The Display Landscape – Agencies

If you’ve done any research on display advertising or banner advertising online, you’ll probably have run into the Display Lumascape.

What I would like to do through a series of blog posts is to breakdown this Lumascape and explain the different types of businesses in the display landscape and what they (generally speaking) do and why you need to know.

Let’s start at the beginning with an easy one; agencies.  Most people have heard of agencies and even work with agencies on a daily basis.

An advertising agency is a company that provides a service to consumers such as planning your advertising campaigns; whether that’s your entire marketing strategy, your online strategy or just a specific aspect of your advertising, like display.  An agency will likely create your campaigns for you or work with a company who can create your campaigns for you; they will buy your advertising from other companies for you and track your performance for you.

Agencies cost money and it is likely that you will save money by going direct; but before you do try going direct there are a few questions you will need to ask yourself.  The first is quite simply; do you have the expertise to do this yourself?  If you don’t know where to begin, I suggest that you find someone who does have the knowledge and expertise – because you could spend a lot of time and money getting it wrong.  The second question is; do you have time to do this yourself?  To plan, build, run, optimize and analyze your campaign?

The IAB recommends asking these questions of any supplier:

  • What unique inventory can you give me so that I am not duplicating spend?
  • What unique data can you give me so that you can target my customers better?
  • What technology are you using and how are they different from other companies?
  • How will you protect my data so that it does not get used to benefit my competitors?
  • How will you ensure the protection of my brand online?
  • What transparency can you offer me on where my advertising is running?
  • How are you going to optimise my campaign?
  • What different creative formats can you offer me to improve my campaigns?
  • What reporting will you give me so I can measure performance against other channels?
  • What reporting will you give me so I can improve my last campaign?
  • What are you doing to innovate?

These are excellent questions to ask and a good supplier should have no problem answering them.  Make sure that they are fully aware of your main goals and they are working specifically to these by looking at your campaigns holistically, as well as individually.