The debate – BRAND v AGENCY
Following on from our debate of which suits you best, BRAND v AGENCY, today we look at it from an online marketing perspective.
We are seeing a lot of brands beefing up their internal teams and retaining digital knowledge. Certain business sectors have been quicker to the party and as such they are reaping the rewards in terms of the talent pool that’s out there.
With this in mind we went to the market and asked the following question to online marketing professionals: So, having worked for agencies and direct for a brand which do you prefer and why?
Here are a few interesting responses:
I loved being closer to the numbers client side – getting your hands dirty with margins, proper sales targets and measurement is a great experience and is invaluable if you go agency side. So, if you’re into this – find a client side role that cherishes this or an agency that equally values hard metrics over soft ones.
I enjoyed the pace of client side work, working in retail was thrilling – an idea could go from conception to live in hours or days. It was great to know that you didn’t have to go through reams of client feedback sometimes, that your ideas would just happen if you wanted them to.
Hierarchy and politics is inevitable client side, a great challenge for some people, a barrier to others. Personally, it frustrated me to begin with but it soon taught me invaluable skills in managing internal stakeholders.
Not all agencies are like this, but I appreciate the culture of an agency that values creativity and innovation. There is much less time for personal and creative skill development client side. Agency life isn’t all lectures, galleries and ping pong, but a sprinkling of it can help.
I tend to gravitate towards people that are naturally curious and agencies can be a great environment to find these people. Client side is focussed on one or two narrow ambitions, e.g. sales or leads, whereas an agency allows its employees to explore a little wider than this in their roles.
Culpability and responsibility: due to the more strict job descriptions and structure client side you tend to have more weight on a single pair of shoulders, rather than the teams you’ll find agency side.
Booze Culture. There are more highs and lows agency side so inevitably Agency people socialise more.
Personally, I think I prefer agency side. Though I’d encourage everyone to try a mix of the two throughout their career – even if it’s a secondment in either direction.