Good content brings good business. At least for The Next Wave. Chief Creative Officer, David Esrati was just interviewed for an hour by Inc. Magazine for their “Smart Questions” column for the May issue.

Our section of this site called “How to select an ad agency” pops up at the top of Google and apparently our insight was more interesting than other results.

There is no magic formula for selecting an ad agency for small to medium sized (Inc. sized) businesses- but there are some do’s and dont’s. Some advice worth taking (as shared with Inc.):

  • Read at least a few books on advertising to establish common ground (our booklist should help.)
  • Realize advertising is not a silver bullet solution to business problems and that great work takes time to gestate.
  • Have a high level of trust and respect for your agency partner.
  • Look for passion for your product- David Ogilvy always used his clients products.
  • You get what you pay for. “Saving money” by buying your own media, print, trash and trinkets (promotional items) when not specifically spelled out in your retainer agreement might not end up saving your relationship.
  • Don’t ever ask for a campaign that “looks just like” your competitors.
  • Remember, advertising takes time to get results. Nike has had the same agency from the start (Wieden + Kennedy) - and it took a long time to get from the first ads to “there is no finish line” to “just do it.”
  • Make sure both client and agency have shared expectations for the brand/campaign.
  • Great advertising can be shown to your mother- without excuses or explaination.
  • Don’t separate internet, media buying and creative if you want a consistent brand voice.

There was a lot more, but this is a quick recap. There was no simple answer on what agency compensation should be, we’re still trying to find a balanced solution like every other agency. Look to the May issue of Inc. Magazine to see what made it in.