General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

By what process does an outside advertising firm know the heart of the company whose product they are trying to sell?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10293points) October 16th, 2010

If you hire a company to do your advertising, and you expect them to represent you successfully, how do they get to know what you are about on the deepest levels.

Is it superficial?

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5 Answers

bob_'s avatar

They study the product, talk to people at the company and conduct perception studies, basically.

seazen's avatar


And how deep is a company, anyway? It’s not love or philosophy – it’s Coke or Pepsi.

jrpowell's avatar

In my experience they don’t know either. I have worked on shit where this question came up. Three different execs came up with different buzzwords. I said “fuck it” and walked away. It would be a clusterfuck.

See the Gap logo debate. They spent millions for a new one and deployed it. It was so hated they went back to the old one.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It takes a marketing-savvy person(s) within the company to design a strategic marketing plan. They gather demographics about their targeted audience, conduct polls and study groups with their best customers to find out who they are and what they like.

Armed with this information, they solicit the services of advertising agencies. The company representative then does what @bob_ mentions in an effort to bring the ad agencies up-to-speed on the company’s cultures, audience and goals. If a company cannot provide this information to an ad agency, it can end up being like attempting to row a boat with only one oar.

BarnacleBill's avatar

A marketing department hires an advertising agency to provide creative to execute advertising to support a marketing plan. It is up to the client to know their product and target market and provide information to the agency. It is up to the agency to understand audience pschology, medium viewing habits, segment profiling, etc. so they understand reach.

On both sides, client and agency, there is a certain amount of responsibility and necessary communication. A company needs to choose an ad agency that is familiar with their target audience, provide adequate direction, and get out the way enough to let the agency do their job. Unfortunately, bad advertising either comes from agencies being chosen by billing rate and not capabilities, marketing directors who want to dictate creative, or not providing clear direction “I’ll know it when I see it.” On an agency’s part, they accept a client for the billings and not because the product fits their portfolio. If you’re heavy into industrial B2B (business-to-business), then tackling a D2C (direct-to-consumer) is going to be difficult and have a learning curve unless you have on staff creatives who have had D2C experience at other agencies.

Some agencies don’t allow creatives to have direct contact with clients, and as a result the client direction is filtered through the agency account exec. In that sense, things can get lost if the account exec isn’t a good listener, and is grounded in both marketing and advertising.

As my old creative director said, “Everyone’s creative is talented when you have an open budget. It’s when you have to deliver $50,000 creative on a $1000 budget that the rubber hits the road.”

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