I’m often asked by agency executives, “how can I move client side?” It’s a natural desire to want to move from the agency to brand side as your career progresses – even if you have a top-notch agency job. Certain people crave a deeper connection with one brand or are just tired of the unpredictable layoffs that occur when accounts are lost. And the good news is, brands areFINALLYrecognizing the tremendous value agency executives bring to corporate.
If you’re a high performing professional on the agency side and craving the connection and fulfillment that can come from having a greater sense of ownership on the brand side, follow these four steps to better position yourself in the market:
Present Your Results and Impact
Know the results of your hard work. Showcase exactly how you’ve impacted the bottom line for the brands you have supported. Present the data and figures that showcases the results of your work. Brands are looking to build high performing marketing departments today that are true profit centers; not cost centers. And if you happen to be a performance based marketer, that’s a big advantage.
Examples may include 1) The number of quality leads you garnered and the conversion rates and 2) Sales numbers before and afteryou were hired (if you have the figures!)
Show, Don’t tell – Your Financial Savviness
If you’re ready to jump to the client side and join a $20MM business as CMO, you will most likely have to be scrappier than you were on the agency side. If you’re a marketer who’s worked for one of the country’s top brands spending $100MM/year, hiring you could feel risky to the c-suite of a smaller organization that’s spending $10MM/year in marketing. In this instance, showcase how you have made a big impact without spending the big media dollars, and know the return on ad spend.
For example, a companyspends $2,000 on an online campaign one month. In this month, the campaign results in revenue of $10,000. Therefore, the ROAS is a ratio of 5 to 1 (or 500%) as $10,000 divided by $2,000 = $5.
Demonstrate your Cross-functional Leadership Skills.
Do you know how to empower a team to get projects done efficiently by working together? Do you know how to collaborate with IT, finance, operations and product development? How do your soft skills play into leading cross-functionally? Share examples of working cross-functionally within your agency and within your client’s organization.
Expand your Hard Skills.
It’s easier to go client sidebeforeyou become a big shot agency executive focused on business development, operations and the overall growth of the agency. The client side is looking for hungry players with a diverse set of hard and soft skills.
For those who are seasoned agency executives looking to go client side, focus on becoming as well-rounded as possible. There are fewer senior level positions on the client side that are highly specialized.
Generally, the more junior level positions on the client side are specialized. For example, if you work in paid search, learn all biddable media and lead generation strategies. Generally, you can’t be a one-trick pony on the client side unless you’re vying for a manager-level role.
Are you looking to make the switch from agency to client side? Email us to discuss at firstname.lastname@example.org.