Advertising Agency or ad agency is a service business
dedicated to creating, planning and handling advertising (and
sometimes other forms of promotion) for its clients. An ad agency is
independent from the client and provides an outside point of view to
the effort of selling the client's products or services. An agency
can also handle overall marketing and branding strategies and sales
promotions for its clients.
Typical ad agency clients include businesses and corporations,
non-profit organizations and government agencies. Agencies may be
hired to produce an advertising campaign.
Limited-Service Advertising Agencies:
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.
When the advertiser chooses to use limited-service advertising
agencies, it must assume some of the advertising planning and
coordination activities that are routinely handled by the
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 Agencies:
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.
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
services in their area of specialization plus other, peripheral
advertising services related to their area of specialization.
In-House Advertising Agencies:
Some advertisers believe that they can provide such advertising
services to themselves at a lower cost than would be charged by an
Interactive agencies may 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 company's
reputation via 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 agencies:
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 agencies:
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