Ad Agency Rankings Rant: Proof is in Pudding Not Revenue Business News | July 10, 2010 | By Aaron Schoenberger

Tonight I have decided to go on a rant about advertising agency rankings and how they are — almost always — calculated based on revenue not actual performance. This is a failure of grandeur proportions, especially since most ad agencies are shifting to interactive marketing mediums (banner ads, social media, SEO, etc.) and one’s ability to perform in the digital arena is all that really matters in this day and age.


When ranking ad agencies, the question should not be how much are you making on clients, rather: How much traffic do your online properties receive? Do your blog posts (or client’s posts) acquire massive amounts of Retweets thus confirming success within a target market? Does your agency have the ability to rank at the top of search engines for highly competitive keywords? This, my friends, is what it’s all about.


I myself have worked in the corporate world for many years, with high-profile companies grossing hundreds of millions per year, and to be honest I made a good amount of money. Then, I realized something very important… I’m not a marketing professional to simply make money, I’m in this industry because it’s what I love. I have a passion for marketing and studying emerging trends/mediums, and this is what I live for — Learning, mastering, executing. Money may follow, but that’s not the goal. My company — The Brainchild Group — puts out top-notch work and we consistently meet our goals, but only take on a select number of clients because we must believe and have interest in the project(s) at hand. Our revenue may not be equal to agencies that are being “ranked” at the top, but our experience and list of clients is.


To provide you with an analogy, think about Ferrari compared to Toyota. Ferrari manufactures select vehicles that are of the highest quality and are made for performance, and they’re known throughout the world for creating works of art. But, their production numbers (and revenue) are dwarfed by Toyota. This doesn’t mean that a Toyota is the best car on the road per say, it just means they sell more cars. Don’t get me wrong, Toyotas are excellent, but put one on a race track next to a Ferrari and it’s game over. In regards to advertising agencies, the firm that’s doing the most projects in a year or charging the most isn’t necessarily the best.


Moral of the story: Advertising agency rankings should not be based on company revenue as this is misleading. Show me proof in the pudding, show me stats, show me what you’re workin’ with girlfriend (I love that line, sorry).


Aaron Schoenberger
The Brainchild Group


Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a forward-thinking online advertising agency that specializes in strategic SEO and Social Media consulting. Aaron Schoenberger is known for his work with celebrity clients, top restaurants, Olympic athletes, Fortune 500 companies and mom-and-pop shops. Feel free to Contact Us for more information.

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