The persona also ensures that all plans are being analyzed and optimized. Basically,
they are responsible for protecting and growing that revenue by delivering on a well-crafted SOW.
Our teams are customized by clients after a long process of understanding client expatiations and deliverables. Each team is more or (slightly) less multi-modal, meaning they have experience planning and buying online and offline media and they have ongoing experience working with publishers and adtech vendors.
The only channels we don’t buy ourselves are broadcast channels. But we plan all media types, including TV and radio.
We’ve found the best way to service a client is to create a self-contained team that clearly identifies a team leader (i.e. Group Director) responsible for the business. The feedback we’ve gotten from clients is tremendous. They love being able to talk to senior people who can talk strategy and also understand why certain units in Facebook perform better than others and the best way to onboard a DMP.
Shockingly, I’ve come to realize how difficult it is to find these kinds of people. We’re doing our collective industry talent a huge disservice by not providing the right kinds of training and experience.
I’ve been interviewing a lot of people to fill an open Group Director position, and I’ve come to realize that much of the media agency industry is being siloed. We’re siloing our staff for short-term agency gain, but we’re doing the talent a huge disservice.
Several people I interviewed, all who grew up on the media strategy side, said they didn’t have any experience buying media. They never trafficked a campaign. They don’t know what the Facebook Business Manager looks like, and they don’t know how to build out a custom Facebook audience.
Two individuals told me they were discouraged from meeting with publishers because "that’s the job of the Investment Group." One of those individuals said they still meet with publishers discretely.
Sadly, none of these people are useful to me. I can’t imagine hiring someone at a senior level who has never bought media and who isn’t actively meeting with companies that create content (e.g. publishers from every media type).
I remember many years ago interviewing people from larger agencies who didn’t know how to pull an MRI or Simmons run because "they got it from Research." That always seemed silly and very inefficient (and painfully slow). But I hired those people anyway and retrained them.
It wasn’t difficult to teach people how to use standard research tools. But now I worry that we’re training a whole generation of media executives that only know how to write a strategy deck or how to buy media or only know how to traffic campaigns.
I’m worried we’re not teaching our talent to think about the complexities of the business by learning the entire business from the bottom. We’re not training our staff to be well-rounded individuals.
I’m fully aware of the counter argument that developing subject matter experts provides an unparalleled level of expertise that will ultimately benefit clients. But I don’t buy it. In my experience, people who know how their campaigns will appear to consumers in the market build the best plans.
It's better for people to specialize when they’re junior and become generalists as they get senior. As an industry, we’re letting people specialize for too long, preventing them from becoming well-rounded and being qualified to have thorough conversations with clients looking for real time decision-making and problem solving.
No client wants to make five phone calls to get answer, at least not mine.