Ad agencies weather downturn with strategy

Shorter lead times

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Pete Kovac, president-CEO of NKH&W Inc., a Kansas City, Mo.-based ad agency whose b-to-b clients include Baldor Electric Co. and Eaton Areoquip Corp., said his company hasn’t had any cutbacks from client ad budgets, and has actually seen a slight increase. The company is projecting $65 million in revenues for 2001, compared with $63 million in 2000.

Although revenues are holding up, Kovac said the economy has led many of his clients to plan on a quarterly basis, rather than the usual annual one. NKH&W normally takes about a month to launch an ad campaign. Lately, however, campaigns have to be ready within as little as two weeks.

"Our clients are expecting more bang for the buck," Kovac said. "People realize that marketing dollars are becoming more precious, have to be wisely allocated and must provide a greater return on investment."

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