Question 1: The correct answer is e) All of the above.
"Our company has never benefited from advertising and we tried every agency in town. What's wrong? Traditional advertising has never been our best avenue for increasing sales or making contacts." - Client A
Our response is clear: Stop the cycle of failure by first analyzing what it is you are trying to accomplish, who you are trying to contact, where to best reach them, and finally telling them what they need to know to contact you. All of this sounds easy. It isn't. Research takes time and can cost as much as any campaign. You should never advertise in any manner before you have done the research.
The follow-up caveat: It is necessary to determine the effect that your advertising has on the defined market. No one should ever place a campaign before it is tested. Even if you manage to reach the right person, in the right place, at the right time, if your message is so esoteric that no one will understand it you have just wasted all that effort. And you need to conduct the same research after a campaign has run. Otherwise you won't know why it was successful.
As far as writing ads, we believe in leaving arcane ideas to philosophers. Plain and simple can get attention and sell your product. We don't design our advertising to enter industry contests to win awards. There are plenty of award winning ads that have never sold a dime in product. That does not help you. Our best reward is knowing that your company grew and met its goals.