Thursday, November 26, 2009

Media Agency versus Advertising Agency

Generally if a shareholder wants to invest his capital in a given country, he first assures himself the economy is fairly stable with a rising trend, which he corroborates using certain statistical parameters. Among them, you may opt to be notified which the annual advertising spending was compared to previous years and how the amount of job positions inside the ads field varied cyclically during the last year.
This reflects what companies do, which are sensitive to economic changes, when their money coffers are in danger: cut the advertising budget, affecting the development of the advertising agencies, whose growth engine is the corporate prosperity.
This intermittent and sporadic menace hits only once, giving agencies the opportunity to recover and gradually get used to new rules imposed by the economy turn.

In addition, some time ago, a two-headed threat is gradually invading the exclusive domain of advertising agencies: the media agencies. On one hand they are grabbing a big part of the market, and on the other they started offering creative service based on their media-channel knowledge.
Starting from the context, the scales tip dramatically in favor of the media agencies, because in societies, whether in West or East, there is a proliferation and growth of alternative communications channels, thanks to the digital technology. This global phenomenon was taken up by the media agencies, which are enhanced if you look which was its origin: the sale and negotiation of space in traditional media.
Within the conventional package (TV, radio, outdoor and Graphics) is offered to the client new ways of guidelines for delivering the message effectively to the target customer. The agencies here cannot do too much, because they elaborate the creative content for the message, which later passed into the hands of the media agencies to be distributed through all possible channels.
Another point to consider: the agencies operate almost entirely with behavioral variables, not profoundly drawn from the insights of consumers, but the creativity of art directors and copywriters of agencies, that appeal to their emotions to impact with over-elaborated and sometimes ridiculous ideas. This implies the difficulty of measuring the impact on the audience, as a matter of having no tangible or palpable variables showing evidence for further analysis. Since creativity is rooted in subjectivity, it is often flawed measure their actual effects on the receiver.
On this point, media agencies are again ahead. They have a more theoretical-practical method to outline their strategies, based on a hybrid consisting of hard and behavioral variables, thanks to the careful analysis of quantitative and qualitative research.
Media agencies have the certainty to guide clients in which media channels they should advertise, based on results obtained by crossing hard variables (affinity with the media, average exposure, etc.). Thus, the company has objective evidence before investing.
Alongside this planning system, media agencies are increasingly moving on the field of behavioral variables, applying strategic creativity to generate an effective content, using the know how of the properties and advantages of each medium, and then present the customer with a new additional service to the media pack. As companies need media channels to advertise, they can discard the ad agencies’ service with the possibility of finding in the media agencies a solution to the content generation.

To conclude this contemporary comparison between media agencies and ad agencies, there is a passage from the book written by Al Ries and his daughter Laura in "The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR" that are worth mentioning, although the author puts the focus on PR. It narrates that the agencies have lost effectiveness in designing new concepts to communicate.

Media agencies have the freshness of being new to the market and have an infinite variety of creative innovation between media and message, merging them into a single concept delivered to the consumer.

The statistics show a disturbing picture if agencies do not revert what they have to offer customers. Last year in Argentina media agencies conquered 65% of the advertising pie.


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