A lot has changed in advertising, especially over the last few years. While job titles and departments have changed, a lot of what we do is actually still the same. Agencies work hard to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.
The advances in technology over the last decade have exploded and simplified the way we do things and lead to new ways to look at things. Thus…the creation of a lot of really cool new career paths. Although we don’t keep gin and bourbon stocked in our offices like they did back in the Mad Men days, we have been known to hit up some local microbreweries and Happy Hours after work as a team.
New & Improved Marketing Job Titles
Some of these roles may sound familiar, but many are brand spankin new within the last decade. Thanks to the Internet, smartphones and good ol’ Mr. Zuckerburg, businesses are finding new, and ever-growing ways to acquire, interact with and delight customers and partners.
Formerly known as “Pete Campbell”, this role serves as the point-person for the client. Typically, client communications get funneled through the through the AE/S, and to-dos get delegated at regular internal meetings to the rest of the team. Their role is intense, to say the least, and often consists of long hours and business trips to meet clients in-person; often on the other side of the country.
AE/Ss are the masterminds of strategy and must be able to understand data, but also be able to communicate every step of the campaign, from start to finish, both internally and externally. It’s a must that they are well versed in all facets of marketing.
While the AE/S has their mind on the big picture, the Project Manager gets down and dirty with the details. They make sure all tasks are accounted for and keep budgets and bandwidth front-of-mind. Their goal is to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
PMs juggle many projects for several clients at one time and must be extremely organized. At the same time, it’s important that they create a personalized experience so every client so it feels like they’re the only client. PMs are the keepers of schedules and make sure team members hit deadlines and that clients provide the assets the team needs to get the job done.
This position hasn’t changed a ton since the 1960s, but the Graphic Designer’s toolbox definitely has! From micron pens to Photoshop and InDesign, the designer has a slew of new ways to create and manipulate design to bring ideas to life.
Graphic Designers are the true creative geniuses in the agency who take tid-bits from a client’s wish list…which can sometimes be fragmented or contradictory, sorry clients…and turn those pieces into meaningful visuals. They are the out-of-the-box thinkers who are able to translate a company's vision and mission through colors, images and fonts.
Here, we’re talking about the front-end, back-end, UX and UI web developers of the world. The Web Developer (et al) is the one in the office who speaks more languages than you…ones you’ve never heard of to boot! They take the graphic designer’s concept and translate every element into code, which comes out on your screen as a beautifully designed web page.
The depth and breadth of their knowledge is vast and constantly growing alongside with new technology. Developers are the plug-in masters, the animation experts and the interface extraordinaires. These guys and gals are constantly learning and making sure sites are not only cutting-edge, but also expertly functioning.
Many marketing managers despise writing their own content. In B2B tech companies with a lot of technical jargon and educational context, it can be a real challenge to translate complex information into layman’s storytelling that converts on a webpage. That’s where Content Strategists come into play.
Not only are they strong communicators, but they also know which keywords will drive action and naturally guide people through a website. It’s not about just writing a quick company summary, or plugging in content on the fly… rather, Content Strategists carefully plan, craft and manage every word a customer reads.
The Media Buyer lives at the negotiating table, typically in traditional media (radio, print, TV). Media Buyers have many friends at networks all across the country. They speak almost every day and are constantly pitching new ways to spend money and ensure that their marketing works!
Gone are the days when an agency spends money just to spend money. Nowadays, dollars need to be tied to actual results, and it all comes down to data.
Marketing Analyst/Data Scientist
Speaking of data, one of the fastest growing jobs today is a data scientist. In the days of Mad Men (and actually, up until only a few years ago) marketing analytics were considered an afterthought. If metrics were even tracked at all, they were usually pulled and plugged into archaic spreadsheets with ample opportunity for human error and broken formulas. And the crazy thing is—agencies and corporations would make multimillion dollar decisions on bad data. (As a data person myself, the thought of that makes a little piece of me crumble inside).
Thanks to the brainpower of a lot of nerds out there, we now have access to dozens of business intelligence tools, analytics software, data scrubbing tools and data visualization software. Living in the future is amazing. The Marketing Analysts and Data Scientists in the office are the keepers of the data. They pull reports, assemble ad hoc analyses and translate data for internal teams and clients alike.
Market Research Associate
Market Research Associates aren’t in the spotlight as much as some of the other roles, but they do play a huge role in the marketing process. Much like the data geeks, MRAs look at market data and help companies better understand their customer, their position in the marketplace and the economic ecosystem as a whole. If Data Scientists are micro, the Market Research Team is definitely more macro. They conduct focus groups, aggregate data from various sources and compile reports to better inform colleagues of opportunities for growth.
Market Research Associates have a knack for keeping up with trends, but are also esteemed statisticians who rely on data—both quantitative and qualitative—for most of their job responsibilities.
Email Marketing Manager
A linguistics expert with modern flair, the Email Marketing Manager controls all email marketing efforts. This person faces many challenges today, such as spam folders, unsubscribes, CAN-SPAM rules and the much-discussed GDPR regulations. They also need to understand persuasion tactics for writing and have an eye for visually appealing layouts. The Email Marketing Manager’s goal is to get people not only to open emails, but also engage with links within them to push closer to conversion.
Paid Media Specialist
In the near future, digital advertising spend is expected to be equal to or greater than traditional advertising. To some, that may not seem like much, but considering that direct mail and TV make up the largest advertising spend in the U.S. out of a total $180+ billion spent, it’s kind of a big deal! The top tactics that fall within the responsibility of a Paid Media Specialist are PPC (Pay Per Click), paid social advertising and display network advertising.
Paid Media Specialists are almost like stock brokers in internet advertising. They constantly monitor budgets and adjust bids to maximize their allotted spends. In addition to actually buying digital media, they also create plans and recommendations for account strategists to share with clients.
The ever-changing game of search engine optimization has almost everyone except SEO experts baffled. That’s because big search engines, like Google, are continuously making algorithm changes to ensure that users are happy. SEO Specialists understand the ins and outs of a user’s search experience and the technical optimizations that need to happen on the backend. They’ve been studying the history and evolution of the Internet since search engines were born. Any SEO master knows that keyword-stuffing today is a major no-no, and that the goal of optimizing content should be made with the customer (the human!) in mind,—not the algorithms.
SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. It requires constant upkeep. There are a few good tools that can help you monitor SEO, but when in doubt, your agency partner will be well-versed and well-equipped to handle all the on-site and off-site organic optimizations.
You know who this is. Almost every agency leverages the power of Interns. Their work may not be as glamorous as an AE’s business trip to San Francisco, but, boy, are they excited to be on the team! Interns get stuck with a lot of data entry and mundane tasks that, frankly, no one else has the time to do. Sometimes paid, sometimes free and sometimes working part-time, these eager beavers help get the little stuff done. And without the little stuff, the big stuff wouldn’t be what it is.
Hiring a full-fledged in-house team of marketing rockstars can get expensive. But, working with an agency can be a fairly painless and cost-effective way to gain access to a fully stocked, fully experienced team without crazy overhead. And, just as we’ve seen in the past few years, these roles will continue to evolve and expand (or even disappear!) altogether over the next decade. In the near future, expect to see more video production specialists coming to an agency near you. (Even Don Draper didn’t see that one coming! Thinking about bringing on an agency partner? Chat with one of our experts here at Kiwi Creative!