Understanding Your Advertising Agency
You’ve started a budding, new relationship with an advertising agency. While the honeymoon phase is sweet, it can also get confusing with all the lingo and expectations. Take a look at these common advertising terms and processes to get a better understanding of how it all works!
Like Dating but with Legal Jargon
Request for Proposal/Proposal – A request for proposal (RFP) is usually published by a company seeking marketing services, and a proposal is what the marketing agency submits in order to be considered for the bid.
Business Development – This is the agency’s team of sales executives here to answer all your questions on pricing, recommend services suitable for your brand and develop contracts that fit your needs. They’re the people always wanting to buy your lunch (and you should let them!).
Terms and Conditions – Usually, these are found at the back of a contract and describe the expectations between the client and the agency. Read these carefully to get a full understanding of the relationship, and be sure to ask questions upfront before signing.
Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You
Account/Project Management – Once the contract is signed, the agency will assign you to a dedicated account manager who will be your main point-of-contact and cheerleader. Their responsibility is to make sure your project is completed on deadline, within budget and that you’re satisfied with the final deliverable.
Onboarding/Discovery Meetings – These are the initial meetings that take place after the contract is signed, also known as “breaking bread.” Coordinated by your account manager, these meetings allow the agency to go through any expectations the client may have as well as the contract’s terms and conditions, services and the project’s initial steps.
The Pretty Stuff
Creatives/Creative Team – This is a general term that describes the designers, copywriters, web developers, social media gurus, photographers and videographers that work at the agency. These guys take your vision and bring it to life. They also run on coffee.
Deliverables – Based on your contract, these are the items the agency is creating, also known as the “creative.” For example, this could be a website staging link, final video, a fully-designed travel guide, etc.
Revisions – These are any edits you’d like made to the creative pieces usually documented in a formal way. Each agency will have a different process for receiving revisions, but the most important thing is that as a client, you are entitled to collaborate on the project, too, so make sure revisions are outlined in the contract’s terms and conditions.
Let’s Get Analytical
Media Buy/Pass-Through – These are used interchangeably to describe your advertising dollars or the amount of money in your contract solely dedicated to placing the creative on a particular platform (eg. television, Facebook ads, Pandora, etc.).
Agency Purchasing Fee/Media Placement Fee/Markup – Many agencies will add a percentage onto your media buy for coordinating the media buy. When the agency agrees to take on the media buy for you, they are placing their own credit and reputation on the line with the platform in which you’re advertising. This fee should always be noted on your contract and if it’s not, make sure to ask the business development team about it before signing.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)/Results – At the beginning of the relationship, the agency will want to establish goals, or KPIs, for your campaign. These hold the agency accountable for your advertising dollars and require transparency when reporting. You can help the agency establish realistic and measurable goals by sharing past data and trends.
Net Promoter Scores (NPS) – Working with marketing professionals means that we’re going to do some market research on you, our clients. Basically, an NPS can be calculated from a simple survey sent to clients each month to gauge their satisfaction on creative, customer service and results. It should be the agency’s goal to always be improving for you!
While these definitions are just the tip of the advertising iceberg, visit our website for more information on Freestyle’s services and processes.