Ad Agencies Need To Make Five Big Changes Now, Donat/Wald Advertising Strategy Expert Says

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As Big Advertisers Cut Spending, A New Approach Will Help Agencies Survive - Even Thrive - During the Economic Downturn

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Big Auto cut ad spending by 10 percent during the first half of 2008, according to a recent MediaPost article - and that's before the worst of the economic meltdown hit. As advertisers examine their budgets for 2009, ad agencies are approaching the new year cloaked in uncertainty. Amir Haque, head of strategy and analysis at ad agency Donat/Wald (, is available immediately to discuss how the economic downturn affects ad agencies and their client relationships. In particular, he says there are changes agencies can make now to make their fees and revenue less vulnerable to client budget cuts.

WHAT: Haque recommends an advertising approach that generates positive return on investment (ROI) on every ad dollar spent. Toward that end, here are five changes agencies must make:

  • Become partners with your clients by tying a portion of the agency's compensation to results. Go further by doing the same for agency team members. Everyone should be motivated to achieve the campaign goals.    
  • The creative talent must work hand-in-hand with the analytics team. Creative must drive sales, and agencies must be able to prove return on investment.
  • But don't think you have to sacrifice the brand on the altar of results. Force the analytics team to think about the brand. A successful campaign will both build brand and drive sales - in fact, you can't do one without the other.
  • Members of the creative team should review and analyze results regularly (preferably daily), to optimize ad placement as they go. They should know where and when they're getting results, and know the cost of each new customer.
  • Include performance goals in the creative brief. Designing an ROI-positive campaign begins when the creative process begins.

WHEN: Amir Haque is available immediately to expand on these recommendations, or to discuss other trends in advertising.    

WHO: Amir Haque heads strategy and analysis at Donat/Wald ( He has an MBA from Yale, and honed his strategic and analytical expertise at Boston Consulting Group.

Donat/Wald has been helping companies successfully build their brands for nearly 20 years - in many cases boosting fledgling start-ups to industry leader status, past entrenched competition. The agency has helped move more than a billion dollars through the economy while building nationally known brands, with campaigns for,,, Columbia, Sony, MGM/UA, Mattel Toys, ServiceMaster, American Express, Federated,, eCompanies and more.

HOW: To speak with Amir Haque, contact:
Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc.
ken @
(818) 990-5001

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