The objective of an advertising agency is to see that its client’s advertisements lead to greater profits in the long run. Therefore, an advertising agency needs to perform several functions towards achieving this objective. The size of an advertising agency, has a direct bearing over the variety of services that can be rendered to the clients. Generally, bigger agencies perform varied services than medium and small-size agencies. The functions are listed and explained below:
1. Advertising Plan
Advertising agency either prepares or helps in preparing advertising plans and programmes for its clients. Preparing an advertising plan needs concerted efforts and investigative information. In performing this function, the agency should have full information about the products. It may pertain to
the product’s positive aspects,
its position in the competitive market, and
competitors’ negative aspects, strengths and weaknesses.
A thorough knowledge on markets (consumers) is also very important. Information on what people buy, why they buy it, where they buy, how they buy, how frequently they buy etc., are very important and useful. An advertising agency may be required to conduct a research to obtain such information. Matching the advertising team with product positioning strategy is another important task.
Since an advertising agency knows the character of advertising medium, it can suggest a suitable media mix to its client. Knowledge of target market, the media habits and exposure of the target market are required for this purpose.
2. Creation and Execution
An advertising plan, prepared by the advertising agency will be sent to the advertiser for approval. Once approved, its execution is normally assigned to the agency. The agency enters into contracts with the suitable media and the stage is set for creating an effective advertisement to suit the advertising media. Copy will be written, layouts are made, illustrations are drawn or photographed; commercials are produced, advertising messages are prepared. Billing for service space is done.
Coordination is another important function of an advertising agency. It has to ensure a proper coordination between the clients, sales force and the distribution network to ensure long-run success of the advertising programme. The goal of the advertising programme must be to assist the efforts of sales persons, distributors and retailers to maximize sales for the client. Many agencies also render special services in such areas as market research, publicity, preparation of product literature, etc.
Research may enable them to make stronger presentation to their clients. It may help the copy and art personnel, to create better advertisements for their clients.
5. Mechanical production
The function of this department is to transform copy, illustrations and layout into a satisfactory printed advertisement. Obviously, this department interacts closely with the copy and art directors.
In an advertising agency, the term tragic refers to scheduling and control. This department sets up a work schedule and a routing sequence for each advertisement, and then supervises its progress through various stages in the agency.
Once an advertisement is prepared, it is forwarded to the media which will carry it. It can happen only after copy, illustration, mechanical production and client’s approval are on schedule. Where there is no separate traffic department in an advertising agency, the duty is assigned to the production manager or the account executive.
The common assignments of the accounting department of an agency include — to check the appearance of advertisements in media, to check media invoices against release orders; to pay media bills; to bill clients and collect from them; to look after such matters as records, book-keeping, and other office routines.
8. Public Relations
The fundamental objective of this department is to build and maintain goodwill with the cross sections of public. The tools used in communicating with the public are corporate advertising and publicity. The main job of this department is to build stronger relations with clients and the various sections of the public — customers, employees, middlemen and shareholders.