Alright, so you’re asking yourself … is it really worth that commission rate to let an agency come in and do my advertising?
Of course an agency will be charging a commission rate to be placing media for you. But oftentimes agencies are able to get better rates, to the point where total spending with the commission rate included is close to the same as what you were spending before. Except, of course, with an agency’s experience and lead tracking capabilities, you’re now hopefully getting better CPLs and, in turn, better CPSs.
Let’s say you’re currently placing $50,000 in TV a month at a cost-per-spot of $200 and getting a CPL of $450. This means you are placing 250 spots a month and getting around 100 leads. Now let’s say you give this over to an agency, and they are able to get spots down to $175 each and are able to decrease CPLs down to $400. Now you are running 35 more spots per month for the same cost and getting 25 more leads a month. If you are converting these at 15 percent, you are looking at almost four more TV starts per month while spending almost the same amount of money. Also, consider that the commissions you pay an agency a year may be equivalent to paying one employee to do an average job with the advertising efforts for your school.
Need a report? An agency can almost certainly provide any type of information or report needed, usually within a very short time frame. One of the things I have often heard from schools just starting up is how surprised they are when they start receiving all the reports and information that is sent to them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This is simply the expectation set initially by the agency.
Clients are often amazed by the difference in creative. This can go a long way in performance. With so much experience in what makes creative catch the eyes of potential students, there is no doubt you will see the CPLs go down and the enrollments go up, not to mention the turnaround time for all creative in which it can be revised or built from scratch.
How much can an agency help you? Usually it depends on how much you would like them to. Take advantage of this resource; they can be a great strategic partner, not simply a placement agency. The more information and communication you have with the agency, the better your ROI will be. If you go into it with the mindset that you have found someone to place your media or generate Internet leads for you, then that will probably be all you get out of it. If communication stays consistent, results most likely will as well.
Often, the assumption is that working with an agency is going to make advertising efforts so much more difficult, when really their efforts should alleviate any difficulties or struggles you currently experience. The agency’s purpose is not simply to generate leads, but to gauge the campaign’s overall effectiveness, to be proactive in determining the best way to spend advertising dollars to achieve the goals set forth by both the school and the agency. With the amount of experience at the agency level, you are bound to see results that will help achieve those goals.