Advertising agency marketers have traditionally filled only global roles in global offices. However, there seems to be a growing shift towards advertising marketing managers within the South African advertising industry. This trends piece looks at the top three forward-looking ideas affecting the industry.
The growing tribe of agency marketers
Working as a marketing manager in an advertising agency is both a thrilling and terrifying job. You get to break new ground and shape a job role, but you also need to manage expectations and benchmarks that have never been achieved or even existed before.
Here is the reality. Agencies have traditionally been excellent and effective at marketing every brand except their own. So how do you harness all the innovation and creativity that surrounds you, and make it work effectively for the agency brand?
Identify your role in the agency and identify the marketing climate. As agency marketers begin to grow and navigate these waters, one hopes to see marketers spearhead and take on innovative strategies that work for the agency in a dynamic environment. And for those existing in network agencies, how do you get your ideas to be best of breed and adopted by global?
Working with new business prospectives, to developing both internal and external communication channels, a truly innovative agency marketer will also start harnessing and unlocking the power of social media, digital and mobile for their audience. They understand there is a growing need to start using smart data to also inform the habits of their audience in their landscape.
Getting your marketing structure right. Integration is a topic that has been on the lips of almost everyone in the industry for the last couple of years. It's good news but also old news. What we will start seeing is the implementation of highly integrated teams within client marketing departments.
As internal silos begin to dissolve there will be a hub-and-spoke structure, with the CMO in the middle, with roles akin. The CMO gets line of sight across various touch points, which will bring unity in identifying a single purpose and solution for the business/consumer. This more fluid approach does away with one single team member being an expert.
For agency marketers this approach to team structures should come natural. Due to exposure of integrated workings in an agency, an agency marketer should strive for expert knowledge and understanding across all of their touch points in order to effectively assist in the growth of the agency.
Great clients mean great people
As an agency, if you commit yourself to winning the recruiting battle, as much as to winning new business, you can only find success. Having a nimble and engaged team that understands the agency's purpose will only help you grow.
No process is perfect. Some people are great interviewees with great references, but simply aren't a great cultural fit. Even with the most stringent processes, about one out of five hires turns out to be wrong. We know that A players want to work with A players, while B players will generally work with C players.
Agency marketers need to and will start working closer with HR. That means looking at long- term recruitment plans and channels that will aid your agency in attracting the top talent. Having the right team and talent when mistakes and challenges happen will ensure that the agency strives to course-correct quickly.
Traditional methods are no longer the norm, adapt and learn to market in a digital age. Pay attention to your internal audience, current employers are the life source of any agency, they're your brand ambassadors.
Part of the job is undoubtedly to inspire and entrench your agency's purpose so that it feeds back into the total organisation, which in turn grows your clients exponentially.
We know that focus drives results, so what will your focus be in 2014?