There is a saying that a man who acts as his own barrister has a fool for a client. Honest and innocent though the amateur may be, the prosecuting counsel is a professional whose experience will probably run rings around him. He knows the law, how to make a case, present the evidence, and work the system. Which gives him a decided edge, whether he is right or wrong.
The same is true of an advertising agency. It’s true they don’t know your business as well as you do, any more than a lawyer knows his client’s circumstances before he’s been briefed. But having been briefed – they don’t call them briefs for nothing – a professional is better prepared to represent a client than he is himself.
You’re good at what you do, we’re good at what we do – we’re qualified for it – and together we’ll make a winning combination. So, having answered the question as to why you should employ an advertising professional, let’s turn our attention to when.
To take another professional analogy, when should you go to see a doctor? Most people would answer, when you’re ill. But the healthiest don’t wait until they’re sick to seek medical advice or assistance. Well or not, they go for a general health check at least once a year, and probably take a flu jab before the winter epidemic. Prevention is better than cure. And proper diet and exercise will not only maintain but improve your health.
The same goes for your financial health. Sad to say, some only come to us when their business is in difficulties. As publicity ‘doctors’ we do our best to address their immediate needs. But with an in-depth image audit and a planned marketing strategy we can help you do infinitely better.
All successful businesses are proactive and progressive, and at the very least they maintain a constant marketing presence. At best they set the pace in the quality and quantity of their promotional output. Because if they don’t seize the initiative their competitors will.
So. we’ve discussed why and when you should go to an advertising agency, which leads to the question: who should you appoint to attend to this necessary business? Well, to continue the medical analogy, there’s a lot to be said for going to a general practitioner or whole health specialist in the first instance.
In agency terms this means finding a ‘full service’ agency whose creativity spans a number of professional disciplines and can make informed recommendations for you without leaning towards a skillset that matches their own speciality – say web design or social media. Like antibiotics, these are specifics, not panaceas, and at Simpsons we prefer to prescribe them as part of a balanced marketing mix.
It’s true that certain approaches will be better suited to some audiences than others, but it’s better to have the multi-media strength and flexibility that a ‘full service’ agency can give you, rather than putting all your money on a one-trick pony.
Above all though, the message comes before the medium. So the assurance or offer you make to your customers is more important than the means of delivery. You want an agency with the ability to create meaningful content – i.e. copywriting and graphic design skills – as well as web development and digital marketing expertise.