Ad Agency New Business Development Secret - Mystery Shopping

For decades advertising agencies and communications firms have competed for new business in a high stakes race to show prospective clients how they can help them improve their business. The process usually involves review of credentials as well as demonstration of initial business ideas and thinking. Sounds exciting? Not really.

So, how does an ad agency get up to speed on a prospective client's business enough to show them smart and relevant thinking?

Well, the internet has had a huge hand in helping agency management find information on a specific company as well as their industry - and often their key competitors. And many, if not all advertising agencies are using that approach in varying degrees. But that still leaves the burning question: "what are the decision makers and influencers experiencing throughout the sales process AND how can we control that in our favor?"

Traditionally, that is where agency quantitative (statistically sound surveying through the mail, phone or internet) as well as qualitative (more intimate, one-to-one communications usually through methods like focus groups) research is used to provide the foundation for strategic recommendations that will hopefully knock the socks off of their prospect and win the account.

Innovative advertising agencies are finding alternative ways to access this important insight which they previously obtained from those costly, time-consuming research approaches. These innovative ad agencies are developing their ideas and recommendations for the "review" or "pitch" by using an old mainstay from the restaurant industry - Mystery Shopping.

Mystery Shopping: An Innovative Business Development Tool

Mystery shopping has been used extensively in the hospitality sector to manage and improve customer service performance - as a way of more effectively managing the customer engagement from the first call to the check. This helps companies identify areas needing sales process improvement. Used in a slightly different context, it becomes a cost and time-effective goldmine of insight to perfect a business development pitch.

Mystery Shopping Process:

- Mystery shoppers, who represent the targeted customer profile, visit a specific site, experience all aspects of the sales process and fill out a customized online survey which is compiled with other shopper's data from the company's geography.

- The mystery shoppers are also trained to obtain any collateral or relevant materials, as well as take photos, and mail it back to the ad agency, giving the agency the ability to see, touch and feel tangible aspects of the experience and potentially use this information in their pitch.

- Using this approach has other advantages, too. Mystery shopping firms have large pools of trained researchers who can rapidly deliver on fast turn-around projects over broad geographic areas, including global reach.

- These surveys are tracked and trended against each location, for regional differences, and even against national averages. The data can then be used to direct recommendations, or support new ideas.

- In some cases mystery shoppers are only shopping competitive locations to provide information that will translate to opportunities for improvement and differentiation.

Instead of leaving behind somewhat dry research, advertising agencies are now immediately able to add interest and dimension to their pitch that sticks. Eliminating the problems inherent in focus group research such as one individual dominating a group's input. What are some of the additional nuggets of information that ad agencies glean from their mystery shopping results?

1. Identifying Strategic Opportunities

2. Testing Brand Positioning

3. Discovering Triggers for Promotional Planning

4. Uncovering Valuable Competitive Intelligence

Savvy advertising agencies are even using mystery shopping as a form of insurance for promotional program executions. Mystery shopping is put in place when a promotion is rolled out to monitor and manage the operational aspects; ensuring that from signage placement to sales conversations everything is supporting the promotional message.

Mystery shopping is also helping both advertising agencies and their clients manage the multiple "Touchpoints" necessary to ensure a successful sales process improvement and customer relationship building. For the business it translates to sales and profit - reducing the expense to both acquire a new customer and to keep a customer engaged and loyal.

For ad agencies it provides the critical data on a prospective client that they need to show them relevant recommendations, sell themselves to, build a relationship and create loyalty. And, it provides it in a way that lends color and interest to the pitch - it excites, it is valued, and it sticks. The opportunity for strong, relevant insight exists in this simple, tried and true research process: mystery shopping. No wonder more ad agencies are using it!

Select The Best Ethnic Marketing Agency To Skyrocket Your Business

The motive behind hiring an advertising agency is to support and promote a product or service and improve its public image in front of the targeted audiences. No matter the advertising agencies in Chicago are small or large; the only function of the advertising agency is to promote the product. Hiring an advertising agency becomes successful not only when people remember their ads but also when people realize the need to buy the product or service so that they can benefit or have satisfaction from the product that the ads shows them.

You will find many advertising agencies in Chicago, some offer basic services and some offer specialize services. Under the basic services offered by Chicago ad agencies, you will have creative services which include media placement and planning. Some specialized services offered by advertising agencies in Chicago includes help wanted ads, classified ads, recruitment ads and those you can find yellow pages. Also, an engineering or industrial agencies advertisement requires product specific ads. There is some layout or terminology which may not be a part of full service advertising agencies and which may require marketing niche strategy.

As a businessman, you must have realized how tough the competition is in the today's world. It is important to have great marketing strategy if you want your business to be a success. Great Chicago ad agencies can help your business to flourish.

The main benefit of hiring advertising agency is that they help you find the target market for your product and they also find the best method to reach to your target audience. This helps you to save lots of your time and also your money as they know where actually to target your product or service, thereby saving the cost to advertise in a wide area.

Another benefit of hiring an advertising agency is that they are well-experienced and they have marketing niche strategy. They know how exactly to advertise different products and what methods to use. By using their marketing niche strategy, they would create a plan especially for your product and it will specifically for the audience targeted.

The Chicago ad agencies spend lots of their time in knowing the product or services for your business, this helps them to understand the benefits and the hot buttons of your products and the reason why anybody would like to buy your product. The advertising agencies would help you to create a marketing strategy which will highlight your product's positive aspects in different types of media like television, radio, print etc.

A great ad agency would help you to brand your product or service. Branding is the art which helps you to create a design, symbol or a term which would differentiate your product from the rest of the products. Therefore, ad agencies would not only strengthen your product's credibility but it would also motivate your target audience to buy it.

As a businessman you must understand the importance of advertisement for your product so that you can save some time and money as well.

The History and Evolution of the Advertising Industry

An advertising company is a potentially very successful and enjoyable business, but only if done correctly. Advertising promotion is older than most people think, and here is a brief history of advertising companies.

There are four very influential inventions that have shaped the media and thus the advertising industry - the printing press, radio, television and the Internet. The printing press made the wide dissemination of information with words on paper possible, mainly advertisements in newspapers and magazines. Selling material had to be created and advertising agencies were born.

The first advertising agency, Volney B. Palmer, was opened in Philadelphia in 1841. By 1861 there were 20 advertising agencies in New York City alone. Among them was J. Walter Thompson, today the oldest American advertising agency in continuous existence. Radio became a commercial medium in the 1920s.

For the first time, advertising could be heard, not just seen. Soap operas, music, and serial adventures populated the new medium, and as radios appeared in virtually every home in America, sales of products advertised on the air soared. Advertisers rushed to write infectious advertising jingles, an art form that still has its place in the advertising repertoire of today.

Then television changed everything. Although TV was invented in the 1920s, it didn't become a mass commercial medium until the 1950s when the prices of television sets began to approach affordability. Print and radio had to take a back seat because, for the first time, commercials were broadcast with sight, sound and motion.

The effect of the television on the advertising industry and the way products were sold was remarkable. Advertising agencies not only had to learn how to produce these mini movies in units of 30 and 60 seconds, they had to learn to effectively segment the audience and deliver the right commercial message to the right group of consumers.

Cable television was the next great innovation, offering a greater variety of channels with more specific program offerings. That allowed advertisers to narrowcast. Before the advent of cable television, the networks attempted to reach demographics by airing at different times throughout the broadcast period. Soap operas were broadcast during the day to reach women, news in the evening to reach an older target audience.

Cable television, on the other hand, brought with it channels like MTV that catered to young music lovers, ESPN, for (typically) male sports fans, and the Food Network, for people who love cooking (or at least love to watch others cook). These new advertising channels were delightful for advertisers who wished to target certain audiences with specific interests, though less so for the networks who saw their share of ad revenue dwindle.

Why Radio Advertising Is One of the Most Cost-Effective Forms of Advertising Available

More individuals and businesses are using radio advertising to reach prospective customers and clients now more than ever before. By engaging a top-notch radio ads agency, individuals and businesses can reach millions of people locally and nationally who enjoy listening to the radio at all hours of the day and night.

What makes radio ads more popular than any other form of advertising is that radio advertisements can be played across a variety of radio networks, including traditional radio, national satellite radio and Internet radio. Millions of people listen to the radio each and every day. In recent years, Internet radio has become very popular and now reaches over 70 million people per month. By using a variety of cross-marketing channels and other innovative marketing techniques, a radio ads agency can help advertisers reach a countless number of prospective clients and customers locally and nationwide.

Radio advertising has also become one of the most popular forms of advertising because it offers advertisers the biggest return on their investment. Ads on the radio happens to be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach millions of prospective customers and clients locally and nationwide. Individuals and businesses with a wide-range of advertising budgets can advertise on the radio. The cost of having a radio commercial produced and aired is much less in comparison to other forms of advertising.

By working with a top-notch radio ads agency, individuals and businesses can have advertising professionals put together a unique radio ads campaign that gets results. When choosing an agency, individuals and businesses should choose a radio ads agency with a proven track record. An agency with a proven track record will give advertisers a greater chance of success.

Selecting a good advertising agency is important and crucial in receiving positive results. You should note that a well-developed direct response radio campaign realizes conversion rates much higher than online media alone. The industry standard conversion rate for online media is typically 2%-5%, whereas a good direct response campaign starts at a 10% conversion rate.

In order to have a successful radio commercial created, businesses need to enlist a full-service advertising agency that can deliver results. By choosing a radio advertising agency that has copywriters and radio personalities on hand, individuals and businesses will see results. Advertisers that advertise their business or service on the radio know that the key to success with radio commercials is achieved by developing the perfect message and picking the best person to deliver that message. By choosing a radio advertising agency that has access to well-known radio personalities, advertisers yield better results.

When selecting an advertising agency, advertisers should consider everything the agency has to offer. By choosing a well-known full-service agency that knows everything there is to know about radio advertising, advertisers will have the added reassurance of knowing that they are working with an agency that can and will deliver results.

Breaking Into The Field Of Advertising

Advertising is defined in Wikipedia as, "a one-way paid communication through a medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled by the sponsor." Fields that are similar to the field of advertising, and that are often used interchangeably with it, are publicity and public relations. Media that are used to convey the message include TV, radio, the Internet, billboards, magazines and newspapers.

The field of advertising can be difficult to get into as jobs are in great demand and there are numerous talented and creative people waiting to get them. Advertising is rewarding, but it is also hard work, the hours are long, with a lot of overtime, working on weekends is practically mandatory. There is also untold stress as deadlines loom, ideas are rejected or projects fold. But for many people the creative expression alone is worth all the difficulties that are encountered. When all the crying is done, there is also the pride of seeing your work in magazines or on television.

If you are looking for a way to break into the fast-paced world of advertising, here are a few pointers on how to go about it:

Intern: many advertising agencies view their interns as potential employees. Interning will also enable you to see what really goes on in an advertising agency. You will work in different departments and thus be able to determine where in advertising you would like to work, or if you would still like to work in the field at all. It is important to speak up and let your enthusiasm be known so that you can display your talents to the best advantage and gain as much as possible out of the internship.

Start at the bottom. No one ever starts out in the business world with a nice office and some big name clients handed to him or her on a plate, unless there is nepotism involved. It is important to realise that you will have to earn your place in the company, taking an entry-level position and working your way up just like everybody else. If you feel that you are doing good work that is going unrecognised, you can always look at it as experience gained and use it to find a job elsewhere.

Freelancing is a great way to get into the business if you're a copywriter or graphic designer. It allows you to come up with your own unique campaign to advertise yourself, you can set your own rates and by approaching small businesses you can build a reputation for yourself before you approach any large agencies or companies.

SPEC ADS are your version of an ad that has already be published. You may not like the way a particular ad is written, or designed, or you may not like its jingle. In creating a SPEC AD, you rewrite it, redesign it or rewrite the lyrics or music to the jingle. You might even decide to rework some ad in your local paper. SPEC ADS should be included in your portfolio if you have no previous advertising experience as they give some indication of your creativity and talent.

Contact radio and television stations, considering that many employ people especially to write advertisements. Getting a job writing these adverts would be an excellent start in the advertising industry. Unfortunately these jobs aren't that highly paid and there's a high employee turnover rate. However, the opportunity presented to gain experience and break into the field is well worth it.
Schooling and learning as much as you can about the advertising industry is very important, especially if you're serious about working in an agency. The Internet has many courses on advertising and enormous amounts of information on advertising available for anyone to make use of.

Introduce yourself. This is a good idea, if you're looking for something along the creative side of advertising. Write a letter of introduction to the Creative Director of an agency. It should be written in a friendly, but professional tone and should include a short bio. Don't just address the letter "To whom it may concern," as that is very impersonal. Use the Director's name and be sure to spell it properly. Make sure you know whether the Director is male or female if the name is ambiguous. You can follow up your letter in a few weeks with another letter or you can give the Director a call, but remember, don't cold call them first. It can be very annoying when you're busy trying to keep on top of things and a stranger phones out of the blue to introduce themselves on the off chance that you have a job for them.

Networking is when you take advantage of opportunities to meet people who are actively involved in the industry. Local advertising clubs, or even agencies themselves often sponsor special events, educational seminars and professional workshops. It is important to attend these events, mingle, be sociable, show interest and meet people who could turn out to be your next employer.

Work in sales. While there's undoubtedly a big difference between advertising and sales, the experience of working at any retail outlet, dealing with accounts and people, may help you to bridge the gap between having no experience at all and working in an agency.

Enthusiasm. Being passionate about working in advertising means that when you see adverts on television or in magazines, and you had nothing to do with them, you think, "I could have a much better job than that!" Being passionate also means that you don't mind long hours, late nights and sacrificing your weekends to the job. If you can convey that kind of enthusiasm and passion in your interview, chances are that you'll remind the interviewer of why he or she got into the business in the first place. Passion and enthusiasm and a willingness to learn also make up for a lack of experience.