Advertising agency – In New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Hong Kong many enterprises are on the search for an advertising agency. Whether full service or sub-disciplines, such as brand building, corporate design, advertising copy, search engine marketing and public relations, marketing has become complex. New strategies are also being added, for example for social media and influencer marketing. What does an advertising agency do? Our overview in XXXL format with everything you need to know about advertising agencies for your own start-up or as a medium-sized company – the free advertising agency guide:
What exactly does an advertising agency actually do?
The advertising agency definition on Wikipedia summarizes: “An advertising agency is a service enterprise, which takes over the consultation, conception, planning, organization and realization of advertising and other communication measures for […] client”. – Full service.
The exact services of an advertising agency are less known to many. Does an advertising agency only ensure that a certain product becomes known? Does the advertising agency take on much deeper tasks? Who assigns a Full service advertising agency, which assigns a professional, who argues with the entire range mark and marketing. The actual producer, the actual company, can fully concentrate on day-to-day business. Everything about their products or services is of course also influenced by the advertising agency. Just think of market research and new product development. But before we come to such a complex area as product development from market research, for example from reporting from social networks, we take a look at the very basic tasks of an advertising agency.
Corperate Design – Design and Recognition
Anyone who thinks of the big golden M immediately knows where he is at home in the fast food sector. Anyone who sees a star on a car knows immediately which brand it is. Corporate design starts with something small and non-complex like a logo and ends with precise guidelines for large companies and corporations. These even regulate how the logo is to be affixed to a particular make of car, with exact distances in millimetres to the door, wheel or window. Corporate Design deals with the visual red thread of your company. The colour plays an important role here, as do the shapes: round elements, pointed or very straight. All of this will then prevail throughout the entire media portfolio. From an image brochure for customers to a promotional clip for YouTube, as soon as our fans see our brand, they know who is meant. The faster this identification and perception is possible, the greater the brand awareness can become. Just think of the bustling shopping street in the city centre: the faster you can identify a particular fashion store from the jungle of fashion stores, the faster you will run towards it.
Corporate Design is not only concerned with the wishes and ideas of the customer, but also with the final customers and consumers. So how can you design your brand in such a way that your desired target group finds it appealing and attractive?
All these questions are clarified, conceived and developed by an advertising agency. From the logo to the image brochure, from the website to the web shop, even the car fleet is branded. Recognition ensures that our customers have quick access to us, but also quickly storm into our stores or online shops.
Content Marketing – Content with added value
Speaking of attracting visitors, the area of content marketing in particular has become extremely popular in recent years. Content Marketing works with texts in different facets and variations.
Content marketing can be the placement in a prestigious medium. For example, we can buy a placement in an article in a well-known magazine. This article then discusses a topic that is right for our company. If, for example, you are a real estate agency and have vacant apartments in the Berlin area, but are also looking for new properties, it would be worth buying an article in a magazine about real estate agents in Berlin. As soon as someone wants to give up their apartment, rent it out or sell it, they search the Internet for a good real estate agent in Berlin. Of course, you immediately look for reviews and recommendations and then probably discover our article in the trade magazine.
By this recommendation marketing, in combination with content marketing, we reach a fast and high level of trust with the users and thus the chance increases that you as a real estate agent get the free apartment and not the competition.
Content marketing, however, also extends to parts of search engine optimization, we will deal with this aspect in more detail later in search engine marketing. Search engine marketing deals with various areas of optimization for search engines, but also with analysis and monitoring.
Communication – advertising copy and PR
Advertising texts, one of the supreme disciplines of any advertising agency. Every idea can be packaged in thousands of words: the countless advantages, the differences to the competition, the small details that make the product special. Ultimately, however, in advertising communication you only have a few moments to transport messages. In order to use these moments perfectly, you need advertising texts that are short and concise, yet as informative as possible. But that is not enough, advertising texts also need added value for the ultimate consumer. Why should I change? Why should I bother to click on the online shop? Why would I go downtown? Advertising agencies will find the perfect answer to these questions. A coherent formulation, which is then adopted for the further advertising concept.
The media used ultimately form from this. This communication concept ultimately leads to the Guideline, which all employees, agencies and freelancers must adhere to. Of course, the concept also contains other aspects, such as the company’s dos and don’ts or formulations outside certain standards that require approval. By means of the guideline or the communication concept all other media are designed in their formulation, from the image brochure for the own company up to the flyer, and of course also larger advertisements and campaigns.
Outdoor advertising naturally also plays an important role for many large corporations and companies. No matter whether it’s the placements on the way to work or on the way back home: from the food company to fashion to technology & automotive, there is a lot of competition in outdoor advertising. Unlike on the Internet, the space is not always available and advertisements cannot be exchanged every second. Outdoor advertising therefore requires a lot of preparatory work, organisation and planning in order to reach the consumer effectively. Here, too, the advertising texts must be very short and concise. Usually only two or three words, in combination with the visual language, which should convince the consumer.
All this work has only one purpose, to promote sales in business. Regardless of whether it is the point of sale in stationary retail or the point of sale as a digital marketplace, your own or a third-party online shop. As you can see, there are various and, above all, very diverse marketing opportunities. An experienced advertising agency helps with the selection of the media, but also with the formulation of the right texts. An overview of the areas of application:
- Communication concept
- advertising texts and PR
- brochures and flyers
- Adverts and campaigns
- Outdoor advertising and posters
- Direct Marketing and Mailing
- Sales promotion and POS
Brand – structure and presentation
Co-design, text and presentation ultimately lead to a major strategic goal, the development of one’s own brand. How do we present ourselves to customers? How do we present ourselves to our own employees? How should other competitors think of us? Brand building is a very complex and psychological topic. It is often small aspects that can make a brand known.
Example of brand development and brand image – Take a look at the name of our agency as a best practice example. The name Cocaine Models can and is sometimes controversial. At the same time, the name ensures that the agency is a topic of conversation in the right circles. The daring title of the name also conveys a certain philosophy of the agency, the young, the new, the rebellious. Of course all for the image only, in the background the agency is exhibited for high fashion customers as well as for advertising customers and promises extreme professionalism. The proximity to haute couture brands and international brands also sharpens the brand profile. The online presence focuses on young people and at first glance suggests to customers that there are tomorrow’s model newcomers here.
Regular events in an extremely high-quality setting as well as fashion shows and model castings ensure constant interaction, not only via digital media, but also live. In addition, representative work was quickly agreed with renowned agencies in mega-cities such as New York, London and Tokyo. This overall mix ensures that young talents feel very comfortable with us, as they have the chance of an international career, and at the same time customers see that we find the best talents in Germany through these targeted measures. An overall mix, which can be read over many pages in the planning, but, as you can see here, can also be described in short form.
Each brand image is individual!
Every brand image is individual! Advertising agencies are trained to find out the peculiarities of companies and to work out philosophies in such a way that they can also be reproduced in the shortest form.
Let’s find your brand core and let’s develop a strategy together with a three-, five- or ten-year vision!
Brands and branding at a glance:
- Brand / competition analysis
- Development of identity
- Brand architecture
POS Material – Equip business premises
The furnishing of business premises is definitely one of our favourite disciplines! Interior design, feel-good rooms, sales areas and, of course, how do we keep the customer in the store? But not only the point of sale is important, but also the media distributed within the business premises. Beginning with the shop window decoration, where you can rely on props as well as work very well with print, up to the checkout area and the reference to one or the other small take-away article.
Changing designs with changing campaigns and seasons, the installation of monitors and screens for moving images, in the area of POS material for business premises is much possible. It doesn’t always have to be the dusty brochure!
Advertising agencies are partly specialized to get involved in such ideas, to deliver creative concepts, how to stand out in the crowd! Especially in the shopping streets, which there are in every big city, the competition is big. In particular, fashion companies there are link to link ranked, like a chain. Where do I shop? The decision often only takes a few seconds. As we have already discussed before with the topic Corporate Design, it is firstly about the quick recognition of the brand and secondly again about the added value for our consumers! Maybe we have glasses and hats to match the current summer weather. Our media point directly to colors, cheerfulness and vacation. The perfect occasion to take a short break in the middle of the shopping mile! This is how effective POS marketing works in combination with business equipment, business premises and media.
Print advertising material – sales promotion information
Print advertising has always been important. Of course you can discuss the importance of a business card up and down. Ultimately, however, the point is to ensure that the business card, i.e. the contact, remains present. A name that’s only spoken is easy to forget. The business card remains on the desk. Just as with the business card, it is of course the same with other print media. Do you remember the catalogues from the 80s, 90s? The catalogue had permanent presence in the living rooms of families and households. Every now and then they rummaged in it and every now and then something was ordered. That’s exactly how it works today!
In the mailbox you discover a lot of advertising, 90% is not important for us, but sometimes we discover something that we pick up. The classic: the pizza card from the pizza baker around the corner. The pizza arrives fresh and hot, maybe you even get a few percent discount as a loyal regular customer. Continue with supermarket brochures, which are popular with many people. In the USA, couponing, collecting vouchers or combining them to get even bigger savings offers, has even become a real folk sport.
Although the world is becoming increasingly digital, print media retain their impact. From the business card, mentioned at the beginning, which remains on the desk, to the sales brochure in which the most important products are listed so that a sales representative or salesperson can present them immediately to the customer, to large posters, city lights and outdoor advertising.
Of course, we always recommend an individual mix of print media for your own business stationery. The car dealership needs brochures, fashion companies need large posters and sales representatives need the classic business card.
Tip: Think about the environment when printing
From our experience as a successful advertising agency we have very often noticed that large quantities are often ordered, therefore safety first! Particularly in the print sector, the costs for unit prices are falling enormously to high volumes. While the small hairdresser orders 1,000 pieces for 500 €, the automotive group orders 1,000,000 pieces for 5,000 €. The problem is that more than half of all printed media ends up in the warehouse and ends up in the garbage. A great waste of energy, from the loss of the trees, the production with energy, the manpower used and the inks in the print shop to the delivery to the passing on.
Therefore, when placing your final order, always think a little bit about the environment and ask yourself the question: do we really need one million pieces or are 100,000 pieces enough?
Production – Photographic and video material for advertising
The production of photo and video material for the print media, but of course also for all online and digital media, is one of the major core elements of advertising agencies. Here it depends on the close cooperation with many freelancers. It starts with the organization, including the photo studio, the photographer, a videographer, possibly the assistant, one or more make-up artists, stylists for props and outfits… many workers, who have to be organized together at one appointment.
In order for this tour de force to work at all, a lot of experience in planning and organizing photo shootings is required. The processes must be exactly right, a concept must be available in advance that immediately makes sense to every team member. The customer, i.e. you, must have given your okay to this advertising concept and all team members must be briefed in detail with a complete moodboard, i.e. a paper in which all scenes are represented pictorially, up to the timing and final callsheet. In the callsheet you define which people are present at the production date, how to best reach them and the times and of course all information for the assistant, from the driver for airport and hotel transfers to the camera assistant. Here is an overview of the most important parameters:
- Shooting concept or campaign concept
- moodboard with scenes images
- Callsheet with contact addresses of all team members and time control file
- Preliminary coordination and organization between photographer, videographer, technician, photo studio, make-up artist, stylist, models,…
Advertising and product photographer
Advertising and product photographers have a demanding job. Since we have to do very often with the material and also very frequently customers with us inquire whether we can support with the switching to first-class photographers, we have for this a separate range! Read more about the topic here:
Image processing for media
The post-editing in photography makes up a large part of the first class. We work in particular with photographers who work for international young brands, because they have the most up-to-date image for the zeitgeist, and with those photographers who also frequently cooperate with magazines, because they focus in particular on high-end postproduction. In the area of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop no one can fool them so quickly. Of course, many photographers also use Capture One. But no matter what the software’s name is for the photographers, we can get you to the best in retouching.
In the image editing process, you only use the Lightroom program once you’ve heard it. Here, all photos are transferred from the camera and released for selection in large quantities, but the colors are also corrected once in a while. This results in the pre-selection or selection for the customer, which can then be used to decide on the final photo motifs. As soon as you, the customer, have made your decision as to which photos will ultimately be used for the campaign, these photos will be retouched in detail. For the retouch, the post-processing of the photos, programs like Adobe Photoshop or Capture One are used. Here the details are worked on, from the skin to individual strands of hair and of course dust on the floor. The supreme discipline is skin, of course. The image must not appear unnatural and ultimately post-processing must never look like post-processing. The best photographers edit their photos so that most would assume that they were never reworked. Here lies the great art of advertising and product photography!
SEM – Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is nowadays one of the central means for sales promotion. In the digital age almost all information flows go via search engines, from simple questions to complex formulations. Companies that deal with search engine optimization for online shops and websites are the experts for rankings in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing or Yandex. Of course, Google is the absolute market leader on most continents. However, there are also various new search engines that offer new approaches, for example through ecological concepts. No matter how, in the field of search engine marketing you need an expert.
Our agency has already successfully brought over 50 clients to page one in over 20 countries around the world. Not only on page one, many of the keywords, which are search terms of the users, have also made it to number one, in the national as well as in the English-speaking area. Search engine marketing is so efficient because nobody goes to the city centres for new products anymore, first of all they search online. No matter whether they are digital marketplaces or the online shop. Not only products, but also services are increasingly called up online these days.
- Which nearby massage parlours are recommended?
- Where to find the nearest dealership for luxury brands?
- What is the best shampoo?
- Ladies T-Shirt Trends 2020
- WLAN Berlin
Search queries are very different, but they are interesting and relevant for every industry, because a large part of the competition takes place in the digital market today. This cross-media mix, i.e. the spread across different media, has become extremely important for companies. Search engine optimization also relies on scattering. Let’s take a quick look at the topic of search engine optimization.
SEM / SEO – Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization initially deals fundamentally with the placement of websites and online shops in the popular search engines all around Google, Bing or Yahoo. The higher a website is placed, the more clicks it receives. The goal for any search engine company is to reach number one. But why is place one so important? Let’s take a look at a heatmap from the market research, it shows the search engine Google and the views of the users after a search query. It is clear to see that the largest presence always has its place at the top left. Because here all users get caught with their eyes, the advertisements are also placed in this prominent place. The closer your website or online shop comes to this point, the more clicks you are likely to get and the more sales you can make. Here you can see the views again clearly in the heat map:
How to get to page one on Google?
To reach page one, you first have to look at the competition. Is there a lot of competition or not? If, for example, we want to do search engine optimization in the area of real estate, apartments, insurance or financial services, we need correspondingly high capital for the implementation of the goals. It is already easier when it comes to more specific terms, for example the “lamp shop in Hamburg”. Here are a few examples of relatively difficult projects in search engine optimization and also a few simpler ones.
First a look at rather difficult keywords:
- Hotel New York
- short vacation Las Vegas
- Car dealership Paris
- Restaurant Berlin
In addition to these hard to come by keywords, there are also simpler ones, for example local topics or niche topics:
- Lamp specialist shop in Hamburg
- Short-Holiday Neuschwanstein Castle Bavaria
- test drive Paris
- Vegan Restaurant Recommendations Berlin
In this little example you can see that the more exact the terms become, the easier search engine optimization will probably be. Whereby ‘simple’ in the context of search engine optimization does not necessarily mean that it is not complicated. It is only relatively less expensive. Ultimately, however, targeted search engine optimization always remains an ongoing project and not a one-off setup, as long as it is a medium-sized and large company.
So far we were only in the area of content, of course there are even more aspects in search engine optimization, for example the page structure, but it would go too deep into detail. More important is the additional OnPage optimization. OnPage refers to all changes and measures that are made on your own website or in your online shop.
But there is more to search engine optimization than just OnPage optimization.
As described, the OnPage optimization deals with a call of the own Internet page. The OffPage optimization then revolves around all measures outside the own online project. A large and central part of this is the generation of backlinks. Backlinks are links from other sites to our project.
Backlinks simply described:
- Best Practice Real Estate – the central topic for our clients: House and apartment to buy or rent
- We as advertising agency provide for the reader many topic-relevant sides with increase in value, which it does not find somewhere else
- Example article: Kitchen trends 2020
- The article will rise over weeks and months always higher in the placement
- A larger living magazine investigates at some point to the topic kitchen trends of the coming yearly
- The editor takes over two or three ideas and links our website
- As an advertising agency we also buy a backlink in an online blog
- By the cross-reference in the living magazine a further Blog on us became attentive and links for the third time the kitchen trends
The result of our backlink strategy or content and backlink strategy looks like this:
- Organically, the article reached page one after five weeks and tended to stay there on place eight or nine
- With the constant cross references our article rose step by step and now occupies place one
How do kitchen trends and houses fit together? In search engine optimization, you don’t just take up your rigid subject area, but also horizontally related topics. For example, when we talk about selling or buying a house, we should also talk about land in this context, i.e. garden, driveway and garage. But we should also report on the inner life of the house, from the kitchen to the living room, bathroom, children’s room, and of course family life, everything about electricity comparison, insurance comparison, but also tips for your own home such as formulating YouTube videos. A thousand ideas! One goal: sales promotion.
Questions about search engine optimization? Contact
Our internal experts ensure international placements, in several languages and in several countries. No matter whether national project or international, we help you in all areas. With reference projects that speak for our quality.
SEM / SEA – Search engine analysis
After the search engine optimization we want to have a short look at the search engine analysis. The search engine analysis deals with the behaviour of users on our own website. In addition, the search engine analysis also considers the effects of our search engine optimization. Have we risen or fallen in the rankings? How can I improve my ranking on Google? With exact key figures you can draw conclusions from the reporting and monitoring of the search engine.
Modern, modern, social media marketing! Anyone who is a brand nowadays is of course also active in the social networks. But it is no longer just prestige that attracts companies to social networks, but increasingly also sales strength. Social networks have developed into the central communication channel of our society. No matter how far you are from each other, scattered across continents or even just in two different rooms, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram dominate our daily lives. Therefore, having a clear presence in social networks is a central means for many companies to win new customers. As an advertising agency, social media marketing therefore plays an increasingly central role in the marketing context. Social networks are particularly popular as a communication channel for companies with young target groups.
Development of networks and advertisements
Social networks are also constantly evolving. Facebook used to be a timeline with a connected messenger service. Meanwhile Facebook is a huge universe of groups, different interests, information pages, companies and of course billions of individuals. Facebook enables companies and firms to place targeted advertisements to selected target groups. Advertisements have extremely low wastage, they hit exactly the people our advertisement is supposed to hit. No matter whether our target group is between 19 and 20 years old or between 35 and 40 years old, male or female, with interests or with fewer hobbies. There are local, regional and also city related advertisements as well as live broadcasts for events. Thanks to the Campaign Manager, you can bring products and services to the right audience in the most extreme way. Instagram has also changed: while in the past it was relatively difficult for advertisers to monitor campaigns, i.e. clearly evaluate the successes, Instagram now also has the option of placing links. For example, you can specifically advertise online shop products that are also specifically linked. Subsequently, the conversion rate of visitors to a website to customers can be read off precisely and the success or failure of the campaign can be assessed.
However, with billions of users, social media has also evolved in other facets, not only in advertising. Individual users have turned out to be so creative that they have gathered more and more fans behind them. Today, their communities are made up of millions of people, and the technical term for these special users is Influencer.
About Influencer Marketing we already wrote a lot in our Social Media Blog! Influencer marketing deals with two central points:
- Permanent presence and mention in the target group
- In optimal case, direct sales promotion
Many companies have high expectations of influencer marketing. They understand influencer marketing, i.e. the cooperation with people in public life, as an advertisement: if I invest 500 €, I get 1,000 € out. Wrong thinking. Influencer marketing is more comparable to TV advertising, it ensures a regular presence within the target group and thus anchoring in the minds. If people are then looking for certain products and have received several recommendations from one or more of their favourite people in the social media in advance, you will remember our product and will therefore be more likely to choose the known or recommended product in the shop or online shop. This concept is called recommendation marketing.
Recommendation marketing is the core of influencer marketing. People who talk about us make the brand relevant. The more positive the statements about the brand are, the more likely users are to be willing to access this product. It is important not to place a product once, but over a regular period of time. Because unique advertisement goes up in smoke, no matter whether print, digital advertisement or even a flyer insert in the magazine. It is important that the brand is always present and thus taken into account in every purchase decision. Learn more about the topic here:
Webdesign – Responsive design for website and online shop
In former times internet pages were built statically with HTML. A little later the separation of structure and design came in HTML and CSS. The CSS file is global and contains all commands for the design, for example:
- Font type and size
- background colors or images
- Color of lines and tables
- Distance to next element
HTML contains all structural commands. The best known are Header and Footer. The header usually contains the menu and the footer the further information.
Webdesign is therefore concerned with the basic structure of Internet sites and online shops as well as their design. However, the design should not only be visually appealing, but also lead to sales. For this there will be special banners or collages and photomontages.
Content Management Systems like WordPress and TYPO3
Today, however, the design of Internet pages comprises even more aspects, while earlier systems were statically structured as described, today’s Internet pages and shops are structured on the basis of a content management system. This content management system, as well as HTML and CSS, separates structure and design, i.e. the code of the website and the content that is displayed. Simply explained, all contents are stored in a large Excel table. Depending on which page a user calls, the contents of a line are retrieved. This row contains several values distributed over the individual columns. This includes for example the author, the publication date, the associated categories, linked images and media, the content of the article and much more. Thus, a website and an online shop today are built according to the following principle:
- HTML for the structure and placement of the elements
- CSS for the design and all visual commands
- SQL as a database for dynamically generated content
This is how modern content management systems such as WordPress and Typo3 are built, they belong to the absolute basis of every good advertising agency.
Responsive Design for iPhone, Samsung and Co
With the increasing diversification of end devices, web designers have to get used to more and more different formats. That’s why web design today is usually much less creative than it was ten years ago. Ten years ago there were relatively uniform image formats, each screen has approximately the same resolution. At some point notebooks, high definition monitors, and later mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets were added. Of course not to be forgotten in any modern household: the internet-capable 4k TV set, on which people also like to surf. All these different formats must be taken into account when designing websites and online shops. One of the most important end devices that is defined nowadays is:
- Smartphones – Mobile first!
- Notebooks and Tablets
- Computers and Monitors
- 4k TV screens
As you can see from our website, it should be defined for all end devices. However, not only for the respective end devices, but also for the individual manufacturers and model types. Thus the iPhone 7 differs fundamentally from the iPhone 10. At the same time, models continue to differ, although they are coming onto the market at the same time. Ultimately, the right scaling, graphic design and preparation of the content must be found for every screen resolution. This optimization in usability is the daily bread for good advertising agencies.
Webshop / Online Shop – Your digital marketplace
Digital distribution has been gaining in importance for years. An end is not in sight and the annual growth figures prove the trend. More and more retailers are turning to their own online shop, not just the typical fashion companies or DIY stores. Also more and more smaller companies are naturally attracted in the area of online shopping. The antique dealer around the corner or the hairdresser, who will now offer his products under his own brand in the online shop in addition to Amazon.
Due to the previously mentioned innovations in Web 2.0, in particular the dynamic compilation of content by content management systems, online shops can be produced in great variety today. From a minimal design for exclusive and luxurious products to a large online shop with 10,000 products and more. We, too, have gathered some expertise, from online food retailers to sports fashion manufacturers. Online shops are subject to the same principles as websites. Especially the web design and of course the responsive design for all end devices plays an important role, as does search engine marketing. Every single product should be designed according to the criteria of search engine optimization. As can be statistically proven, the trend for online trading is clearly upwards.
Statistics online trading and growth
As you can see, there is still a lot of scope in the area of e-commerce. From the automobile trade to building materials, wholesale markets and food retailers, but also for fashion companies, Internet providers or travel providers, it is worth considering setting up your own e-commerce.
More statistics can be found at Statista.
Today, comparison portals ensure that many people do without their own Internet presence. There are many examples from everyday life, be it food suppliers whose orders are entered via large platforms and who then deliver dinner, no matter whether pizza or Asian directly to the front door, to the provider of holiday apartments on platforms such as Airbnb. It is worthwhile to place your own e-commerce in connection with search engine marketing. This saves you costs for advertising, e.g. on portals or search engines, and you do not have to pay any sales commission or agency fee to the respective portal for successful sales. Therefore, the investment in an e-commerce model is definitely worthwhile in the long run.
Advertising agency and consulting
If you still have questions about one of the above topics and specialist areas in the field of advertising and marketing, please contact us. We look forward to receiving your project enquiry and can provide you with competent answers. For employee training, guidelines or the complete full service of an advertising agency.