Make Purchasing in Advertising “Fun” Again


In times afar, Advertising Agencies mainly survived by helping clients to develop creative ad campaigns for television, print & radio. This was entirely based on the ad spend whereby the agency would purchase the media on behalf of a client, and received a 10%-20% commission on total media spend. For instance, if a client spent $5,000,000 per year on media, the agency would get a 10% commission, $500,000 for their services. It was a simple formula even though commission structures differed from one client to another.

Nowadays, agencies provide a rather more complex structure of specialized services that don’t only include media, but also purchasing of ads, the running of events, media planning, advertising campaigns and branding and brand promotions. This has caused a paradigm shift in the commission structure. Many agencies now focus more on time and materials, and less on media. This has created a whole new approach to purchasing and made it fun.

Tweet this:Many agencies now focus more on time and materials, and less on media

Here is what to look at in order to enhance the fun of purchasing in advertising:

  1.   Charge for time and materials

Making the work done in advertising agencies to be similar to service consultancy makes it all fun, as billing is done per hour. In time billing, services are offered per hour just like what the lawyers and accountants do. Consultancy fees become part of the game as well, not to maximize profits but to enjoy the white collar profession that comes with the industry. You become a specialist in the field of advertising and can provide expert advice to clients in order to satisfy their needs. A markup of 20%-25% is added for materials such as proofs, copies, printing, equipment etc.

Hourly rates in the industry vary widely. You can expect fees ranging $40-$300/hour as a freelancer depending on experience. In Canada for instance, an agency rate will be between $100 and $180 per hour for services such as project management, graphic designing and programming. A flat rate is also charged in cases where an advertising campaign project has a defined scope and the agency has experience delivering a specific product, for example, the entire branding of a business.

  1.   Communicate any budget constraints early

Have an honest conversation upfront with your clients about the budgets they have and what you can offer as an advertising agency. Determine what the exact client needs are and communicate any limitations that you might have in executing the needed tasks. Having this conversation early on can also determine if your client is the right fit based on the budgets proposed and spare both parties some valuable time.

Develop realistic financial benchmarks. In other words, understand the end result of what is needed to be achieved by the advertising campaign, for instance, the expected business outcomes such as generating more leads, getting better brand awareness, high price positioning and increased market share. Once you have a clear understanding of the end result and what is required, then you can put a financial value to different budget segments as per the client needs.

   3.    Control costs using

It is always stressful to worry about costs at the expense of creativity. To make cost control easily manageable and fun, many advertising agencies employ automation for their purchasing systems. is a user-friendly software that helps advertising agencies to manage their cost. The top management can track and approve purchase orders from anywhere at any time. This helps to avoid cost overruns.

Advertising agencies can stay on budget while keeping everyone in the loop with spending. It also deals with the problem of duplicate spending.

Save time and money and employ a PO system that does all the work for you. When you are not in the office, you can still work using a cellphone or a tablet. You can approve, reject or comment on POs and get an instant view of budgets from anywhere in the world. provides managers of advertising agencies with peace of mind so they can focus on strategic matters while runs their budgets. also offers enhanced PO functionality with features like approval routing, custom fields, currencies and more. It’s an easy to use application and anyone can master it in a few minutes.

Try it for free! Our 24-hour customer- success ninjas are waiting for you!

If you’d like more info about (an automated purchase control system), please contact: [email protected]

procurementexpress a purchase order system

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