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Advertising Agency with Small Business

Advertising is costly, and small business owners cannot waste money on advertising that does not hit the target and get results. Many businesses use advertising agencies, but what exactly do they do? Wikipedia defines an advertising agency, or ad agency, as 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. In short, their job is to help you reach your goals by presenting your company to the public in the best possible light.

Before defining any roles, you first must determine what you need. Then, buy only what you need and shop for an ad agency based on the main medium you plan to use. For example, if you plan on doing most of your advertising on the radio, go with an agency that specializes in broadcast media. Go into the relationship with the ad agency with an open mind. While you know a lot about your business and industry, the ad agency will be able provide a fresh and valuable viewpoint. There is such thing as being too close to the project. The following are some general guidelines on what you can do in the planning stages before shopping for an ad agency.

Research Your Competition

Subscribe to all the trade magazines in your industry and clip out all your competitors' ads. Send away for their literature. Read it all and carefully analyze it because it's a free look at your competitors' marketing strategy and current thinking. Keeping track of what your competitors are doing makes it easier for you to compete.

Positioning is Everything

The emphasis of your advertising needs to quickly and concisely answer the questions "why should anyone buy your product/service?" and "how are you different than anyone else offering similar products/services" The answer to these questions is your unique selling proposition (USP). Who better to determine your USP than you, the business owner? To help further determine your unique selling proposition, answer these questions:

  1. What does your business do?
  2. For whom?
  3. What is your biggest benefit to them?
  4. Prove your claim. To what do you attribute that benefit?
  5. How will your customers perceive this benefit, relative to your competition?
  6. How will your business be perceived as different from your competition in the minds of your targeted customers?

This process is called positioning, which is all about making your offering different from and more valuable than your competitors'. It's a lot easier to shop for an ad agency if you know who your competition is and what your unique selling position is.


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