bogus, advertising opportunities and you need to stand out above all those other offers. Keep your presence, online and in the field, professional at all times and make sure you can deliver what you promise. With those things in mind, you should be successful.

Future Visions of the Auto Industry and Automotive Advertising Based on What Was and What Is

Auto industry social networks all have different rules and protocols to create their unique identities in the auto industry and the inter-dependent automotive advertising industry. While there are differences in format, content and contributors they share the common goal to educate their community members by sharing best practices and insights with the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. To provide clarity and share my vision of the future of the retail auto industry and automotive advertising it must be framed it in the context of our changing geo-political and economic environment. Once the foundation of today is built on the broad picture of our world economy and politic, then the role of the Internet and related technologies can be applied to the one constant that we can all depend on -- human nature -- to help define tomorrow as I see it.

Any competitive business model must be built to accommodate tomorrow as well as today. Today is obvious. Sales volume, profit margins and inventory are down across all brands. Consumer confidence is falling as unemployment is rising even in the face of the expected temporary increase when the million plus census workers and various government employees -- such as the sixteen thousand IRS agents to police our new health care system -- are artificially added to the equation. Wholesale and retail credit lines are restricted by both natural business cycles and government intervention. Our economy is directly linked to the world economy along both monetary and political lines and the United States as well as our European trading partners are faced with excessive debt and unstable monetary systems. Our monetization of our debt -- basically the fact that we loaned ourselves the money we needed to fund our growing debt by printing more money, since no one else would lend it to us -- has insured the inevitable inflation of our dollar or some similar correction to our monetary system. This anticipated correction is already supported when observing the situation maturing in Greece, Portugal, Spain and other European Countries tied to the Euro and the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). No one has a crystal ball, so the only way to plan for tomorrow is to recap today's critical issues that didn't exist yesterday. It is these changes in -- what was -- vs. -- what is -- that will likely define -- what will be and the actions that auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies must take to remain profitable and competitive in unchartered waters.

The current administration was voted in on a platform of hope and change with the expectation that the promised transformation of America would take place within the confines of our constitution and in consideration of our established belief in a free marketplace. The redistribution of wealth was understood by most to reflect the giving nature of the American people as a moral and sharing society. Unfortunately, the transformation began in ways that could not have been imagined by the majority that voted for it with an agenda that is only now coming to light. The inherited financial burdens on our banking system that justified the need for change were matured across Republican and Democratic party lines -- as evidenced by the contributions of Fannie May and Freddie Mac to our mortgage crisis and the preferred treatment enjoyed by the unions, Goldman Sachs, AIG and other entities on Wall Street supported by the progressive political movement that is represented within both parties.

By way of disclaimer, I recognize that approximately 30% of our population believes in the collective -- We the people -- and the associated movement for the -- workers of the world to unite -- vs. the framers of the constitution that defined it as the individual -- We The People -- and the rights of the individual as a contributing member of the whole. That said, as the President has clearly stated, elections have consequences and I will attempt to limit my comments and future visions to only those actions that have or will have a direct impact on the auto industry and the automotive advertising agencies that are engaged to serve it.

The empowerment of the unions in the formation of Government Motors is already impacting the marketplace even while it is being challenged in the courts. The mandated consolidation of the retail distribution channels for General Motors and Chrysler preserved the interest of the unions over the guaranteed bond holders and independent dealers contrary to established rules of law. This precedence diluted expectations of both investors and corporations to rely on binding contracts and individual rights in favor of the collective we that our evolving society is expected to serve. Recent adjustments to the language in a variety of Federal powers have impacted previously accepted State and individual rights which must also be considered when projecting the future of the auto industry and automotive advertising -- if not our country as a whole.

For example, the change in the definition of eminent domain from taking personal property -- for public use -- to the new definition -- for public good -- has already resulted in private and commercial property being taken at distressed market values and given to other individuals that promised a higher tax base to the governing authority based on their position that the additional tax revenue was for the public good. Similarly, the ownership of water rights in the United States has been changed from the previous Federal ownership of all -- navigable waterways -- to include -- all waterways -- such as ponds, surface streams and basically any water that the government determines can be used for the public good. The potential impact on the farming industry and our food supplies evidence a shift in government control of society that must be considered when projecting the future of any industry -- including our beloved auto industry.

Given the government takeover of the banking industry, General Motors, Chrysler, Health Care and Student Loans that are now part of our history, the point becomes self evident. These single word changes and government takeover of entire industries for the public good dilute individual and corporate rights in favor of the rights of the collective. This is a basic step in the process of redistributing the wealth in accordance with Socialistic and Marxist principles. I am not judging the validity of any of these differing political philosophies since it would risk my ability to remain unbiased in my evaluation of present and pending opportunities in the auto industry. My intent is not to defend our previous constitutional republic over the shift to a Socialistic or Marxist democratic society, but rather to apply them when preparing a business model moving forward for my auto dealer / vendor clients and affiliated automotive advertising agencies.

For example, the recess appointment of Craig Becker as member of the five seat body of the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), suggests the intent of the administration to resume its push for the Card Check Regulation that is designed to facilitate unionizing all businesses in the United States. Recess appointments are an accepted practice used by previous administrations to bypass the Congress and the Senate to fill cabinet positions with individuals that are often blocked by partisan agendas. However, Mr. Becker was challenged in a bi-partisan manner based on his role as a senior attorney for the Unions including the CIO and the Service Employees International Union, (S.E.I.U), just before his appointment. The NLRB decides cases involving workers' rights which directly impacts larger issues between Democrats and their labor allies vs. stated Republican party interests and those of the corporate world When coupled with the intent of Card Check regulation to eliminate the right of workers to a private vote to determine if a business can be unionized, the likelihood that retail auto dealerships will be forced to become union shops becomes a real possibility. The regulation also allows the government to intervene in the event that an employer challenges a union take over with a Federal administrator enforcing the union proposals as to wage and other terms and conditions of employment pending a final determination. Based on reduced sales volume, profit margins and increased costs of doing business the inevitability of these privately held dealerships collapsing under the financial weight of union demands is painfully obvious to any auto dealer that understands his cost of sales line items and their impact on his shrinking bottom line.

Similarly, the administration's success in manipulating the processes in the Congress to pass its version of Health Care reform will increase expenses to auto dealers regarding insurance costs for their employees either in the form of forced coverage or penalties which must now be factored into projected operational expenses. These expenses may pale in comparison to other increases in the cost of doing business if the administrations' next stated goal to enforce Cap and Trade regulations are passed. This legislation promises to raise the cost of electricity and other costs of goods in America on many energy related fronts.

For those not familiar with Cap and Trade regulations, think of it as a tax on carbon emissions that would be collected by yet another government controlled body to pay restitution to third world countries who have been breathing our pollution and suffering from its impact on global warming. Of course the same scientists that collected the evidence that global warming exists which supported this legislation have since reversed their position while confessing that they manipulated the data. However, that revelation has not slowed the administrations' desire to move forward. In fact, they have empowered the Environment Protection Agency, (E.P.A.), to intercede and impose carbon taxes by claiming that carbon is a poisonous gas which they are authorized to restrict. Either way, the taxes will be imposed on American industry while other industrialized countries have already reversed their positions on imposing these same fees. This inequity in manufacturing costs will further reduce the ability for American manufacturers to compete in the world economy and will likely force the exit of many carbon producing industries to countries that do not impose these additional costs while taking their jobs with them.

Itemizing -- what is -- vs. -- what was -- has little value other than to cause panic when people realize that there is little that they can do to reverse the changes that they voted in. However, if properly framed in a problem solution format it can provide an opportunity for those that accept -- what is, forget -- what was, and work towards -- what can be. Now comes the good news!

The solution to surviving the promised redistribution of wealth from the perspective of auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies lies in their use of technology to reduce and even eliminate certain fixed and semi-variable expenses. Brick and mortar facilities are often financed with mortgage terms and/or rent factors that were based on now dated real estate values and anticipated sales volume and profit margins to carry the debt service. The commercial real estate bubble of over one trillion dollars coming due over the next eighteen months with no current resource of funds to replace maturing commercial mortgages promise to exasperate already reduced equity positions for auto dealers. The related unsustainable debt service demands a change in the ways that vehicles are sold in the United States; can you say Internet!

Similarly, current staffing needs are often related to processes that are labor intensive. The associated human resource expense and exposure is based on a business model that is antiquated in the face of potential union intervention and government controls; can you say Technology!

Tax consequences resulting from LIFO credits that impacted auto dealerships who could not maintain inventory levels projected in their annual computations due to issues beyond their control are eliminating annual profits. As a direct result of all of these cumulative issues, even captive lenders are balking on maintaining floor plan credit lines or real estate mortgages. Minimum working capital requirements for auto dealers faced with reduced sales, profits and equity to present as collateral for much needed financing has severely limited dealer options to acquire funds to maintain operations.

As already hinted, the solution lies in shifting the focus form brick and mortar facilities to new online virtual showrooms and other Internet based applications that provide more efficient selling processes. Of course real world facilities for sales and service are still part of the projected solution as are the people that will be required to staff them. All processes start and end with people and human nature has and will survive on the Internet. However, the allocation of these resources and the associated expenses must be reduced in the face of the changes already in place as well as those being contemplated to accommodate our new role in a world economy.

Today's car sales person must be educated to use new technologies and Internet based selling systems much like previous generations needed to be trained with the skills of a mechanized society versus an agricultural one. Computers are already an integral part of our culture so the transition shouldn't be as hard as some may perceive. Similarly, large central distribution channels that used to provide efficiencies for manufacturing and retail outlets have been replaced by more cost effective online linked resources across the World Wide Web that reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses in a shared manner that didn't exist before the Internet Super Highway.

Consumers have already been empowered by the Internet to bypass the auto dealer in both the real and the virtual world as the source for the information that they need to purchase a vehicle. Seeking the path of least resistance to satisfy a need is an established element in human nature. An auto dealers ability to accommodate their customers preference to be in charge of their vehicle purchase will be the key to their survival now and in the future. Online customer interaction platforms already allow a dealer to accommodate a two way video communication with real time interaction with the online shopper/buyer sourced from data on the auto dealer's DMS and linked to their CRM. The transparency of this negotiation process allows the dealer to crash through the glass wall of the Internet with the ability to push and pull the same material that they can at their dealership. The result is the opportunity to accommodate an online transaction with the inevitable ability to reduce staff and facility needs in the real world along with the associated expenses and increased profits.

Social networking is another technology based solution that capitalizes on human nature which promises to change the face of the auto industry and the resources available to automotive advertising agencies to help their auto dealers sell more for less in the future. Consumer centric inventory based marketing platforms fueled by social networking communities that provide word of mouth advertising to virally extend the auto dealer's branding and marketing messages represent the next generation of applied social media. C2C marketing messaging to social networking communities from the inside out vs. the now dated attempts to market to online communities with B2C messages from the outside in builds on established protocols in social media. Next generation platforms promise to monetize social media for automotive advertising agencies with integrated Ask-A-Friend / Tell-A-Friend features that allow online shoppers to solicit opinions from friends and family. Customer driven posts on their Face Book page drags the dealership and their vehicle into the conversation with the obvious advantage of the increased exposure and the associated viral coefficient to extend their message and online footprint for potential customers linked to the initial online shopper. Google agrees as evidenced by their weighted consideration of real time social media which quantifies the R.O.I. for the dealer with improved S.E.O. for the sourcing dealer's expanding virtual showroom.

Other technology based solutions that improve online marketing processes converts the pictures on an auto dealer's web site to professional quality videos with human voice placed on the auto dealer's site, all third party marketing sites and even the search engines through a dedicated API with You Tube -- further evidence the ability of auto dealers to expand beyond the limitations of their brick and mortar facilities and in-house support staff. Extended social networking platforms which allow an auto dealer to empower their sales staff to develop their own websites to market to their spheres of influence with management controls to moderate content and monitor use to prevent employee abuse exist today with the promise to be more widely used tomorrow to build the vision of what will be in the face of a challenging economy.

To extend my vision for the auto industry beyond the technologies that exist today requires a similar understanding that expenses and staff need to be consolidated beyond current expectations. Limited resources for consumers to purchase, finance and/or lease their vehicles won't eliminate their need for transportation. Future financial instruments that are a hybrid of a lease and a rental agreement could allow consumers access to a pool of vehicles in a convenient central location where their Drivers License could act as a key and a charge card to apply charges against pre-paid transportation credits deducted by their employers and controlled by the government to track personal activities and location along with socially accepted consumption of our limited resources. I recognize that the big brother flavor of that vision may seem foreign in the context of what was and is, but we are talking about what will be based on the new collective society that our country has moved towards.

As for the role of the OEM and the auto dealer in the future, it would be reasonable to accept that the government's existing control of the auto and banking industry will extend into the energy industry which will set the stage for the government determining which vehicles could be manufactured and/or imported and placed into the transportation pools with the locations determined by public transportation hubs that link to local distribution centers. The government currently owns 51 % of all real estate in the country through their mortgage interests in Fannie May and Freddie Mack and the pending commercial real estate bubble promises to shift a great deal more to public control. In addition. the government has recently changed the funding available to both organizations to be considered unlimited with the full faith and backing of the United States Treasury. That action coupled with the previously stated changes in eminent domain and the fact that millions of acres of resource rich land was recently acquired by the government to build additional -- national monuments -- suggests that land will be made available as needed to accomplish this community transportation system for the public good. Of course government employees will be needed to manage and staff these transportation hubs which would likely represent the auto dealer of the future.

Simply put, my future visions of the auto industry and automotive advertising is built on the past and the present with a recognition of what will be if we continue on the path that we have already chosen. I assume the constant of human nature and the role of technology in our evolution to date with the expectation that neither will change. Of course, there are consequences to elections so I suppose that I should update my projections after November, 2010 and the presidential election in 2012. In any case, the movement from the real to the virtual world has already started and will surely continue so that part of the vision should remain clear.

Highly Confidential Report: What Advertising Agencies Don't Want You to Know

The other day a business associate emailed me a revealing report, 'What advertising agencies don't want you to know.'

To be candidly honest, I read a lot of academic reports, industry-specific white papers, case studies and other data-driven material because there is a lot of stuff about business I really don't know even though I am very successful.

Ideas grow stale fast, especially when you deal with the same people in the same industry for years and years. Everybody reads the same stuff, markets the same way, has the same sales literature, etc. But every now and then when I come across those 'golden nuggets' I hold on to them, just like the advertising gurus who rely on those invaluable 'swipe files' when they are at a loss for words.

With that in mind, allow me to introduce...

5 shocking yet 'golden nuggets' direct from my personal vault

When it comes to advertising, most people THROW THEIR MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN. The sad part is they don't even realize they are operating from a pre-conditioned response they acquired in the past. Even worse, they unconsciously rely on a shotgun approach to advertising. This way of thinking can put people out of business - FAST. The first, and perhaps most important step, is for people to realize what they are doing and then admit to it.
I personally know people who have sabotaged their own success because of the unconscious decisions they were making. For example, a lot of people run radio spot ads during the morning and afternoon rush hour. Some agencies tell their clients it is an advertising must. For some it works, but for most it doesn't. So-called business professionals continue to throw their hard-earned money at these radio ads without considering more viable options or the facts.

America is the No. 1 consumer of coffee in the world. As such, there are a lot of caffeine-induced people driving around with short-attention spans. I don't know about you, but I haven't paid attention to a radio ad since 1987 - and I don't need coffee to function. From the remote control to TiVo to Google, everything these days is built to appease our extremely short attention spans.

Every day on my commute to work I pass a series of billboards on I-95. I never look at billboards, although they are in my peripheral. One day I decided to actually pay attention to those $3,000 ads. There was a billboard for a local news station (news is too sensationalized), a billboard for a swimsuit company (not interested), pest control (no bugs), the circus (no children) and so on. Yes, billboards receive tremendous amounts of impressions - and happen to cost the least per impression of any advertising medium available. But that doesn't mean the people who are looking at them need what is being sold.
Is the competition advertising on television? If they are, is it a large multinational or a local brick and mortar? Local programming can set a business back thousands of dollars; prime time is six figures. Do you watch T.V. just for the ads? The only time of the year people go out of their way to watch T.V. ads is during the Super Bowl.
Do you know which media category generates sales upwards of $19 billion annually, making it the HIGHEST GROSSING ADVERTISING CATEGORY known to man? The answer is promotional products.

Let me put that into perspective. Sally, our guinea pig, barely has time to watch the morning news while preparing breakfast and a snack for lunch. Before she leaves the house she pours some coffee into a branded promotional tumbler. Oops...she was in such a rush she forgot her iPod, which she listens to religiously every morning to work. Sally puts on the radio and quickly rediscovers why she hasn't turned it on since she graduated college. She decides some low background noise is better than none as she takes another sip from that branded tumbler.

During the 20-minute commute to work she passes numerous billboards, none of which cause her to pick up the phone. By the time she pulls into her space she must have looked at the company name branded right smack on the front of that tastefully done tumbler about 18 times. Figuring Sally works five days a week, she must carry around that branded promo product 260 days out of the year. That means the company, which sells a nutritional supplement she likes, registered 4,680 impressions. Assuming Sally cleans her tumbler, feel free to add to that number.

P.S. Most people don't consider promotional items as a viable choice in any advertising campaign, much less consider it one of the most powerful ways you can promote your business. If you are not offering branded promotional items to your current customer base either as giveaways or along with your other advertising streams I'll let you in on a little secret: your competition already does!

Internet Advertising Agency

High profile clients are the backbone of an ad agency. This list includes businessmen, corporate persons, owner of non-profit organizations and many more. Some agencies are open to all kinds of services and facilities known as multifaceted advertising agencies, whereas some are restricted to their services. Some agencies only offer media planning service.

There are some clients who prefer to select those agencies which have limited services. It is basically related to some advertising planning and intense co-ordination. So, the advertisers go for the strategic planning of their own advertising function. It gives greater prospect of business to both the clients and the agencies. The types of agencies are discussed in details below:

1) Special Advertising Service: These kinds of agencies deal with sectors such as recruitment, retail, classifieds, yellow pages, investment, industrial, medical, travel, help wanted, direct response oriented and many more. This agency provides full-fledged service without restricting to any specific sector.

2) Interactive Services: It is possible to differentiate these services by their offer of mix web design, internet marketing, search engine marketing and also e-commerce consultant. Actually, these services came in the world of Internet even before the advertising agencies started to emerge.

3) Search Engine Service: After PPC management started emerging in the market, the search engine services have been doing good business with the customers.

4) Social Media Service: These are specialized in promotion of brands in various social platforms such as social networking sites, blogs, discussion forums, Question & answer sites, microblogs and many more.

5) Social Media: This is a kind of legal communication services built on the reputation and the work is delivered through print format, video, mobile and web communications.

6) Healthcare Communications: These agencies are specialized in strategic communications for all Healthcare industries. The pharmaceutical companies and the life science centers are the main clients in this case.

7) Medical Education Service: Internet advertising agency providing this service is specialized in promotional education as well as medicinal education. This service is taken by the medical professionals as well as students.

8) Technical Service: This is about the technical aspects of all the web-related contents. The designing and promotion are also done by these agencies.

Advertising Agencies Need for Search Engine Skills

The search engine marketing industry has developed into a billion dollar industry and clients expect their agencies to get them involved. Ad agencies are now chasing the increased revenue generated by search engines.

In the past advertising agencies tended to ignore organic SEO as it was seen as a complicated system with results that were difficult to measure as part of an overall media campaign. This changed when they realized the potential of Pay per Click (PPC). This made sense to the agencies because its results were easily measurable and the results were impressive.

Ad agencies need to track and manage advertising results for their clients and there is a constant need to measure value and ROI. Thus the lack of tools for measuring the effectiveness of an SEO campaign was seen as a major draw back. In the present day this is no longer an issue as there is a large choice of measuring options out there. However ad agencies often make use of the SEO firm's expertise in using these tools and analyzing the results.

To meet their client's demands many ad agencies have had to dive straight into SEO. Their clients have become knowledgeable of what search engines can offer them. In fact they often have a greater knowledge of it than the agencies. So the agencies have had to learn quickly or risk losing some of their client base. They often chose to outsource to the SEO experts who have the skilled staff and the ongoing commitment to dedicate their resources and energies to SEO.

We are now at the point where advertising agencies are beginning to integrate search engine strategies into their traditional advertising media mix. They are often doing this with the help of SEO experts. This enables them to retain their traditional role of campaign management while outsourcing to the SEO firm. This is often a win-win situation for both sides as they each retain their areas of expertise while expanding their combined market share.

The Four Camps Of Advertising Agencies

Who decides what constitutes great advertising strategy? Is it the brand that pays for
it, the agency that creates it, the panel that judges it, or the market that buys into

Of course, the answer is the market, but you'd be surprised how few in the
advertising industry actually create advertising for the buying public.

It is paramount to understand that buyers render the most decisive judgment about
what constitutes great advertising especially if the goal is to steal share. How can we
steal share unless we have focused our advertising on the audience? Their dollars
are the share we are trying to steal.

However, it is our experience at Stealing Share(TM) that most advertising is aimed at
everyone but the buyer. Ads are created to catch the eyes of potential awards show
judges, for example, or to impress the internal audience of the brand's employees,
or to boost the agency's self-esteem. When brands perform internally, they go
nowhere. Agencies need to focus on the buying public when creating advertising.

Many advertising agencies will take great pains to discuss the target audience. They
will even nail the characteristics and personality of that audience. Most often,
however, the actual execution of their insights will miss the mark. The brands, or
more accurately the brand managers, will get the blame. They will watch their
business suffer and actually lose market share.

We at Stealing Share(TM) tell our clients to think of the advertising agency market as
including the following four camps:

Camp 1 - The Safe Agency. They usually say the right things
and keep clients for years on end. The target audience they serve is not the
customer, rather it is the brand manager. They work to please one person. These
agencies keep clients for a long time simply because they never challenge clients to
know the actual audience as well as they know themselves.

Camp 2 - The Of-The-Moment Agency. This agency wins all of
the creative awards. Their work is flashy, fun and memorable. You know their names
from the pages of ADWEEK and AdAge. They talk the talk about the target audience
but create advertising for themselves and their peers. They are only inspired by
advertising that is different rather than different, better and targeted toward the
minds of the buying public. This is the agency that produces the spot that makes
you go, "Wow," but doesn't make the customer commit.

Camp 3 - The Big Agency. Think Camp 1, only larger in size.
This agency pays homage to the "creative process" because they once believed in it.
They even have an impressive TV reel to prove prior loyalty, but they have become
so big that they now attract huge clients who feel their brand is already complete.
It's finished. These brands do not need new thinking. They just need the agency
with its own brand name to complete the picture. This agency has long ago
abandoned considering the consumer. It thinks of its own brand and VIP client list.

Camp 4 - The Thinking Agency. Here's the agency you want to
seek, and they are out there in good number. They are agencies that tell clients the
truth and get permission from the brand to create advertising that is different,
better and strategic. They are closer to Camp 2 than Camp 1 because they do value
creativity as an important element in successful messaging. This firm differs in that
they truly focus on the consumer and never confuse their agency or the client with
the buyer.

Their work is varied. It is not all funny, all testimonial or all serious. Their work
changes to reflect the most strategic way to influence the target audience by
thinking of why the audience chooses. They will not use industry awards as a proof
of their success. They want to influence and change behavior.

If your advertising is designed to steal market share, then it needs to acknowledge
the basic beliefs of the target audience that create brand loyalty. (For our clients at
Stealing Share(TM), we call those beliefs "precepts.") It needs to be about the consumer
and not about your marketing department or the creative director who conceived of

We know from experience that purchase decisions are usually not cognitive; they are
emotional. Emotional decisions are more difficult to understand but easier to
change. You need to demand that your advertising leverages the "precepts" that
govern the lives of your target audience and gives your audience a reason to choose
your brand. The target audience needs to see that your advertising speaks only to
them, and that the call to action is not about buying the product, but about buying
(being) the brand.

Where do you and your agency fit into all this? That evaluation is the first step in
beating your competitors. If you really want to win, then you need to clear all of the
big egos out of the room -- even your own.

Promote Your Brand Widely Through An Online Advertising Agency

The web is a global medium! It was helpful for exchanging information but now it is far more than it used to be. One can do shopping, social interactions, listen to music and watch videos. Seeing this growing trend of internet, we consider it from an organization's point of view. The organizations offer products and services, which they wish to sell through online and offline medium. All such products and services require online advertising agency for making promotion.

An online advertisement agency is helpful in creating awareness about advertiser's brand through banner ads and other online promotional methods. The banner ads are very attractive graphical images, which are designed for the target audience. These ads are displayed at various web pages. These web pages can belong to a banner network taken into collaboration by the online advertising agency. Such banner network comprises of publisher websites that work in accordance with the agency.

Promoting the brand through banner network is useful due to the vastness of this channel to spread the buzzword. The contextual ads are poised for popularity due to the internet traffic. In India alone, there are over 46 million internet users, as reported by IAMAI. So, the target audience and opportunities are large. To exploit these wonderful opportunities, there is a need of seeking solutions from online advertising agency. More and more business organizations are getting aware about this need.

It's An Absolute Disgrace - Advertising Agencies Are Getting Away With Murder

Well... with downright Robbery at least!

Why are they allowed to get away with no accountability at all?

The pollution of advertising messages is getting worse, despite supposed claims to clean the problem up.

And now there's even more bad news, a major study on Internet clutter finds the more ads on a page, the more click through rates, brand impact and product information declines.

Because Advertising Agencies have no answer to the problem of advertising's increasing ineffectiveness, the solution now is an increasing stampede to any new destination, like mobile phones where the greatest risk lies for a new avalanche of commercial content.

Whilst all this is taking place a big assault on television is underway, by, for example Google.

And all of this adds up've got it, more and more clutter.

So whilst more and more marketing monies are poured down the black hole of TV and Internet advertising, there is another threat from the rackets and scams of the digital Mafia.

The problem is so dire that hackers are now conducting online auctions for people's personal details. It has emerged that there is an $8 billion on line black economy centred on credit card theft, corporate blackmail and insider share dealing.

Do you want your advertising to appear in such an environment? Meanwhile Advertising Agencies are leading the rush, together with increasing the clutter, onto that totally unproven, and highly suspect medium, the Internet.

Even that well known advertising personality, Jerry Della Femina is on record as to questioning the value of advertising on the Internet. Jerry has played an enormously influential role in the history of advertising. He states "I don't know any advertising agency that has mastered the Internet yet. Being able to understand it and sell products on it through advertising creates resentment, working to shut down attention rather than elicit interest."

For Media Companies the problem of clutter raises complicated questions of economics, Media companies and their associates won't look at it because they don't think in a multimedia way. Advertising will have to try and deal with the problem.

And the new media has the potential to deliver even more saturation, clutter and intrusiveness than traditional media, so the new media will only worsen marketing resistance.

Any time there's a new destination for people, the assumption is they've got to find a way to put some ads there. That's only going to make things worse.

Under the headline "The Money-waster That Marketing Ignores" AdAge had this to say about Clutter's drain on advertising effectiveness.

"Clutter, the rising blizzard of commercial messages sweeping through TV shows and other traditional and non-traditional communications channels, has become a blinding, deafening force heavily cutting into the overall effectiveness of advertising..

Yet little is being done to quantify the massive financial drain of clutter on marketing campaigns or organise a practical solution to the problem. Advertising Age paints a bleak picture of an industry apparently determined to ignore what may be its largest single money-waster!

However, the truth is that the interruption advertising model that supports television is broken, and without the utility that is currently found only on the Internet, TV will eventually become completely unsupportable.

People don't like to watch ads. The combination of the Internet and DVRs have opened up a Pandora's Box... People know what life is like without the traditional advertising model, and there's no going back. They will willingly sacrifice some production quality if doing so means they don't have to be interrupted. Trying to force people to accept interruption is only going to turn them off more.

The death knell for the advertising agencies?

Advertisers in the US will, for the first time, be able to see how many viewers have watched TV during ad breaks thanks to more detailed viewing data to be released by Nielsen Media Research from next month, according to reports.

According to the Financial Times, Nielsen will provide US TV networks with accurate data on how many viewers continue to watch channels through commercial breaks.
Nielsen said the new audience ad data would make a "big change" to the US ad industry, allowing broadcasters to access the average audience rating for ads during a programme, but it would not rate the success of individual ads.

The changes are being tipped to substantially alter the relationship between broadcasters and advertisers in the US ad market, which is worth $70bn (£35.6bn) annually.

Sara Erichson, general manager of national services at Nielsen, said: "There have been increasing calls from buyers and sellers of advertisers to look at the audience ratings and not use programme ratings as a proxy."

However, the new data could divide the industry, with some advertisers supporting calls for more accurate information on the performance of TV campaigns, but others fearing a dramatic loss in coverage if networks decide some ads are making viewers switch off.

There is, and has been for some years, a very simple solution to the ills that beset the marketing and advertising industries. In the past the advertising agencies have shunned the solution because it does not rely upon creativity, reach and frequency, the current model so beloved by the advertising industry.

It is interactive marketing communication, in one fell swoop Clients could solve all their problems and assist existing media to solve theirs at the same time.

Interactive advertising is richer than all other forms of marketing communication, and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is only a matter of time before Clients embrace the business saving life force of interaction!

Choose your own commercials anyone?

Interactive TV will immediately halt the interruption model on which television is based, that is interactive marketing properly executed will make advertising on terrestrial TV become richer because of the very nature of Interactive Marketing Communication.

Existing terrestrial television need no new technology imposed upon it to create immediately highly successful, totally accountable advertising "Events."

Automotive Advertising Agencies Leverage Viral Marketing Through Social Media and New Technologies

Consumers own the dealership of tomorrow, today... so get to know your new boss! Monetizing social networking is the challenge of the day and automotive advertising agencies that hope to serve their auto dealer clients need to apply new technologies and consumer-centric solutions to put their customers to work for them.

One constant in the auto industry is change, and since human nature is also a constant, most productive change is driven by technology. New technology driven solutions are able to integrate proven real-world selling systems with efficient and scalable online platforms to sell more vehicles and service with less staff. Auto dealers know they need to leverage social media and the viral marketing messages that it generates, but they don't have the resources or skill sets to do it; yet! Salespeople and brick and mortar dealerships will always have a role in the sales process, however tomorrow's virtual dealerships are already being built. Automotive advertising vendors have developed a variety of customer-centric online applications that blur the line between the real and the virtual world allowing dealers to use C2C comments to market to social networks from the inside out vs. B2C that does it from the outside in.

The explosive growth of Internet based digital marketing by auto dealers has been fueled by dealer's needs vs. their wants as advertising budgets have been reduced in synch with reduced sales volume and profit margins. The initial investment for many dealers was limited to building their online virtual showrooms as consumers replaced their local car row with the Internet Super Highway as the place to shop for a vehicle. The consolidation of brick and mortar facilities may have been accelerated by a shrinking economy and government dictates however, the writing has been on the virtual wall for some time. Technology has always served as the catalyst for change and the Internet has proven to be the platform to introduce the next evolution of the auto industry.

From the auto dealer's perspective, Internet based social networking was initially perceived as the virtual version of a Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Community Event, Fraternity, etc., etc. linked by technology that serves as a central communication and distribution tool. This limited understanding and application of social media was based on the presumption that B2C marketing messages were the objective as dealers attempted to replicate proven real world selling processes translated onto the World Wide Web as an extension of their virtual showrooms.

Relationship based selling processes in the real world were presumed to be transferable onto the World Wide Web, but based on experience; not so much! Dealer-centric messages relying on the fact that people like to do business with people that they like are diluted when filtered by the glass wall that isolates the customer from the dealer. The logic to -- Sell yourself, sell the dealership, sell the vehicle and then justify the price -- is an accepted wisdom based on the one constant that has survived in both the real and the virtual world -- Human Nature! Unfortunately, human nature also drives the need for consumers to seek the path of least resistance when looking for information to satisfy a need -- like purchasing or servicing a vehicle -- and the next generation of consumer-centric social networking and C2C marketing satisfies that need better than an auto dealer can; or ever will.

Internet based social networks represent an online community of likeminded consumers who have a strong influence on their online friends. Auto dealers recognize that they must invest and involve in these online communities as people, not as an auto dealer. However, they will always be perceived as an outsider with self serving interests no matter how much they try to join in on the conversations. Their best intentioned efforts to prioritize the interests of their online friends to earn their trust and consideration when they need a new vehicle -- or service for their present one -- will always be suspect.

Advertising Agencies - Finding Low-Cost Ad Agencies Online

So you need to advertise your product or service online, and you're considering your budget? Finding an affordable advertising agency is not like pursuing some unattainable romantic partner; the Internet offers a wide range of ad agencies to choose from. It's important, however, that you actually 'marry' the one that's right for you.

Web design agencies build professional-looking web pages, and they're the ones you call on for your web design needs.

If you need logos for your site, you can hire logo design agencies. You can either choose from their catalogs of ready-made logos or you can order custom-designed logos at affordable prices.

If you think your website isn't getting the exposure it needs, search engine optimization companies will be happy to help. These outfits will analyze and optimize your site to maximize its search engine ranking and traffic. These companies also do link-building-and-exchange, which will definitely help your site.

Branding, trademarks and domain names are often critically interrelated. While some full-service ad agencies might include domain registration as part of their offerings, reserving your business name and on the Net is the primary business of the domain registration companies, or registrars. Reputable ones need not be expensive; just be objective and always consider your options.

Competitive registrars often bundle useful tools and features with their basic services, or offer discounts on hosting, traffic or design packages, or other services you may need anyway. If you're experienced in these matters you likely know exactly how much or how little you need, and too much interruption during your intended purchase can be annoying. In fact, the actual style in which one registrar presents you with up-sells during the registration process ( "Since you've already got your credit card out...") may rub you the wrong way, while another, not as much.

You must also consider how much support you or your team will need with the registration, renewal and management of multiple domains. Not all registrars' support is live 24/7/365.

Copywriting agencies will help you maintain quality content on your site to capture the attention of your potential market. Individual copywriters also commonly go freelance and keep their own sites. If you visit their websites and like what you see, then you've found people who will definitely meet your requirements.

These are just some of the services advertising companies offer. As in the building industries, you may be in the market for a "general contractor" to manage a larger aspect of your promotional projects or process. Or if you have someone on your payroll who can fulfill that role, you may or may not have in-house talent that can do the equivalent of some of the subcontracting work. No matter what your need is, there will always be professionals eager to help you with your e-marketing. Look around and ask around; good reputation and talent are not always synonymous with expensive.

Why Aren't More Advertising Agencies Blogging?

"Blogs Will Change Your Business" declared the front cover of the May 2, 2005 Business Week. Without question, the Web publishing format is gaining popularity as a legitimate new business marketing tool.

A well developed blog provides fresh, updated content and natural links in abundant supply, and it does so in ways that far exceed the capability of other types of web content. Blogs are often the most regularly visited parts of a companies website.

Technologically savvy businesses are using blogs to build relationships with their clients and prospective clients by sharing information, their culture and expertise. However, it doesn't appear that ad agencies are that technology savvy. Instead of leading the way they are often lagging far behind and that is a sad reflection on our industry.

Blogging is an incredible marketing tool for ad agencies own self promotion. The benefits of blog marketing is almost unlimited. Agencies have the ability to draw prospective clients into conversations, giving them an interactive forum on the web. It increases credibility for agency's as an expert in their industry and makes agency's more attractive to their target audiences and in recruiting. It also provides an excellent opportunity to build relationships.

Why aren't more ad agencies blogging? The same old cliches come to mind, agencies don't practive what they preach, the cobblers children have no shoes and ad agencies are their own worst clients. But they are missing out on a great opportunity to demonstrate their own credibility and expertise in a immensly popular new communications medium that would provide them with great dividens especially in the area of new business.

New Business Resolutions For Advertising Agencies

It's traditional on New Year's Eve to announce your New Year's resolutions, those things that you're going to do better or more of during the new year. Below are a few suggested new business resolutions that will make 2008 a brighter year for your agency:

o Resolve to create an integrated New Business Action Plan for the year. Unbelievably, 62% of agencies don't have a planned new business effort. Remember, this isn't rocket science. All that you need is a 1- 3 page tactical plan that list key target segments, strategies, timeline and ballpark budget. Having a plan will also allow your agency to automate, or at least, semi-automate, most of its new business processes (mailings, RFP responses, presentations, etc).

o Resolve to identify and prioritize one to three industry niche prospect segments. More emphasis with fewer new business segments raises your visibility to become the go-to agency. This will give your agency's new business efforts focus.

o Resolve to develop a brief PR plan. Also consider hiring an outside freelancer or PR firm. Agency PR staff, pressed with current client needs, generally do not promote their own agency well.

o Resolve to update the agency Website. Among businesses looking for new agencies, 93% go to the agency's website first. Critically review your website. Make sure it presents your brand/positioning and brand character in a clear and compelling way.

o Resolve to form a new business team and have weekly new business meetings to keep the process moving. The key to success is consistency.

o Resolve to allow between 30 and 40% of your time for new business activities. You are, after all, the "new business ambassador" for your agency.

o Resolve to stay the course. New business efforts are relational and take time to come to fruition.

How To Choose A Marketing Agency or Advertising Agency

Choosing a marketing agency is a difficult task. This article offers useful tips for find a firm that simplifies your marketing. No more roadblocks. No more detours. First, let's look at two approaches to small business marketing.

A New Way to Think About Your Marketing

Here's the old way to think about your marketing:
I need a brochure

I need a business card

I need a Web site

Now here's a new way to think about your marketing:
I'm launching a new business...what do I need?

I need to attract new customers

I need to differentiate myself from my competitors

The old approach thinks of marketing as products. The new approach thinks of marketing as solutions. Once you think of your marketing as a set of solutions, you'll be better able to align your spending with company goals.

Why the New Approach to Marketing Matters to You

Think of marketing as part of a pie graph. The graph represents the hours you have in a day, and each wedge is the amount of time you spend on the tasks of running your business.

Under the old model, a large percentage of your day was spent supervising the production of your brochures, business cards, and other marketing collateral. That means you had less time for building relationships with customers and growing your business.

Under the new model, your marketing is simplified so you have more time to focus on strategic goals. A team of knowledgeable marketing professionals handles everything. Each marketing is strategically aligned with your business goals.

How to Choose a Marketing Firm

For a "marketing product" approach, you could use a combination of sources: freelancers, in-house employees, print shops, Internet orders. It may take five or six people to get the whole project done, but you'll be able to shop around for the right people.

For a solution-oriented approach, you want something simple and convenient, yet sophisticated enough to help you stand out. Choose a marketing team that can adapt as your marketing needs evolve.

Questions to Ask a Marketing Agency
Can you handle my complete marketing needs (from logos to Web site, from writing and design and printing)?

Will I have access to the writers and designers?

How quickly will you be able to complete my project?

Can you recommend marketing solutions based on my goals?

Will I have a single-point-of-contact to simplify the project?

Pulling it All Together

Marketing doesn't have to be difficult. You're a growing business, and you need time to focus on your customers and your operations. Finding a firm with resources, marketing expertise, and knowledge of your industry will allow you to focus on your growing company.