Finding the Right Advertising Agency

Choosing the right advertising agency to steward brand and product imagery is one of the most important decisions any company makes. Frankly, it is not unlike selecting a new partner in the business. The choice of agency can have a tremendous effect on a firm’s public image, sales results and profit performance and, as such, ought to involve executives at the most senior levels of the company.

c1Executives, as well as your Toronto SEO consultant,  need to be comfortable with the appointment and the people, be willing to share information with SEO agency , and ultimately have the utmost confidence in the agency’s recommendations and business advice.

Know Your Needs

Prepare a brief describing your company, its products, markets, competitors etc., and the opportunity you have to offer an agency. This might relate to taking over a particular brand, or category of brands. It might involve a new brand or category launch. It could be an opportunity for regional representation, with the lead agency retaining control over the core branding issues.

Prepare also some objective screening criteria. This will allow the agency to decide whether or not it is suited to your business with respect to capabilities, geography, national representation etc. Include size, location, core competencies required, category experience.

Compile a ‘Long List” of Agencies

This list should actually be no longer than 10 – 12 shops. You likely have some feel as to what agencies might suit your needs but there are additional resources available to help you with your initial list. The AAABC will gladly provide its Member Agency list to you, as will the ICA (Institute of Communications and Advertising). Industry publications such as Canadian Advertising Rates and Data, the National List both published by Maclean Hunter (Rogers). Business associates in your own industry or category may be able to help. And you can always contact companies whose advertising you’ve admired on the air or in print.

Develop a Screening Questionnaire

Often termed an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) the objective of this questionnaire is to ascertain which agencies have the basic capabilities and experience that you have defined, and do not have accounts that would constitute a conflict of interest with your business. It also assists the agencies in determining if they are able to serve you from the point of view of experience and of staffing levels. One or more agencies on your initial list may decline the opportunity to respond.

Develop the ‘short list’

Allow yourself a week or two to evaluate the replies against the needs you have outlined and prepare a short list or 3 -4 agencies, any one of which you would be comfortable hiring. These short-listed firms will be invited to proceed to the next level of your process, the presentations. Advise both the short-listed agencies, and the unsuccessful firms, of your decision. Be prepared to advise the unsuccessful agencies of your reasons for not selecting them.


c2Your objectives in requesting presentations, ideally at the agency’s premises, are as follows:

  • To ascertain the agencies’ capabilities, strengths, facilities and experience.
  • To determine which of the agencies demonstrate a passion for, and insights around, your business, your competition and your industry.
  • To ensure that the agencies have a true passion for their business as well as for yours.
  • To gauge the ‘chemistry’ between your people, and those at the agency who would actually be working on your business, both day-to-day and at the senior level. Be sure to insist that these people take an active role in the presentation. You and the chosen agency will be spending a lot of time together.
  • To see examples of work the agencies have done for other clients, and to what effect on those businesses. This should give you a reliable assessment of an agency’s ability to think strategically, and of its creative strength.
  • To determine which method of compensation you and the agency would be most comfortable with – fee, commission, or a blended arrangement. Typically the final negotiations around the level of compensation take place after final selection, their successful outcome being a final condition of the agency winning the business.

Final Selection

Chances are you will know immediately following the presentations which agency you want to work with. It is a good idea to ‘sleep on it’, to wait for 2 or 3 days, before announcing your decision in order to be sure the decision is well-founded and shared by your whole team.

Protocol generally dictates that the winning agency is informed first, and asked to keep the news confidential for 24 hours to allow you the opportunity to inform the unsuccessful agencies of your decision. Most creditable agencies will request the courtesy of a debrief with you in order to determine what might have been lacking in their presentations and you should be prepared to spend this time.

For the successful agency, this is a time of celebration and you should plan to participate in that, congratulating them for a job well done, and expressing your confidence that the relationship will be long and mutually rewarding.

5 Content Marketing Tips for Solar Installers

Content marketing is a term used to deliver content that is helpful and useful to your customers, which is able to build up trust which translates into more sales. In addition, the right content marketing entertains as well as informs the targeted audiences. Implemented in the correct way, it is able create a relationship and dialogue between the brand and consumers. The best part of this is that research has proven that content marketing in most cases costs far less when compared to the traditional advertising efforts. Content marketing also generates far better leads and improves the public image of a brand.

The solar experts are offered with an opportunity to educate people about a technology that is not well-known with engaged as well as growing audiences. The majority of the off grid solar power companies could begin content marketing efforts with a simple blog and the creation of this has become extremely simple with the websites like Blogger and WordPress.

Below are 5 important factors you may want to consider when you create your content-marketing plan:

The Target Audience

When compared to traditional advertising methods which mainly focus on a way to attract new customers, the art of content marketing in most cases targets the pre-existing customers. Any company is able to build up a solid and good relationship with their customer base by providing information that is not only useful but also interesting. When a solar business is able to keep their current customer base happy, these people often spread the word to their friends and family. What this means is that your existing customers could become your best source when it comes to new leads.

These companies are also able to attract potential customers using the right content marketing because, these people actually have an interest in what has been said. In the way of building up positive relationships right from the start, the “potentials” will turn into “currents” because they already have a trust in your brand.

Paint A Picture

Content shared by a microfit solar energy company should be able to form a type of story and not just an obvious sales pitch. These companies can take advantage of planning their content around the current interests of their customers. You need to keep in mind that the content that features on your site is for an audience and not actually for your business. You can do this by creating brand awareness in a way that doesn’t explicitly promote the brand. By telling a story you are able to connect with your audience and their allegiance to your brand will soon follow. It can also assist with telling a story that has personality, offering the brand a trustworthy and relatable voice.

Offer Value

Each part of your content should be able to entertain, educate as well as inform your audience. Keep in mind that content will not be recognized as “content marketing” until such stage that the audience has found this content valuable and interesting. When your content is enjoyed as well a relevant to your brand, this audience will translate into loyal clients.

Create Interactive Dialogue

Not many people enjoy been told what they must do. Rather than selling your brand and directing customers, you can benefit from creating a dialogue that is interactive. You can achieve this by inviting your audience to participate in your content marketing and always ensure that questions and comments receive a prompt response. This personalizes the brand in a significant way and shows the integrity of your brand.

Increase Your Profits

The right content marketing strategies will increase your website traffic and build up relationships with your audiences. With up to date and honest content, customers often feel informed and the chances of them trusting your brand increases when it comes to making a decision to purchase one of your solar products. The decision to move to “solar” is often linked with concerns due to the money involved. The correct content marketing is able to ease these concerns and encourage these customers to make the switch.

When implementing the right content marketing strategy for your business you are able to learn about the current customers you already have and more about their needs, this will generate a lot of new business into the future.

Understanding Payday Advance Marketing Strategies

Did you know that the payday advance industry happens to take in about $7.4 billion on an annual basis? This is according to reports from 2014 by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Since that time, the state and federal governments have buckled down on lenders for payday advances, yet there is still a real for ethical lenders that work to serve about 12 million people in America that take out loans each year.



From the research done by Pew Charitable Trusts, typical Toronto payday cash advance customers are a female between the age of 25 and 44 that makes under $40,000 each year and does not have a four-year college degree. It is going to be important that this market is targeting if you are putting together a marketing strategy of any sort. When you want to have a storefront location, you need to make it easily accessible when you have this sort of customer. Think about a location that is close to traditional banks or large retail centers. It may also be a smart idea to look at public transportation hubs or areas where someone may be considering getting a payday loan to help get their vehicle out of the shop and so on.

Your Marketing Message

Customers that are looking at a payday advance loan to fix short term financial issues will respond best to marketing materials that emphasize a loan from your store for fixing their issues and keeping them from falling further behind in their bills. However, there are a lot of customers that may end up being embarrassed about visiting a location for a payday loan. This is why it is important that you are aware of the marketing language and the signage that you use to reflect your commitment to their privacy no matter what. Customers that want to have a payday loan will want the application process to be as streamlined and as quick as possible. You need to be able to offer the ability to submit both supplemental documentation and applications online, or be sure that you have a fax machine that customers can use if they do not have internet access. You should include information on the application process with each of the advertising and marketing items that you put out.


You should think about creating sort of a one stop shopping experience for you potential customers so that you can meet their financial needs to allow them to rebuild their lives for a better financial future. This is going to help both you and your customers moving into the future and solidify your payday advance store as a great financial service business rather than just another lender that could be taking advantage of customers in their time of need.

Direct Marketing

When you use direct marketing with fliers, posters and various printed items are going to be the most cost effective manner to advertise your payday loan service. Print and design advertisements are going to be helpful when distributed in areas that your customers are known to frequent often. Think of areas such as libraries, stores, laundromats, apartment complexes and more.