Agency side versus client side
In advertising and marketing circles, conversations about working on the marketing agency side versus working as an in house marketing person are pretty common. Many people are partial to one side or the other, but each has their pros and cons.
I think Denver is a pretty conventional market. We have several large companies that call the Denver area home and with a larger population, we have our fair share of small businesses. This bodes well for marketing agencies, such as mine. At Encite, we focus on small businesses and fill a niche as the small business advertising agency. So working with a variety of clients gives us diversity on different marketing campaigns so our creativity can really shine. This is definitely a positive aspect of working for a marketing agency. But with power comes great responsibility! To continue to be successful, we have to produce measurable results. Clients come to us to achieve a goal. Whether that is to increase revenue, establish a web presence or just to create awareness, we, as the advertising agency, have to perform. That always doesn’t need to happen when you are working directly for a client as the in house marketing department.
A colleague of mine who works on the client side said to me the other day: “The best part about my job is if the marketing campaign doesn’t work, I just get to do another one.” This is pretty sad. If a marketing campaign of mine doesn’t work for a client, I would be fired! I think this is pretty common on the client side, though. At the beginning of my career, I ran into the same situation. The small businesses I worked for didn’t have any accountability or measurement of their advertising initiatives. They just see it as the cost of doing business; to have a paid employee on staff to do the work.
I think the biggest difference in working on the agency side or the client side is the sense of accountability. I feel much more accountable for every campaign, design, strategy, and online project I do. They have to achieve some sort of goal. They have to accomplish something. It is also very personal to me, which doesn’t bode well for my sleep habits! Working on the client side, people can more easily become much more complacent. Typically, they know no matter what happens, they will still get a paycheck every two weeks.
Adam OLeary, President