A Partner with a Purpose
Rethinking the Traditional Agency of Record Model
Imagine three packaged gifts sitting neatly in a row. These boxes are labeled TV Ads, Print Ads, and Radio Ads; they represent traditional marketing services. For organizations without an in-house marketing department, getting all of these gifts was as easy as going to one “major department store,” except in this case the “one-stop shop” wasn’t Macy’s or Kohl’s—it was an agency of record (AOR).
Before digital and online marketing, an AOR was the standard model for marketing agencies. These firms would produce content for the traditional mediums and get their clients’ messages to their audiences at the right time.
With the rise of digital media, the AOR model needed to evolve to incorporate new forms of digital marketing. In response, many companies abandoned the AOR model altogether, choosing to segment their services to master one form, rather than cover them all. With this shift, organizations were forced to use multiple companies for different needs: an environmental graphics agency, a print ad agency, a social media agency, and so on.
Yet today, the modern AOR is still a full-service marketing machine—with in-house experts, an AOR handles all marketing and branding outreach from start to finish. We’re talking concept, strategy, design, production, evaluation, and testing all in one place, with one team, and one goal: to produce beautiful and tangible results for their clients’ companies.
With an AOR, you aren’t bouncing from one agency for print work to another for social media campaigns and so on. Instead, you have one strong, holistic partner who balances and conquers several platforms and mediums for you with ease; this means your brand is in the safety of one set of hands, rather than multiple.
So, what do you get with an AOR that you can’t get from using multiple “niche” agencies?
Sending one email feels a lot better than sending 20. With an AOR, you don’t have to balance communication between multiple agencies. At Graphcom, for example, we pair each client with one project manager or account manager who serves as their main point of contact for all projects. With only one contact person to remember, this eliminates the headache of a flooded inbox, plus the project or account manager handles all internal communications with the folks performing the work, so you don’t have to.
Better Brand Awareness & Consistency
Your brand is your brand for a reason. It represents who you are and what you do—messing around with that or having too many cooks in the kitchen leaves too much room for error. With an AOR, consistency is key. A good AOR will take the time to learn about your brand and values so that all messaging and content are reflected accurately; because there’s only one organization working with your brand as if it were their own, you don’t have to explain it over and over again, or worry about information getting lost in translation. With one long-term partner, your brand is understood inside and out, protected, and applied how and where you want it.
Deeper Collaborative & Strategic Relationship
Overall, the core of working with an AOR boils down to one thing: trust.
Forget about pricing for a second and consider this—when choosing the right business partner for your organization, what’s one of your top criteria? Shared values, right? By nature, we want to work with people who share our same style, ambition, and beliefs. By nature, we also trust folks who share our same values and beliefs. Their why should align with ours—that’s how the magic happens.
When choosing an AOR, it’s important to take the time to find a partner whose goals align with yours. Doing so makes for a more enjoyable relationship, better work, and powerful results. Shared values create a deeper relationship that can continue to grow over time. You don’t get that kind of depth with a one-off company.
In times of crisis, confusion, or need, a partner stands right beside you ready to handle the good with the bad in a way that’s best for your organization. By partnering with an AOR, you get a true teammate in your purpose.
Do you think Graphcom could be your AOR? If you’re looking to achieve the best results in a collaborative environment where passion, innovation, and creative expression unite—look no further. We bring together a stellar team with diverse expertise to solve just about any marketing puzzle—keeping it in-house, under-budget, and high-quality.