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Working With an Advertising Agency

Developing a solid relationship with an ad agency will greatly benefit your product or service in the marketplace. That statement might seem overly simple, but in fact, it's the first step to planning a successful campaign. When responsibilities are unclear on either the firm or client side, relationships break down and campaigns can suffer as a result.

Try to treat your advertising agency as a partner, not a vendor. Send them copies of your newsletter or sales bulletins. Include them in the product or service testing process and ask for their feedback. Testing is at the center of consumer behavior. It helps to narrow the focus of the message and how it will be delivered. Testing answers the questions about total sales, costs per sale, total responses, average orders and other consumer behaviors.

In addition to sharing insider information, invite the account executive and creative team to marketing and sales meetings, and to product training. Provide the account executive with an updated product and service list, in addition to distributor and competitor information. Include them in business operations and prepare organized presentations so the agency can move on to brainstorming and creative development.

In subsequent meeting with the agency, keep the meeting guidelines consistent and provide changes in writing after each meeting to ensure clear communication between both parties. Review and return the body copy and layout design in a timely manner, so the creative team can get back to work on making the necessary revisions. Try to be realistic about the resources and limitations of your agency before requesting monumental changes.

Deadlines exist on both sides, so work with your agency to ensure that deadlines are attainable. When campaigns go well, share the credit and praise. When things aren't so successful, share the blame and work on a solution together to avoid future mishaps. Positive results take time and building trust in the relationship between agency and client is the first step. When uncertain about the effectiveness of a campaign, ask to see other advertisements or campaigns as a point of reference. Campaign success depends on a building a strong relationship with your ad agency.