An Agency or An Ad Rep

by: Charles Gaiennie on

Here's something we deal with all of the time. "The (INSERT ADVERTISING SOURCE) stopped in yesterday with an offer to run our ad next Tuesday at (INSERT SPECIAL RATE). Oh yeah, they said just to send over our logo and they would put the ad together for us too!" Another common scenario goes something like this: "My brother's youngest daughter just started college in graphic design and we're going to let her use to design our new website."  

What's going on here is natural and very understandable. Companies just like yours and ours know intuitively that getting their message out is important - no, more than important, it's critical - if they are to survive and succeed. What is also going on is a clear yet common disconnect between what marketing and communications really is and what it's designed to do. Many companies still view it as an afterthought or something to be done in fits and starts rather than a core and essential part of their business processes. With that mindset, it is fully understandable that companies would rank low cost as a key deciding factor in how or if to market.

Here's the thing to consider. Marketing not tied to a clear and measurable strategy is a luck of the draw approach at best. Can it yield results?  Sure, but if it does it's more likely just chance that someone saw and noticed the message. 

Marketing and communications properly done has a clear cause and effect. It is not random and it is always tied to a clear business strategy. It is also measurable, repeatable and supports more than just a single event. It's a long-range strategy for your company. Can an ad rep do this? Possibly, but it's not what they're getting paid to do nor is it likely that strategy development, branding consistency and return on investment analysis is part of their repertoire.  Can your brother's youngest daughter do this? Maybe, but would you hand over other core functions of your company to someone lacking a real perspective of what they are doing and why?

The lesson is this: marketing is as serious and important a part of your success as human resources, accounting and safety training - or whatever it is you do that you take most seriously. Can you cobble together something low cost? Sure. Should you? We think you know the answer to that.


Now that you're convinced of the importance of doing marketing right, we'd like to introduce you to a resource that might help you pay for part of it. It's called the Small and Emerging Business Development Program, a project for Louisiana Economic Development that can pay as much as 60% of the cost of things like brand development, marketing strategy and website design. The program is managed locally by the South Louisiana Economic Council and the wonderful and charming Ms Jan Labat. You can reach both at 985-448-4485 or by email at

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