Digital marketing agencies have gotten a bad rap over the years. Many business owners are clueless as to what they do and what all these different departments and advertising roles mean. On the flip side, candidates looking for advertising agency jobs are equally confused.
We decided to write this post to dispel all the myths and debunk advertising jobs once and for all.
Thinking of hiring an agency but not sure what roles you need?
Already working with an agency but not sure who you should be talking with or asking your questions to?
Looking for an agency job but not sure what it should be called?
If you find yourself in any of these three scenarios, then this post is for you.
How does an advertising agency work?
Advertising agencies create and manage advertisements for clients on various digital channels and they have several departments that support that work. They usually have an accounts team that does sales and customer service and an advertising or creative team that does the work for the customer.
Digital agencies also have internal marketing teams whose business objective is to bring in more clients and grow the agency. The work you do highly varies by the agency team you work with.
[Add Banner Here]
Types of advertising agency roles
There are four main teams in any advertising agency - the account management team, business development team, creative team, media team, operations team, marketing strategy, and technology & analytics.
Let's break down each department and talk about the common roles on each team.
Account managers serve as liaisons between the client and the agency. They are the intersection between sales and customer service. They communicate with the client and make sure that everything is being done and that they are happy with the work.
They also work with the internal team to make sure all the work is delivered on time and is up to the customer's standard. Their job is also to onboard new clients and maintain long-term client relationships.
They should have excellent interpersonal skills, and verbal communication skills and be knowledgeable enough in digital marketing and the market trends to service the customer.
Account management roles include:
- Account Manager
- Account Director
- Relationship Manager
- Account Executive
- Account Group Supervisor
- VP/SVP of Client Service
- Client Coordinator
- Client Accounts Director
Business development is a department that is responsible to bring in new leads to the business. They use a variety of methods including cold calling, email outreach, social media marketing campaigns, and webinars to bring in more business.
This team is sometimes called the marketing team. They are responsible for all the demand generation of the agency. They should have really good verbal communication skills and in-depth marketing knowledge.
Business development roles include:
- Marketing Coordinator
- Business Development Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Social Media Manager
- Marketing Director
- Director of Communications
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
- Chief Growth Officer
- Digital Strategist
- VP of Marketing
- VP of Strategic Growth
The creative department is where the magic happens. Their sole purpose is to design all the creatives for each client. They are responsible for the creative process of various digital projects things like graphic design, user experience, and video production. They take the client's vision and execute it.
The creative department needs to have really good creative skills, in-depth knowledge of design tools, and industry knowledge of the various market trends in the niche of their client.
Creative roles include:
- Creative Director
- Art Director
- Project Manager
- Content Producer
- Graphic Designer
- Graphic Design Director
- Social Producer
- UX/UI Designer
- User Experience Strategist
- Chief Creative Officer
The media department takes the advertising creatives and brings them to life. They are responsible for setting up and managing the various digital campaigns including - TV, radio ads, video ads, and online advertisements on various social media channels, search engines, and online platforms.
This is the team that manages the client's advertising budget, creates the advertising campaigns, adjusts the audience targeting, and analyzes the results.
Media roles include:
- Media Coordinator
- Media Buyer
- Media Planner
- Advertising Manager
- Content Marketing Manager
- Media Director
- VP of Digital Marketing
- Digital Marketing Manager
The operations department is the glue that keeps it all together. It deals with both internal and external business operations and coordinates various projects for the client. This department could also sometimes have project managers that are responsible for the agency's internal processes.
Operations roles include:
- Project Manager
- Program Director
- HP Specialist
- Creative Operations Manager
- Chief Financial Officer
- VP of Operations
- Director of HR
- Director of Finance
- Marketing Operations Manager
The strategy department can serve both the client and the agency itself and is really only found in larger agencies. This team can execute marketing strategy audits for customers and provide them with strategic insights to grow their business.
This could include doing audits for potential customers, conducting competition and market share analysis, running customer surveys, and interviewing members of the firm's target audience. They could also spearhead the strategy for the entire agency.
Strategy roles include:
- Brand Planner
- Brand Strategist
- Director of Strategy
- Brand Planning Director
- VP of Strategy
- Chief Strategy Officer
Technology & analytics
Every agency department uses technology that requires frequent tune-ups, integrations, and development. These techies develop and design software, create web and mobile applications, and design user interfaces.
This team supports other departments and the digital technology and digital marketing tools they use especially in areas like email marketing and advertising where a lot of technical knowledge is required.
The analytics department is also responsible for running research on the client's target audience, getting consumer insights, and running an analysis of market data. They need to have an analytical mindset, be able to crunch lots of data and make sense of it all.
Technology and analytics roles include:
- Email Marketing Specialist
- Web Architect
- Web Designer
- Website Design Director
- Informational Technology Specialist
- Digital Marketing Analyst
- Marketing Research Lead
- Creative Technologist
- Senior Web Analyst
- Director of Information Technology (IT)
- Junior Web Analytics Consultant
- Director of Analytics and Innovative Solutions
How do you find the ideal role in advertising?
Want to work in the advertising space but not sure which role is best for you? No worries, we got you. Here's a step-by-step process to follow.
Determine your skillset
Are you analytical? Are you creative? Do you like numbers? Are you more into the sale side of things? Pick a few skills that you are best at.
Determine the needed experience
Now that you've outlined some of your skills take a look at our list of roles and see how much experience is needed for each role. That's how you'll know where you fit in the org chart. Pick a few that would make sense.
Try things out
Don't be afraid to try things out. You could take an online course, listen to a webinar, or go for a short internship/apprenticeship. You could also chat with some experts in the field and ask for their feedback.
Searching for a job is a numbers game. Apply to 50+ jobs to improve your odds of getting interviews. Use every interview as a learning opportunity to better hone your skills, find out what you're missing, and improve for the next one.