Role and Functions of Advertising Agencies

Role of Advertising Agencies

The major role as advertising agency is to work alongside the clients to develop and sustain the brands that they mutually serve, through consumer understanding and insight and through creative and media delivery skills to provide best advice and the best execution thereof to those clients for the advertising of those brands.

“Buildings age and become dilapidated. Machines wear out. People die. But what live on are the brands.”

Brands are much more than mere products and services. Brands, if successful, are clearly differentiated entities with which consumers can and do form a mutually beneficial relationship over time, because of the values – rational and emotional, physical and aesthetic – that consumers derive from them. The importance can be summed up as follows:

” A product is something that is made, in a factory: a brand is something that is bought, by a customer. A competitor can copy a product; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly out-dated; a successful brand is timeless.”

The role of advertising and the advertising agency is to help effect this transformation from product or service to brand by clearly positioning the offering to the consumer – its role and its benefits – and by communicating the brand’s own personality. In short its role is to provide meaningful differentiation via the consumer connection.

As one wise head in advertising once said, “nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising”. Typically advertising is playing this role, along with other parts of what we call the marketing mix, in highly competitive market places.

Most advertisers assign this job of informing the target audience and creating images to advertising agencies. Thus, the advertising agencies plan, prepare and place ads in the media. But even an advertiser can do all these things. The management can do planning of ad campaigns. For preparing ads, creative personal can be hires. And the advertiser for placing the ads can buy media space or time. So, why hire an advertising agency?

The reason can be enlisted as follows:

  • Expertise and experience– An advertising agency brings together people with the required expertise and experience of the various sub-disciplines of advertising. Thus, it has the copywriters, visualizes, researchers, photographers, directors, planners and people who get business and deal with clients working in ad agencies. An agency moulds all these people into a team and gives them a highly conducive work atmosphere. The agency makes the best use of their talents and experience to deliver rapidly, efficiently and in greater depth than a company or organization could do on its own.
  • Objectivity and professionalism– Advertising agencies are highly professional. Objectivity is a major virtue of ad agency. They operate in a strange way. While they take up advertising for others, agencies hardly advertise themselves. Ad agencies being outside intermediaries can be objective. They thus will offer independent and detached viewpoints and suggestions based on objective analysis.
  • Cost effective– If an organization wants to hire people to do its advertising, it can not provide them work all through the year. Also most experts in the fields of advertising like directors, musicians, photographers, charge huge amounts and are often not affordable. Moreover, hiring, organizing and managing all talents required to produce advertising campaigns is not an easy thing. And the fact that 98% of advertisers the worlds over hire as agencies is proof enough about the cost effectiveness of the agencies. Also the kind of consistent, powerful and compelling advertising that can be created by using the expertise, experience, objectivity and professionalism of ad agencies cannot be measured economically.

Functions of Advertising Agencies

Today advertising agencies are found in virtually every major city on the world and their role in stimulating economic growth is solidly established. To understand advertising, we need to examine the functions of an Advertising Agency. These are: –

  • Talent & Creative productions: The basic function of an Ad Agency is providing talent. The creative efforts of the art director, the detailed analysis of the research director and the political understanding of the campaign director, are just a few examples of the many abilities of Ad Agency personal have to offer. A business organization or person will contract the services of an ad agency to help market a product. This function involves processing the information collected from the client and through research and designing communication material in the form of advertisements and other publicity material. This also includes planning creative strategies, copy or script writing, visualization, designing, layout, shooting of films, editing, giving music, etc.
  • Research: The second function of an Ad agency is research. In order to distribute the message to the public successfully, the agency must first know all that it can about the product. One of the first jobs is to research the product and the company, one must learn, one possibly can about both. The research must even take one close to the heart of the firm’s inner operations. Ad agencies use research as a tool to test consumer reactions to products and services.
  • Distribution & Media planning: The third important function of an ad agency is distribution. Here you decide what type of message you will create for the company and what media will be most helpful in sending this message to the public. On the basis of the media habits (access and exposure) of the target audience, agency people prepare a media plan. This plan includes which media to be used, which part of the media to be used, when to place the ads and for how long to place the ads, etc. media planners keep track of the viewer ship, listener ship and readership of all kinds of media.
  • Monitoring Feedback: By monitoring consumer feedback, a decision on whether to revise the message, the medium, the target audience or all of them can be made. Ad agencies are developing to reach the target audience. As information is the backbone of all advertising, to prepare ads, one requires information about the product, its competitors, the market situation and trends, information about the audiences (their likes and dislikes and media habits) also need to be collected. Some of the most effective advertising includes advertisement written in their native language. All of these specialized campaigns are creating new demands on agencies and are requiring new talents for people who work in advertising.

In addition, many agencies also offer a variety of allied services. These include:

  • Merchandising
  • Public relations
  • Organizing exhibitions and fairs
  • Preparing all kinds of publicity material
  • Planning and organizing special events (event management)
  • Direct marketing

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