Over the years, agencies have evolved to become far more integrated than ever before. Silos are being broken down between Accounts, Creative, and other departments including Media and Digital.
My CB story started in Accounts over six years ago, but I’m proud to say more recently – in the past four months – I’ve come into a new, dual role here at the agency.
I’ve crossed over to “the dark side” as some have called it, trading in my Accounts-only role as Project Lead, for a dual role that sees me split between both Accounts and Media.
My new official title: undetermined – because this is new ground for us at CB and perhaps a new concept for any agency in this market.
In my short time working this dual role, I’ve experienced several benefits (the stairs I have to run between Accounts and Media, not being one of them!)
These are benefits that not only help me do my job better but I believe they also benefit Calder Bateman as a company, and hopefully as a result, benefits our clients and vendors as well.
Direct Contact and Understanding with Media Vendors
In my dual role, I get to see the whole journey of a piece/project now – from brief to billboard. This gives me a better understanding of the timing of pieces and be more efficient. I’m the one handling the brief, circulating the artwork, getting it approved with the internal team and client, and getting it sent to our media vendors. This constant contact means I can iron out any wrinkles before they become real problems. I can quickly and confidently speak to questions from our vendors, or questions about media from our internal team.
If specs, quantities, or other elements to the media buy change, I’m informed right away as both a Project Lead and a Media Planner/Buyer, creating a far more efficient turnaround on work. If I have questions about specs or other things I should be telling my team, I have a direct line to the answer, rather than passing inquiries through to different people and waiting for a response.
More Clarity – especially around Traffic Instructions
I’ve always thought my traffic and posting instructions for our external vendors were pretty good! After being in Media, I’ve discovered they can be even better. We can speak the same language as our vendors by including additional layers of information I didn’t have access to before I was in Media. This increased detail and clarity not only makes our vendors happier, it also reduces errors in how our client’s campaign airs.
Deeper Understanding of the Audience
As an Accounts person, we are briefed on the audience our clients are trying to reach, and beyond doing a bit of digging on that audience, that is usually what shows up on the brief and it might not be the most robust or in-depth profile.
Wearing my Media hat has given me access to a resource that is essentially a database of audience information. With this additional depth on the audience we are trying to reach, I can better understand these groups which allows me to create a better brief. This more thorough, detailed brief with deeper audience understanding means our Creative team is more informed from the beginning, and ultimately means we can all do a better job developing the campaign and the creative that truly speaks to our clients’ audiences.
Learning by Example – Acquiring New Skills
With my dual role, they let me sit in Media! Other than getting to work with an amazing media mentor (shout out to Nicole!), being immersed in the Media office, in that Media world, helps me pick up on a lot of media buying and planning strategy and execution. Sitting right in the thick of all the action helps you acquire these new skills, almost by osmosis.
At the same time, my being so close to Media means that I can also help the Media team develop a better understanding of the creative and strategy tied to the campaigns they are planning and buying.
The dual role allows us to make better decisions on both the creative/strategy side, as well as on the media side.
Those are really just a few benefits I’ve identified in my short time working this crazy fun and interesting dual role in Accounts and Media. I think it’s been a wonderful way to truly ‘talk the talk’ – that is, so many agencies say they are integrated, but in my specific case, I really am integrated.
I’m looking forward to learning many, many more skills, and ultimately helping Calder Bateman deliver better campaigns to clients, and build better relationships with vendors.
Interested in learning more how our integrated agency can help solve your communications challenges?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.