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via Marketing Agency Insider

It’s no secret: Most advertising agency owners come from inside the advertising industry.Naturally, they’re very good account executives, copywriters or art directors, but they’re not always seasoned businesspeople.

Like most creative people, they’re not interested in restrictive, formulaic systems and processes to guide workflow, even though they’re necessary. Unfortunately, this misstep can singlehandedly create chaos in a busy advertising agency.

Common Ad Agency Mistakes

Most agencies rob themselves of income when they don’t track and bill work correctly. With these small additional revenue streams, the average agency could grow its bottom line by several percentage points every year—if not more.

In addition, without continuous revenue growth, it’s tough to keep hiring and training, which can lead to increased turnover and stale ideas. Ultimately, that can result in an agency that isn’t a creative force any longer. It’s simply a production house, rather than a generator of innovation.

In today’s environment, this is a risk that most agencies simply can’t afford. With a mix of employees and freelancers working together in different cities and time zones, process and project management become vital to ensuring proper billing, communication and project completion.Otherwise, details are dropped, deadlines are missed, clients leave and the bottom line takes a sharp dive into the red.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

10 Tips for a Competitive Advantage

Here are 10 ways to give your advertising agency a streamlined process and a competitive edge.

  1. Have a production process, and honor it. It’s important to create clear, easy-to-follow workflows for every kind of project. This ensures that steps aren’t missed and that the final product has been vetted at each essential stage.
  2. Create a culture that won’t honor workarounds for anyone—even the owner. Make sure that the production process applies to everyone, no matter what rank they carry. If clients insist on special treatment or believe they don’t need the expense of extra steps, they’re not giving you the opportunity to provide your best work.
  3. Encourage critical system implementation. Make it worth your employees’ time to use the right systems to accomplish their tasks. Efficiency and productivity boosts benefit both your employees and your bottom line.
  4. Hold regular, mandatory traffic meetings to stay updated on project statuses. Traffic meetings aren’t optional. They keep projects on time and on budget. Use them to your advantage.
  5. Create templates for frequently used processes and tasks. Make it as easy as possible for your team to ensure there’s uniformity in your information and methods.
  6. Leverage technology to make processes seamless and easy. There are many good software tools out there. Be sure togive your company and employees the tools they need to do the best job they can.
  7. Stop giving money away. Track time accurately, and issue change orders when your clients’ deliverables change. Don’t throw money after goals that have already been put to bed.
  8. Bring the client into your process planning. Your clients are an integral part of your process planning. Find out what frustrates them about working with you. Remember, the way that your agency operates isn’t just an internal issue. It impacts clients as well.
  9. Make training a priority. Most agencies don’t invest enough time or money to train staff and leadership teams. Without it, your agency will become stagnant. Fit training into your budget, and fund it well every year.
  10. Set goals for your operational weak spots. Communicate those goals to your entire team, and then track and report operational metrics based on those goals.

Many agencies are great at what they do, and they cringe at the thought of “boxing” work into a streamlined process. The catch is that without such a process, their work fails to hit on every cylinder, leaving clients and employees wanting something more.

The benefits are clear: Completing projects—on time and on budget—helps you create a more profitable agency with lower turnover and happier clients. All you need now are the tools to make it happen, and the dedication to build a seamless process to guide you forward.

Happy Fourth of July from our office to yours!

Recently, Focus on the Family added Denver Advertising to their short list of agencies they will be working with in the future. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with such an established company as well as continue to spread the Gospel! Focus on the Family’s goal is to help families thrive. They do this by listening to husbands and wives and families that are struggling. As a ministry, they offer advice and resources to bless families. From guidance in parenting to activities to do as a family, Focus on the Family provides avenues to experience God’s love and restorative power. We are looking forward to begin working with them on special  projects in October!

Today the Denver Advertising Team had the opportunity to go down to KRKS 94.7 and listen in while Steven Reister and DJ Steven Kelly recorded a radio spot for Steel-T Heating and Air Conditioning. Steven Kelly definitely has one of the best radio voices around!  None of the new interns had ever had the chance to visit a radio station so it was a great learning experience and a good start to their second day. Be sure to listen to KRKS 94.7 for Steel-T’s radio spot in these upcoming weeks. Also, we’d like to give a shout out to Steel-T a family owned and operated company that has been around for over twenty years! Be sure to check out their website for helpful tips and summer deals.

You always here people complaining about how much ‘junk mail’ they receive (via the post office or their in-box) – which makes you think twice about using direct mail for your company. Don’t be scared, direct mail is powerful, profitable, cost effective, and best of all, IT WORKS!!

One of the biggest benefits of using direct mail for you company is that you specify exactly what you want to be said and who you want to target, and then only send it to those individuals.  For instance, direct mail can be targeted towards certain demographics such as age, sex, income, religious beliefs, ethnicity, geographical areas, family size, household type, and more.

Denver Advertising has doubled businesses throughout the years using direct mail. Direct mail advertising reaches an abundance of clients at lower costs than some other forms of advertising. Dollar for dollar, direct mail is still one of our favorite mediums for building your business.

What are you doing tomorrow night (Thursday 2/10/11 from 4:30-7 PM)? Come join the Denver Advertising crew at The Coral Room for our monthly Happy Hour! Have you been there yet? Well, if you’re anything like us here at Denver Advertising, we go bananas over amazing food. If you are looking for the best lunch, dinner and cocktails in Denver, look no further than The Coral Room. Another bonus is their killer happy hour menu (we recommend the ahi tuna stacks, mmm…). Besides the fact that The Coral Room has the best atmosphere in Denver, we support them because they came to Denver Advertising when they needed some assistance.

Denver Advertising came to the rescue when John with The Coral Room was looking for a local Colorado advertising and marketing agency to increase their business and foot traffic. Together we created an awesome website, and inspired the whole neighborhood to make The Coral Room their favorite spot in Denver. Go check them out, and don’t be surprised if you see Mike or Steve there. 🙂

Colorado baby! Do you love it? A good cold snowy day to hang out with family and just get got up with life. Yay!A little sign Denver Advertising in Denver Colorado created