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Advertising Agency BS. How to Save $10k to $20k a Year!

Buyer personas, target demographics, research, definitive audience, market elasticity, key performance indicators, marketing analysis, discovery, business profile …want me to keep going? I could go all night, I have my U of A business and marketing textbook sitting right next to me.

Since when did digital become so complicated? What about the golden age of digital marketing where it was basically click, convert, close? That seems pretty simple? What I’m seeing now is the majority of traditional ad agencies jumping into the ‘golden era’ of digital and bringing the caviar and wallet busting invoices into the space. Their massive invoices are padding their egos, salaries and ludicrous office spaces. Lip Service + Ego, with a dash of digital marketing will equal their demise, whether they know it now or not.

Having said that, there will always be customers willing to pay massive invoices for people to help them “solve” their problems. Seems straight forward, no? One problem however. Google is constantly looking at ways to simplify their Adwords platform, reporting system and the creation of your website as they want their original self serve platform, to become even more self serve #deathtoagencies.

Digital Advertising Google Partner Summit

Now, I’m not saying that understanding your target market and knowing your ideal audience isn’t important, but for the love of god, doesn’t digital marketing kinda make those discussions a moot point? Instead of a bunch of ‘suits’ stuffed in a $50,000 boardroom discussing whether your next banner campaign should be blue or white to make you feel better parting with your hard earned cash, the sneaky and effective marketer/business owner has already run a campaign with the right reporting and measurement. That information (with enough data) becomes instantly accessible.

Instead of a 2 hour meeting, wasting 5 peoples time: “Well you see, within the constellation of aggregate initiatives, a derivative of buyer persona shall be established that blah blah …”, how about the following for your next marketing campaign:

  1. Buy keywords
  2. Bid the good keywords up
  3. Bid the bad keywords down
  4. Bid any good segment up
  5. Bid bad segments down
  6. Track your leads.
  7. Provide real time leads reporting & insights via a simple, leads reporting dashboard, like SuperDASH™.

Oversimplified? Yes. The end result? An invoice that’s about 1/16th of what a typical ad agency would charge you to find out the exact same thing: Your best converting demographic is females, age 25-34 on mobile devices in northern Alberta. Guess what, not one single human needed to be involved in that revelation! Want an in person meeting to discuss it? Oh baby, the ad agencies love that! Let’s set an in person meeting with five people to discuss something that could be shown to you via a 15 minute screen-share. At Adster, we love quarterly screen-share meetings. You know what we love more than that? A 24-7 self serve dashboard that gives you the lowdown on your returns in real time!

Basically, at Adster, if you’re looking for advice on how to ‘market’ your product from a messaging standpoint, want to understand demographics at an insanely granular level, work through ‘buyer persona’s’ and ‘sentiment’ … we’re not your agency. We’d rather tell you the facts. If you’re still looking for that crystal ball prediction, you’re better off sticking with a traditional agency. It is however, important to understand that there is no silver bullet for any one marketing campaign and those so called ‘experts’ are grasping at straws, because no one really knows exactly what’s going to happen, until it’s happening … if you catch my drift!

Want to save about 10 grand in marketing this year? Before hiring a digital agency, look at your existing customer base, identify some core attributes about your clients, what makes them tick, or better yet, we can collect this from you in a short, 5-minute-survey.

Once we know the above, we’ll establish if there’s an existing pool of clients online to get in front of through search engines and social media (newsflash, if you’re a service based business, there is). If there isn’t, we’ll recommend some options for some awareness marketing which may include YouTube, Display, Re-targetting and others. Traditional advertising will always have a place, but in my opinion, until you’ve absolutely exhausted inexpensive lead derivative channels like search and social, it comes down to how bad you want to see your face on a park bench.