As a fully integrated advertising agency, we’ll admit that, at Stream Companies, we’re huge advocates of the single agency approach. But we’re not the only ones that think so, according to an online study of 1,900 business leaders.
In fact, the 2012 study revealed that 71% of respondents were displeased with how agencies handled accountability, citing that “many clients have upwards of 20 agencies and marketing service firms,” according to Avi Dan, founder of Avidan Strategies, an agency search consulting firm, who posted the survey’s findings on Forbes.com.
So why all the discontent?
The problem stems from the practice of hiring vendors, working independently to execute advertising efforts. Businesses had one vendor for SEO, one for social, one for direct mail, and the list goes on, the unfortunate result of which is a team of specialist agencies repeatedly failing your business. Here’s how.
They’re Passing the Buck
When you have multiple vendors responsible for your advertising efforts, finding accountability can be difficult. That’s because specialist agencies work as silos, completely separate from one another and making it all too easy to play the blame game when a campaign or strategy doesn’t perform well.
On the other hand, if you had just one advertising partner, like a full-service agency, you’d have an easier time holding them accountable. As the Chief Brand Officer of Proctor & Gamble Co., Marc Pritchard heads the largest advertising budget on the face of the planet, and he too sees the benefit of hiring just one agency, as he expressed in an interview with Ad Age.
“With the exponential growth of digital technology, the industry is still evolving…” Pitchard said. “I don’t think a best approach has been found yet. We would prefer to work with one agency partner form creative to execution to drive speed, quality and equity consistency, but we’re not there yet.”
In addition to accountability issues, advertising vendors present another challenge to business owners: Forcing you to become an expert in advertising integration overnight. This is a tall order, especially if you have no prior advertising experience. But without integration, you’ll risk sending an unclear message to your customers, which could potentially hurt your sales.
This is another area where hiring a full-service advertising partner makes advertising easy. Since all of your advertising efforts are handled under one roof, you’ll know that your brand is sending out a clear and coherent message to your customers.
While communicating with one vendor might not be especially time consuming, having to contact 10 or more for an emergency advertising update could take days or even weeks. Communication is essential, especially when making changes or adjustments to your advertising campaigns.
Imagine you own a car dealership and your promotion changes at the last minute. You need to update all of your advertising and fast to reflect the new promotion. With specialist agencies, you’ll need to contact each vendor separately and explain the changes that need to be made. However, with a single fully integrated advertising agency, you’d need to make just one phone call to update all of your ads–from social media to display to print and whatever else is in your marketing mix.
Want to learn more? Download our free eBook on how a single advertising agency could save your business time and money. This helpful guide not only discusses the benefits of hiring a fully integrated advertising agency, but you’ll also learn what to look for when choosing your next agency partner.
All the best,
—Christopher Wirth is an Inbound Marketing Team Lead at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.