Clients include businesses and corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies and we are often hired to produce multifaceted new media advertising campaigns. While some advertising agencies limit the amount and kind of service they offer. Such agencies usually offer only one or two of the basic services. For example, although some agencies that specialize in “creative” also offer strategic advertising planning service, their basic interest is in the creation of advertising. Similarly, some “media-buying services” offer media planning service but concentrate on media buying, placement, and billing.
When the client chooses to use limited-service advertising agencies, it must assume some of the advertising planning and coordination activities that are routinely handled by the full-service PR agency. Thus, the advertiser who uses limited-service agencies usually takes greater responsibility for the strategic planning function, gives greater strategic direction to specialist creative or media agencies, and exercises greater control over the product of these specialized agencies, ensuring that their separate activities are well-ordered and -coordinated.
Specialist Advertising Services
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In addition to the full-service, general-line advertising agencies, there are also agencies that specialize in particular kinds of advertising: recruitment, help-wanted, medical, classified, industrial, financial, direct-response, retail, yellow pages, theatrical/entertainment, investment, travel, and so on. As a general rule our agency does not focus a specific industry.
Specialization occurs in such fields for a variety of reasons. Often, as in recruitment advertising, for example, specialized media or media uses are involved that require knowledge and expertise not ordinarily found in a general-line agency. In other cases, such as medical or industrial advertising, the subject is technical and requires that writers and artists have training in order to write meaningful advertising messages about it.
Such specialist advertising agencies are also usually “full-service,” in that they offer all the basic advertising agency services in their area of specialization plus other, peripheral advertising services related to their area of specialization.
Interactive services differentiate themselves by offering a mix of web design/development, search engine marketing, internet advertising/marketing, or e-business/e-commerce consulting. Interactive agencies rose to prominence before the traditional advertising agencies fully embraced the Internet. Offering a wide range of services, some of the interactive agencies grew very rapidly, although some have downsized just as rapidly due to changing market conditions. Today, the most successful interactive agencies are defined as companies that provide specialized advertising and marketing services for the digital space.
The digital space is defined as any multimedia-enabled electronic channel that an advertiser’s message can be seen or heard from. The ‘digital space’ translates to the Internet, kiosks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and lifestyle devices (iPod, PSP, and mobile). Interactive agencies function similarly to advertising agencies, although they focus solely on interactive advertising services. They deliver services such as strategy, creative, design, video, development, programming (Flash and otherwise), deployment, management, and fulfillment reporting. Often, interactive agencies provide: digital lead generation, digital brand development, interactive marketing and communications strategy, rich media campaigns, interactive video brand experiences, Web 2.0 website design and development, e-learning Tools, email marketing, SEO/SEM services, PPC campaign management, content management services, web application development, and overall data mining & ROI assessment.
The recent boost in the interactive agencies can also be attributed to the rising popularity of web-based social networking and community sites. The creation of sites such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube have sparked market interest, as some interactive agencies have started offering personal and corporate community site development as one of their service offerings. It still may be too early to tell how agencies will use this type of marketing to monetize client ROI, but all signs point to online networking as the future of brand marketing and Interactive being the core of Brand’s Communication and Marketing Strategy.
Due to the social networking explosion, new types of companies are doing reputation management. This type of agency is especially important if a company needs online damage control. If a customer becomes disgruntled, it is very easy to damage a companies reputation over social networking sites. Because of how rapidly the information spreads, it becomes absolutely necessary to address any rumors, gossip or other negative online press immediately.
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Search engine services
Lately, pay per click (PPC) and (SEO) search engine optimization firms have been classified by some as ‘agencies’ because they create media and implement media purchases of text based (or image based, in some instances of search marketing) ads. This relatively young industry has been slow to adopt the term ‘agency’, however with the creation of ads (either text or image) and media purchases, they do technically qualify as ‘advertising agencies’.
Social media services
Social media agencies specialize in promotion of brands in the various social media platforms like blogs, social networking sites, Q&A sites, discussion forums, microblogs etc. The two key services of social media agencies are:
•social media marketing
•online reputation management