Finding An Advertising Agency Philadelphia Can Be Tough – Choose Wisely

Choosing An Advertising Agency In Philadelphia Maze“Advertising agency Philadelphia.” You’re searching, and searching, and searching…

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of advertising agencies in Philadelphia to choose from. That does of course depend on how you define “advertising” as compared to other disciplines in marketing. For example, you’ll likely find that most public relations firms these days will still sell Facebook ads, SEM, and other paid media products or placements. In the mid 20th Century that would have been completed verboten! These days the lines have blurred.

What Do You Want To Accomplish?

Celebrating Finding The Right Advertising Agency PhiladelphiaThis is always the first question to answer. Typical goals in advertising campaigns are:

  • Driving Inbound Leads
  • Increasing E-Commerce Sales
  • Promoting New Products
  • Expanding Territories
  • Opening New Accounts

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking to accomplish, it’s difficult for us to determine what the budget should be, what outlets will distribute to our target audience, and how long it will take to execute our plan. This is also a place to get real about what you can and can’t accomplish. With a budget of $0 I definitely can’t help you.

With a budget of $5 I could consider consulting for a cup of coffee but that’s rare and I think you see where I’m going here…

Thinking About Our Great City

Philadelphia Advertising Agency City ViewHere are some quick facts from the (2018) Philadelphia census you should consider:

  • Total Population: 1,584,138
  • Housing Units: 688,833
  • Persons 25+ With High School Education: 83.3%
  • Total Employer Establishments: 27,929
  • Population Per Square Mile: 11,379.5

When you are beginning to determine what you’re looking to accomplish, you’ll want to look at some of these statistics. They will help you hone in further what you can accomplish if you’re only looking at advertising in this one geography. Obviously if you’re doing a regional or national campaign that will complicate things. However, for the purpose of this article you can extrapolate what it should cost to cover a similar metro area.

How Much Do You Have To Spend On An Advertising Agency, Philadelphia?

Hiring The Right Advertising Agency PhiladelphiaFor the sake of argument, let’s say that you’re a local restaurant serving (1) main 1-mile radius. That means you could be targeting up to 11,379 people. There are about 43.4% of housing units per person, meaning that you could be targeting a total of about <5,000 households as a local restaurant.

It’s unlikely that any business captures 100% of a given population so let’s say you’re very successful and capable of capturing about 20% of this area which = 1,000 households. If each household has an average of 1.5 people you’re looking at about 1,500 loyal (meaning they come back) customers.

Being A Loyal Advertising Agency For Philadelphia CompaniesIf each of them spend an average of $20 per visit, and a loyal customer comes at least 1x per month, each customer represents an annual revenue of about $240. In other words your loyal core customer base represents about $360,000 in revenue over the course of the year. Not factoring in the word-of-mouth promotion you get from loyal customers, or other benefits, this is a substantial piece of business for a local restaurant.

Restaurant Advertising Budget Exercise

Advertising Restaurants For Lunch MenuThere are a number of resources online you can check for industry standards in advertising budgeting as a function of a company’s revenue. This varies industry-to-industry and market-to-market but there are some generally accepted standards you can use to judge your decisions on. Here are a few:


If a restaurant’s core business is about $360,000 their less frequent customers could account for $140,000 in revenue over the course of the year making an average revenue for this kind of business servicing about 10,000 people in a city = $500,000.

3% Budget = $15,000

6% Budget = $30,000

Reliably Paying Your Advertising Agency Is Good Do ItSomething to consider that these sources do not cover directly is what qualifies as “advertising,” or “marketing,” in general? For many businesses they do not count the amount of money spent on staff who handle marketing in their budget. Other businesses may account for this in their overall budgeting practices. Some may consider a billboard advertising but not promotional products.

In our experience restaurants actually spend more like 10% – 25% on expenses associated with marketing & advertising outside of their own staff or bartering resources. This would arm our model business here with between $50,000 – $125,000 for an annual budget to distribute to an advertising agency in Philadelphia.

So…How Much Should You Budget?

Thinking Creatively About Advertising Agencies In PhiladelphiaFor the kind of business we just described, take an average of the most recent suggestion ($50,000 + $125,000 / 2 = $87,500). In that case your $87,500 per year budget would be equal to about 17.5% of your revenue which would definitely be enough to help grow the business and solidify loyal customers in a year.

This budget would afford a $21,875 quarterly budget. That amount gets broken down into the following products & services once given to an agency:

  • Actual Media Buying Budget From Agency Vendors
    • Print Publications
    • Billboard Companies
    • Digital Platforms
    • Printers
  • Creative Direction & Art Department
    • Creative Director
    • Graphic Designer
    • Copywriter
  • Project Management
    • Planning
    • Production
    • Analysis
  • Strategy

Depending on the goals of the campaign, we will determine where to emphasize during the strategy & planning stage. Perhaps the creative is very simple, and we will buy a bulk of media to distribute the message. Maybe the creative is more complicated and requires a higher level of direction. In some cases we’ll need a photographer to take new pictures to use in the campaign which may add additional costs. There are a lot of variables.

Finding Your Audience Costs Money & Time

Crowded Place Celebrating Advertising Agency PhiladelphiaAt the beginning of a campaign, even for an established company and advertiser; we are still going to learn a bit about your audience. Even if you have every piece of available data on that group of people – there is still an unpredictable factor called the future. Their opinions or beliefs may change; tomorrow.

You’ve heard the old adage about advertising, right? That 50% of it works but you don’t know which 50%! That can be troubling for people, however, it’s part of the art of the discipline you have to get used to. Things we don’t think will work, but experiment with, may result in the most effective part of a strategy. On the other hand, we may believe deeply in one piece of content or direction that flops.

This is part of the reason why engaging with an agency for an annual commitment is so important. We need to be able to weather the storm of dormant engagement, ineffective approaches, and failed attempts that invariably happen.

If you get scared at every negative comment, dead silence response, or potential “backlash,” then you may end up paralyzed by fear. So long as you do diligence to remain culturally sensitive, and honor the audience – it’s very difficult to accidentally do damage like that.

Trusting Yourself – Intangibles

Honestly Advertising As An Advertising AgencyWhat kinds of things do clients tend to fear?

  1. Losing Money Or Wasting Money
  2. Looking Foolish & Making Mistakes
  3. Missing An Opportunity

If you’re afraid of “losing money” I can only say that advertising is not a casino. The house in that example are agencies and media vendors we use who are committed that your advertising works so you…keep paying us to do it. “Wasting money” on the other hand is a legitimate concern since it’s hard to know what will work and what won’t work.

When it comes to looking foolish or making mistakes maybe you should take an acting class or something because get used to that one. No matter how hard you try, or how tightly you grip your brand, you’re going to mess up. You will fail or something will break and you’ll feel bad for a minute. But that’s okay! It is not the end of the world, and in fact if you can settle in to that happening on occasion you’ll be better suited to handle it.

Missing opportunity…that’s a tough one. In terms of advertising it’s a pay-to-play game, so you only really get opportunities if you’re spending some kind of money. Our advertising agency Philadelphia is dedicated to ensuring your money is well spent and optimized to generate the biggest reach possible.

Trust Us – We Love This Stuff

Loving Our Advertising AgencyAs you can see, we could geek out over specifying a demographic target subset, or placing you in all kinds of creative media spots. At the end of the day there are some very typical things that happen with an advertising agency; like budgeting, strategy, and planning. Creative production gets simplified once we know the mediums we’ll be placing too. However, we love problem solving and advertising is a very powerful tool for solving certain problems.

So just like you have to learn how to trust yourselves, trust us that we love this stuff and will work our behinds off to deliver for you.

We are happy to be put through our paces, too, doing exercises like this for your business to help identify your goals, budget, and target audience. Don’t be afraid anymore. Or, if you’re going to be afraid at least step through the metaphorical fire and take a risk.

Remember: we are your cure for the common creative.

Matt Berman

Matt Berman

Matt has been an artist since he was a child: dancing, illustrating, writing, and producing music. In business, Matt is a master strategist, and expert in communications. He combines his creative passions with his diligence as a professional to give clients a fierce competitive advantage in any circumstance. He has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from Temple University.