by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded
In today’s world of SEO, Blogger, Twitter, banner ads, Linkedin, etc. marketers have more choices and opportunity to connect with their customers directly, without having to utilize traditional media or even an ad agency. It’s also true that having your customers creating buzz about your product or service is the best form of advertising. If all of this is true, (and there is still a raging debate about if the internet is the silver bullet marketers are looking for) then why aren’t there more business succeeding beyond their wildest dreams? Why aren’t there more entrepreneurs getting rich within one or even two years? Isn’t Google, SEO, and blogging the lethal combination that leads to business domination?
So what good is an ad agency? From what I see, there still is something lacking in the “Google is all you need” marketing strategy. Many entrepreneurs I personally know are still trying to establish and stabilize their small businesses and, in some cases, trying to just survive. Corporations are trying to keep what they have, let alone, gain market share and increase profitability.
The true value of an ad agency is Big Ideas and creativity. That’s what we do. That’s what we are great at. Just like your business is great at what you do. You’re great at making a widget, but not at corporate law. That’s why you hire lawyers. Your company is great at what it does and no company is great at everything. This is especially true when it comes to marketing. Granted, ad agencies must change to stay relevant in today’s business environment. They can no longer make a living on media commissions and other mark-ups. They must bring real value to the table. Big ideas and creativity is our currency. You are still marketing to humans. And all humans are effected by their senses. We all want to enrich our lives beyond the utilitarian purpose of a widget or basic service. We want experiences. We want as many of our 5 senses to be engaged as possible. We also want to be wowed, surprised, and enlightened. It is these big ideas and creative strategy that delivers on an emotional level. It goes beyond just rankings and clicks. A brilliant brand position reaches customers on an emotional level. It touches their “dreams” and allows them to see the possibilities. A great creative message, both verbal and visual, allows customers to feel like you understand how they feel and you have something that will help. Look at it this way, is $200,000 worth investing in a big idea if the potential is worth $1,000,000?
I do believe the internet is a great tool. It’s connection and reach is undeniable. But, it’s the CREATIVE integration of online and offline that delivers a powerful, compelling message and brand to your audience. And one of the most important key to your business success is having and executing big ideas in a creative way. Any ad agency worth its salt knows that’s what they MUST deliver.
I invite your thoughts and comments about what value you see and ad agency has.