An advertising company is an independent and separate business organization which promotes the products of the organizations or companies. It consists of creativity, innovation and businessmen and women, who establish, develop and place an advert on the advertising media. This is for the sellers who seek to find customers to purchase their goods and services. The first advertising agency started in 1800 in Britain. It was called whites and it created adverts for the government lotteries and charities and it was mostly for recruitment advertising in the government departments and ministries (Christ, 2008 pp. 470).
These first agencies were more of space brokers and specialize in selling press advertising space on a freelance basis in the newspapers and magazines. Advertising agencies have evolved for many years; as the penetration and production of newspapers and other written materials increased the agency brokers and agents. There was lack of innovation and creativity; hence messages on the advert were repetitive (Katz, 2006 pp. 140). After a few decades, it led to the birth of creative and innovative advertising agencies which are more vibrant and appealing. The first account executives were called contract men. Media planning and market research were developed in advertisement agencies as additional services after the Second World War. Currently, there are more than 500 advertising agencies all over the world. The oldest advertising agency is found in India and it is known as Hindustan Thomson Association Limited (Rarick and Ogden, 2009 pp. 100).
Roles of people and various departments within the agency
There are various departments and people within the agency. These departments and people include: media department, research department, finance department, production department, creative department, media planners, account managers or executives, researchers and creative team (Shannon, 2009 pp. 60).
This is the most important department in advertising agency. The media manager along with brand manager of the clients develop and prepare the final purchase insertions and media budget for space buying print media, purchase of TV time if it is on the television or the purchase of the radio spots whichever is appropriate. Appropriate media mix is developed in the media department because of their specialization and professionalism in the field. The advert itself is developed so as to ensure it appeals to the potential and target customers in all the market segments and regions (Christ, 2008 pp. 475).
Warning, cigarettes kill
This is the department where the advert is designed where experts and professionals in the department work hand in hand to ensure the advertising message is enticing and appealing to the potential customers and the target market. An appropriate media mix is developed within the department because of the specialized and professionals within the department.
Media planners place the ads through an appropriate advertising media because each media has its own unique method for passing information. They organize for placement either by third party seller or through contact with the media. The other role of a media planner is to negotiate the best deals, look for the best media match and advise appropriately on the nuances of different media (Shannon, 2009 pp. 70).
This is the department where before and after commercial advert is made and analyzed for pre-testing and post-testing. Brand usages and consumer insights are tested so as to know what the clients want and in accordance to their specification. The researchers in the full-service advertising agencies are employed so as to assess the client’s market situation, testing creative ideas, understanding customers and the competitors in the market. The researchers also use the completion of an advertising campaign to measure and test whether the campaign meet its desires goals and objectives. The research can easily get the reaction of the client’s target market so as to get their needs and the advertisement concepts (Shannon, 2009 pp. 80).
This is the department which looks at the accounts and financial records for the advertisement agency. The department prepares the budget, source for funds, allocate the funds and ensure proper utilization of funds within the agency. The budget is based on the needs and requirements of the each department presented by the financial analyst and advisors within the department in consultation with other departments. The account manager or account executive has a responsibility of locating and negotiating to acquire clients and to decide the charges depending on the advert they want to reach their customer and potential customers. The advertisement strategy is worked out so as to manage different accounts which do not compete and to pay the required amounts only (Christ, 2008 pp. 480).
In this department, a creative director in a team of visualisers and copywriters who see the big idea where the storyboard and script work is done as specified by the client to the agency. The executive director prepares the final layout then he sends for approval by the client. The creative team within the department manages the overall advertisement campaign for the client in accordance to their specifications which includes delegating selective tasks to be performed by the specialists or professionals in this department. The managers involve themselves in generating ideas, creating final advertisement and designing the concepts which are generally the responsibility of the entire agency creative team. This creative team consists of specialists and professionals in computer programming, copywriting, graphic design and film and audio production (Shannon, 2009 pp. 90).
This is essential department in the advertisement agency. It is responsible for converting the storyboard into a finished layout for the outdoor and print medium. Before a final story board is sent for shooting, it is first made into a technical storyboard to ease shooting. If the production department fails to shoot as required by the client, the potential customers to the client may not be interested with his or her products. The clients depend on the impression created by the advertisement agency to its potential customers in the target market for its products to be appealing (Rarick and Ogden, 2009 pp. 110).
This is a department that links the agency and the client, which is also called account executive. The executive officer design what the client exactly want to his or her ad agency. This is where coordination and connection takes place so as to ensure good relationship between both parties. This is a sort of promoting public relations of the company so as to achieve the desired objectives of the organization (Christ, 2008 pp. 490).
These are the university seniors and juniors who are interested in and genuinely have an aptitude and attitude for advertising in advertisement agencies. These internships fall into five areas of expertise in the advertising agencies, for example sales and marketers. These are the account services, media, traffic, public relations and interactive. Students who want to gain experience and to apply what they have been taught can find good orientation and experience as assistant art director or assistant copywriter. Internship programs in the account service involve the basic fundamental work within the account management and to provide exposure to the other facets of the agency (Jeffrey and Axelrod, 2008 pp.67).
They provide support services to the clients and to assist account managers which include research, creating programs, liaising with the clients and coordinating all activities within the agency. As an intern in the advertisement agency, he or she may work in the traffic department to regulate the flow of work in the agency where it is headed by a system administrator (traffic manager). Traffic increases an agency effectiveness and efficiency by ensuring that there is reduction of false job starts, need for media extension, over and under cost estimation, incomplete information sharing and inappropriate job initiation (Jeffrey and Axelrod, 2008 pp.70). All the departments and personnel work together as a team to ensure the clients get satisfied with the services of the advertisement agency. No department works on its own without the support of others. For example, the creative, research and production departments will require the finance depart to finance their activities which are interlinked or interconnected. All departments and the human resources must do thorough consultation before decision is made (Katz, 2006 pp. 132).
Large international and small indigenous agencies
The large international agencies and small indigenous agencies serve the same purpose but the only difference that; the international advertisement agencies are used by the multinational companies while the local indigenous agencies deal with the companies within the country borders. The international agencies are more developed than the local indigenous agencies (Rarick and Ogden, 2009 pp. 120).
Tracking is essential in the company for the company to achieve its set goals and objectives of appealing to many customers. For example, if you company ABC wants to advertise the cooking fat in the XYZ advertisement agency, the marketing manager of the company will approach the agency firm and explain to the officials on the product he wish to be advertised. The product is then analyzed and the features labeled then the media chosen after the advertisement costs have been negotiated and agreed upon. The media department will decide on the media to use (Jeffrey and Axelrod, 2008 pp.85).
Advertisement agencies through the marketing managers track their briefs especially the marketing budgets. The marketing managers, financial and marketing controllers have been forced to track their budgets, production and all activities taking place within the agency. All activities associated with the invoices and following up of vendors for payment must be monitored very closely. The marketing financial information is processed in three phases for easy tracking. These are: the marketing manager prepares them in excel spreadsheet, then the marketing controller keep in their access database and finally by the finance department in the EPR System. With all these systems, the budget and funds allocation will be tracked very easily; hence avoiding fraud and misuse of funds in the agency. A single online centralized system has been created so as to integrate all operational planning tools, financial reporting and strategy so as to ensure optimum effectiveness and efficiency (Rarick and Ogden, 2009 pp. 115).
Sports sponsorship is a tool or a strategy used by many to create and to generate awareness, to influence consumer behavior patterns and to alter attitudes of the potential customers in the target market. This is because it generates beneficial consumer effects. This has been able to have an impact and most advertisement agencies are changing their tactics because marketing through televised sporting events has been attracting many people all over the world. Most of the advertising agencies management, evaluation and control corporate event advertising and sponsorship have many advantages than other forms of advertisement. Sports and music related sponsorships are considered to be more effective and efficient in passing or conveying the message because of the resources they have at their disposal, the size and the variety of audiences it appeals to (Jeffrey and Axelrod, 2008 pp.87).
Advertising objectives are the communication and coordination tasks to be accomplished with specific clients or customers that a company is trying to reach at within a particular time frame using a specific channel. It is the responsibility of the personnel at the advertising agency to ensure advertising objectives and goals are achieved. There are four advertisement objectives where an advertisement agency strives to achieve in order to meet the clients specification. These objectives are: switchback, brand switching, continuity and trial. An advertising agency will choose any of the objectives that fit a particular company depending on where the product is in its life cycle (Rarick and Ogden, 2009 pp. 111).
The main aim of the trial objective is to encourage and to inspire the customers and the potential customers to make an initial purchase of the company’s new products. For the advertising agency, it will employ creativity advertising strategies so as to cut through and to penetrate through other competing advertisements. There could be no repeat purchases without first trial of the product by the customers (Katz, 2006 pp. 135).
This is a strategy used by the advertisement agencies to maintain and to retain current customers using a particular product or service. The already existing customers are targeted and are usually provided with new and different information about the product. This is meant to build consumer loyalty and trust (Jeffrey and Axelrod, 2008 pp.89).
Brand switching objective.
The advertising agencies will adopt this brand switching objective for the company when they want the customers to from its competitor’s brands to their brand. This strategy is used so as to outperform the competitors in the market. This is a common strategy where the advertising agency compare the product quality and price and lay a strategy on how to convince customers to switch to its product brand (Belch and Belch, 2004 PP. 40).
This an advertisement objective used by the companies when they want their former customers, consumers or users of their product brand. A company through its advertisement agency can highlight the new and improved product features, price reduction and any other important information in order to get the customers of its product to switch back to their initial products (Belch and Belch, 2004 PP. 46).
Advertising objective must be concrete and measurable at all times. This means that, an advert message should be a precise statement and should communicate well to the target audience. It should have a way to measure whether it has achieved the set objectives and goals after the advertisement period has come to an end (Belch and Belch, 2004 PP. 55).
Planning an advertisement campaign.
An advertisement campaign is meant to educate the public or the potential customers regarding the breadth of the planned campaign for the services. This will generate the impact to the community and more commonly to provide a common ground and to encourage an open discussion about the products of the company (Belch and Belch, 2004 PP. 60).
Some companies choose to advertise their products through an advertisement agency when the products are likely to be purchased. For example, when schools are about to be opened, the books and pens manufacture ring companies can stage a serious campaign on their products because there is a possibility that, almost all students will buy the products to use in school when the schools open. Another example is where a toy retailer focuses much on its advertising efforts when Christmas or any festive season is around. When selling to other business, it is worth identifying when the already existing customers and the potential customers will have the budget and the willingness to spend. This can be possible if the company can have a marketing strategy in place knowing that it will reap maximum profits (Katz, 2006 pp. 140).
Some businesses choose to focus more attention on the busier and quieter times when the sales will increase. This will mean that, you will have to work hard to outperform your competitors because most of them will not be advertising due to the fewer customers. When the market is silent, a company can decide to advertise at a slow pace as the markets picks up. A active advertisement market campaign is important during the busier times because the company will have develop a bigger customer base and to minimize relying on some specific trading periods (Belch and Belch, 2004 PP. 70).
Belch, G. and Belch, M. 2004. Advertising and Promotion: an integrated marketing
Communications perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pp. 40-70
Christ, P. 2008. Know This: Marketing Basics. Know This Media. California, Know This
Media. New York: MIT Publishers. pp. 470–490.
Jeffrey, D. and Axelrod, M. 2008. Uncommon Marketing Techniques: Direct Marketing Series.
Los Angeles: Danielle Adams. pp. 67-89
Katz, H. E. 2006. The media handbook: a complete guide to advertising media selection. Media
New York: MIT Publishers. pp. 130-140.
Shannon, J, W. 2009. Electric Sounds: Technological Change and the Rise of Corporate Mass Media.
New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 60-90Rarick, S. and Ogden, J. R. 2009. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Advertising. New York: ABC
CLIO. pp. 100-120