Ad Agencies in a Recession

P.T. Barnum, a man who knew more than a little something about advertising, is quoted as saying “Without promotion something terrible happens…Nothing!”

Advertising agencies have something incredibly valuable to offer the world: the ability to literally create interest in, traffic to and generate sales revenue for a business.

During recessions it is common for businesses to reduce their advertising and/or marketing expenses. Studies prove time and again that cutting costs here is a costly mistake. Without advertising, nothing happens.

This is just as true for the ad agencies themselves as it is for their clients. And for this reason, ad agencies need to ADVERTISE; they must market themselves. If anyone understands this point, it should be advertisers.

Advertising and marketing are especially important during times of economic downturn. But in order for advertising agencies to survive a recession, they have to focus on one activity (promoting themselves), which comprises two major parts.

1) It is of the utmost importance that their services produce results. More than ever, people creating advertisements will have creating actual sales for their clients. Those are the only results that truly matter. Today, many agencies measure success by awards they win and recognition they get for clever or entertaining ad spots.

The retail pioneer who created the concept of the department store, John Wanamaker said, “I know half of my advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which half.” And he is widely regarded as an advertising genius!

Wasting advertising dollars is no longer acceptable. Clients want to be certain that the ad campaigns are working. If they can’t measure the return on their investment, why shouldn’t they cut ad budgets? Intelligent business leaders will not continue throwing hard-earned (and hard to come by) money down the drain. Measurable, or scientific, advertising methods are designed to show how profitable a series of advertisements are. Claude Hopkins, one of the fathers of modern advertising, wrote a classic book on this very subject, titled Scientific Advertising.

2) If advertising agencies want to survive in this type of economy, their self-promotion will have to educate both current and prospective clients on how they will help THEM through the recession.

Marketers that have proven their ability to increase sales and revenue for their clients for should announce that fact to the world. What better way to run a thriving business than to help others succeed? In an environment of fear, the assurance of proven results will help generate influx of customers.

Advertising agencies that follow these steps should be experiencing the opposite of a recession. The opportunity to explode your business is upon you!