Thoughts on Online Advertising Agency Today

I have been doing online marketing on my own for the past 3 years since i left my last sales job at a advertising agency. The reason why i left is because i felt there was something wrong with the current agency model.

Current advertising agency model:

The current model of business that most agencies run on today is

  1. Agency acts as middle man between you and Google/Yahoo to run your campaign.
  2. Agency collects a fee that is either a % of your advertisement spend or a flat monthly fee.
  3. Agency runs campaign and gives you monthly report.

Now why am i against this?

The reason i am against such a model is simple. Say you spend 2k per month on Google. Most agency charges a maximum of 30%. Simple math, you are paying $600 a month to the agency bringing advertisement expenditure to 2.6k per month.

Yes spending 2.6k may seem a lot (maybe a little to some) but the key point to focus on is exactly how much the agency earns which is $600 a month.

$600 a month of earning

Now being a business owner yourself, i think we should ask a simple question. Just what kind of work do you expect to get by paying $600 per month?

  1. The agency has to pay the sales person (a basic + comm of maybe 4-10%?).
  2. The agency has to pay the admin staff
  3. The agency has to pay the campaign manager
  4. The agency has to pay their overheads and most importantly,
  5. The agency has to pay their owners!

Now think about how your $600 pay all this people and ask yourself if you are the agency what would you give your customer?

Google Places Results Problem

Google is a awesome search engine but once in awhile you do expect them to have a minor hiccup. Was searching for a locksmith in Singapore today when i saw a cake shop appearing on the 2nd place of google maps. Well in all fairness, it did state locksmith in the catagory choosen. However, it still does makes you wonder what kind of work is going on behind to rank that site up on googe places.



How effective is Google places?

There has been a small little question that has been nagging at the back of our mind for a little while now. The question that has been bugging us is how effective Google places is exactly.

At times we can term google places the lazy man way of SEO. Because using google places is a easy way to get to the of google search results. We have tested this in fact. One of our site was ranked 1st on Google places for a few important keywords. We removed the site from Google places and it falls to 9th of the search result.

Anyway back to the question. How effective is google places really?

Google places used to be very effective. Not only is the result shown first, the title text and description is all shown on the SERPs result. However, today the title text and description have all been removed. Google tends to show random text as your title text (mostly company name). I have done searches on the net but have yet to been able to find out exactly where does google place determine what to show. Description is totally removed from Google results. This does negatively affect CTR since both are neither compelling (USP) or have a proper call to action.

On the plus side, Google does have those niffty little call buttons when you do your search on iphone. This we believe is useful if your company is dealing with emergency services such as towing service where users whom need you immediately would press the call button. Having said that, we wonder how effective it is if say you are a cosmetic surgeon. Maybe it encourages the user to call and enquire? We do feel honestly that the user would want more information and the lack of proper title text and description does lower the CTR from SERP.

Anyway, we are monitering result on the test page and would post it up once we have enough data.