Most major marketers contract with an advertising agency, PR or marketing firm to develop, design and implement their advertising campaigns. An outside ad firm offers outside objectivity, creative viewpoints and experience to develop dynamic marketing strategies. Although professional ad firms do not come cheap, the value they bring to the marketers success is worth the investment.
However, some businesses decide to produce their own ads, collateral, PR and promotional material internally. In-house advertising has a few advantages as well as some pit falls. With computer programs like Photoshop, InDesign and Adobe Illustrator in the hands of a skilled creative person, appealing graphics can be produced, but they rely on the ability of the user. Even the latest graphic software does not come with creative talent or marketing insight.
There are two primary reasons why business management decides to do advertising in-house. The first is cost. Employees are cheaper than outside professionals and companies don’t want to pay professional fees. The second is control. Management wants someone who is in the office full time at their beck and call so they can dictate all aspects of their advertising program internally, without outside influence.
If an employee is selected from the company ranks, to setup and run the ad department, it is a “best choice” approach. By selecting someone from the existing worker pool, the boss settles on who might best do that job. The sales manager may write ad copy, the parts manager may take the product photos and the office manager may be the ad designer.
A company may decide to hire a graphic artist to work in-house. When first employed, the new in-house ad person comes full of enthusiasm and ideas. But under the direction of a domineering boss, soon those principles and creativity are stymied, because all the advertising direction comes from within the company. “We know what we want.” “This is the way we have always done it.” So the new ad person will begin to follow orders and lose their objectivity because the boss is writing their paycheck.
Contracting with a professional ad/marketing firm is a major leap for many small businesses. There is another alternative If a marketer wants the benefits of an in-house ad department and also recognizes the advantages of professional expertise. Tom Smisek, a marketing consultant has developed a unique concept, called In-House Ad Agency Management (IHAAM), serving businesses in Orange County California. It is like, “leasing a marketing director” and is designed to enhance and bolster in-house ad departments with professional capabilities at a fraction of the cost. The marketer gets outside marketing expertise while utilizing companies internal capabilities. For more information: Contact, subject IHAAM