What I’ve Learned In My Journey From Agency to AdTech
Ever wish you could share some hard-earned career experience with your former self?
Before I go any further, let me preface with this: I can’t say with any definitive proof that I’m any older and wiser than I once was. What I can say is, as a former agency Digital Media Supervisor who made the pivot to the AdTech world — now that I’ve experienced both sides, I have context I didn’t have before on how to maximize the agency-vendor relationship.
So, here are a few thought-starters that I’d love to share with the not-so-distant, agency-version of me:
- The more context you give your partners, the better the results. Explaining the “why” might take more time upfront but will ultimately deliver an outcome that’s much more inline with your business objectives (and relieve a whole lot of stress along the way). Plus, you’re putting some of the leg work on your partners, so you can spend your time on the clients.
- Not all tech is created equal. Make sure to vet your partners carefully and have a firm understanding of their data provenance. Ask us questions, grill us on our tech, and see which partners are blazing new paths (vs. which ones are struggling to keep up). As we all know — data privacy, protection, and compliance should be at the forefront of all we do in the industry. Here at Blis, we’re leading the way through our industry-leading data vetting and IBM Blockchain integrations for multi-dimensional transparency.
- Embrace the test. Sure, I get it. It’s totally a pain to build out new line items in Prisma, build out new traffic sheets, generate new tags, etc. BUT, for the sake of an internal match-up against data partners, these tests provide real, tangible results that help you show off to your clients. Plus, it gives you the gusto to confidently tell your clients that you’re going with the best of the best — you’ve seen the proof with your own eyes.
- Let your tech partners do the troubleshooting for you. We know that the programmatic ecosystem is complicated. It’s full of always-moving pieces and partners and acronyms that may seem overwhelming (well, they are overwhelming) when trying to collaborate towards a shared goal. It’s each of your partners’ jobs to be the expert in their own specific vertical, so wherever possible, open the lines of communication to help us collaborate to anticipate challenges and ultimately save time and bandwidth.
- Coffee hours can be seriously productive. It may seem superfluous to take 15 minutes out of your morning to grab a cup of coffee with a partner when you have a full inbox of emails, a dozen deliverables, and a fire drill (or three). That said, I see every week how those first few hours in the morning — when we’re newly caffeinated and ready to seize the day — can be some of the most productive for our partnership, whether it’s getting to know the partners you work with on a personal level, troubleshooting the inevitable campaign hiccups, or walking through new first-to-market opportunities.
At the end of the day, the root of all of these lessons net out to one thing: let’s keep the conversation going. The more that we can keep the communication channels open, the more that we can collaborate on fulfilling your clients’ needs.