What to Look For in a TV Advertising Agency
It’s time to get your message out in a big way.
Your marketing team is ready to launch a TV advertising campaign. But to do that, you need an agency that knows what they’re doing and has your best interests in mind. Where do you begin?
First things first… What are you hoping to achieve with TV?
Before you pick your TV partner, it’s important to consider the goals for your campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness or drive more traffic to your website? Maybe both?
You don’t have to perfectly define your KPIs before researching TV agencies, but having an idea of what you’re expecting to get out of your TV investment can help narrow your list of potential partners.
For example, if you’re looking to create a long-running brand-building campaign, you may want an agency with experience creating work for well-known companies or who has relationships with celebrity sponsors. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to drive an immediate sales impact, an agency with direct response history may be a better fit. There are also “performance” TV agencies that do a bit of both!
What type of TV advertising partner makes sense for your needs?
There are three types of options to consider when exploring how to launch your brand’s TV campaign.
- Self-service platforms. These aren’t technically agencies, but they are an option for getting your brand on TV. These tend to be less expensive, but don’t offer the same support an agency would. Recommended for brands with an internal team experienced in managing broadcast media.
- Media-buying agencies. These agencies specialize in buying and selling ad space. They’re great at finding media deals, but they won’t handle creative duties. Recommended for brands with an internal commercial production team or another creative partner. However, you’ll also need to find a trusted measurement vendor before your campaign launches.
- Full-service TV agencies. These agencies will handle your campaign from conception to completion. They offer a wide range of services, including media buying, creative development, production, and campaign attribution. Recommended for brands inexperienced on TV, those aiming to minimize their own team’s workload, and those with particularly ambitious goals for their campaigns.
What should a full-service TV agency provide?
If you’re interested in a full-service TV partner, it’s important to evaluate the scope and quality of the services they provide. Not all “full-service” agencies are the same!
Media Buying: Look for a media partner with a deep understanding of the TV landscape, including both linear and Connected TV, and the technology to find buys that will best support your campaign’s goals.
Brand Positioning: You know your brand best, but your agency should be an expert in how to prepare it to stand out on TV. They should also conduct brand studies, competitive reviews, and more to ensure your strategy is built on data, not gut instinct.
Strategy Development: Your campaign’s success hinges on getting the right message to the right people. Work with a partner that will thoroughly research your ideal customer to learn what type of messaging resonates most.
Creative Development and Production: The creative process almost always begins with a team of copywriters and art directors pitching commercial ideas. But a full-service agency should also provide directing, casting, and post-production.
Creative Pretesting: Some agencies still encourage clients to test multiple creatives in-market. This wastes time and money on producing and airing less-effective creative. Instead, look for a partner able to predict your commercial’s impact before it’s produced.
Ecommerce Consulting: Both brands and agencies can sometimes forget that a campaign doesn’t end when the TV turns off. If you’re using your commercial to drive people to your website, make sure to find a partner that offers ecommerce and conversion services as well.
TV Attribution and Campaign Reporting: Not knowing how your campaign performed is every marketer’s worst nightmare. Make sure your agency has measurement models in place to determine TV impact across your entire customer funnel.
Client Partnership: A great account team does more than campaign monitoring. Look for someone who will be your advocate within the agency, making sure your perspective is represented.
Does the agency give you full access to your campaign data and results?
Whatever type of TV partner you work with, make sure they prioritize data transparency. Without it, you could end up in the dark about how your campaign is really performing. And while you should be able to trust what your agency says about performance, they shouldn’t ask you to take their word for it.
Look for partners that provide access to all the campaign data, down to the airing level, so you can make sure their reports match with what the business is experiencing. Plus, knowing exactly how your TV ads are doing will help inform your own team’s marketing decisions.
How much can the agency customize their process?
Let’s say your top priority on TV might be new customer acquisition. But you also have a strong brand that you want to make sure to represent well. Or you want the simplicity of working with a full-service TV agency, but already have creative produced. A good agency will take the time to understand you brand, customers, and marketing goals, then customize their services to meet your unique needs.
TV advertising can be complicated and time-consuming, so it’s important to make sure your TV agency knows your requirements for success and is able to adapt to achieve them.
Do you get along with the agency’s team?
This might sound like an unnecessary item on your agency checklist, but a TV campaign is a massive endeavor. If you’re working with a full-service TV agency, you’ll likely spend a lot of time with the agency’s team as you plan, launch and evaluate your campaign’s success. You might as well spend that time with people you can consider an extension of your own marketing bench!
You’ll also want to ask if the team you meet with during the pitch and onboarding stages will be the same one running your campaign. Some agencies have a reputation for having the “A-team” meet prospective clients, only for the client to be passed to a more junior team once their campaign is underway.
Finding the right TV advertising agency can be difficult, but with research and a few questions, you can identify a partner to help you reach your TV advertising goals. And with the right TV agency on board, you can be that much more confident your campaigns will drive the results you want.
What type of agency is Marketing Architects?
We’re a full-service performance TV agency, but we do things a little differently than others. We invest millions into our clients’ campaigns, providing everything from strategy development to creative pretesting to campaign attribution. This investment ensures you’re prepared for success and ties our results to yours.
Interested in learning more? Talk to our experts about the type of TV partner that makes sense for your brand’s needs. Or about your favorite commercial… we’re always happy to talk TV!