If you have ever seen an episode of Mad Men, then you are familiar with the two major departments that are in an advertising agency: creative and account services. During the 60’s, when Mad Men takes place, this was true. Now, with technology advancements, there are many departments in today’s agencies that were not feasible during the Mad Men era.
Here is a summary of some of the different roles within an agency today. As you can see, agencies have come a long way from just the creative and account departments.
This position is the link between the creative department and the clients. Keeping the client happy is one of their top priorities. Having strong written and verbal communication skills is vital to be successful in this position. It’s important to know the client’s business, and be able to be the voice of the client to the agency and vice versa.
This role assures that campaigns are on strategy, and directed to the right audience. One must be able to step out of their shoes, and really get in the mind of the consumer. There is a lot of research within this role. Account Planners look for insights that will give their clients a creative edge and stand apart from the competition.
A graphic designer’s job is to develop and create visuals that are imaginative and eye-catching, but also stay on brand for their clients. Works closely with the copywriter team to create the campaigns. Designers must be up to date on industry trends, and be familiar with a variety of design programs (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, etc.)
This position is responsible for creating a lot of the content that is seen in advertising. Whether it be the jingle that you are hearing in the background of that radio commercial, or if it is the new slogan that a company has revealed after a rebranding strategy has been implemented. Like with many positions at an agency, it is key to keep the client’s brand in mind when working on a campaign. Having a clear and persuasive set of writing skills is important for a copywriter.
A media planner is responsible for selecting a combination of platforms in order to achieve campaign strategy goals. It is their job to ensure the ad will be exposed to the target audience. It is necessary to understand how people use media to receive the best exposure. They may present their budget and the scheduled plans to clients.
Once the target audience has been identified and the outlet has been chosen, it is the Media Buyer’s responsibility to purchase specific spots for the campaign. A media buyer’s objective is to reach the highest number of the target audience while keeping the client costs low. A media buyer will need to analyze the campaigns effectiveness and be up to date on new trends for possible outlets. They will also work very closely with the Media Planner.
This position assists with the execution of marketing events. These events take place in the real world. They are starting to look less and less like marketing, but more and more like a brand experience for the consumers. The timelines for these events are crucial, so it’s important that the experiential producer is able to budget, plan, and execute. Their role is to guide internal teams to meet the client’s strategy goal for the activation.
Social Media Strategist
A social media strategist is responsible for creating a brand presence on social media platforms. This position chooses which outlets will be the most beneficial for the client, and help build an online relationship with consumers. They track engagement and other analytics in order to create optimal results for the brand.
A User Experience designer is in charge of creating efficient and user-friendly systems. They use analytics and design elements to make the most productive interface. The majority of information can now be found online, and it is important for brands to enhance the user-experience for their consumers.
A project manager foresees specific marketing projects from beginning to end. They ensure that the execution of the event goes as planned. They work with internal departments within the agency and are responsible for managing the outside resources for the specific project. They enforce the time line of the project, and solve any issues that may arise through the scope of the project.
Written by: Brittany Forsberg, PR/Social Media Intern