Sometimes running the business side of an agency can be a grind. And like any other business, we probably spend too much time optimizing today’s model and not enough time reinventing ourselves for the future. When I optimize for today, I think about things like “faster” and “cheaper”. When we reinvent for tomorrow, we thing about ‘flexibility’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘investment’.
My biggest cost, by far, is my people. And I’m guilty of trying to optimize this cost. Can I hire people and train them faster? Can I get them to do more work/output? How *few* managers can I install to carry this out.
It works. …sort of. I’ve got awesome people doing great work. And my overhead is lower than my competitors, so my prices are almost always better. But something is missing.
If we run the business like a factory, it will become a factory. Brilliant advertisers don’t want to be managed like machines.
So, a few weeks back, I set aside some time for the Account Directors to describe their vision for ideal agency resourcing to me (we’ve talked about it casually for months. Years?)
I’m thrilled with the outcome!
Instead of working in channels (i.e., PPC, Display, etc.), we’ll work on teams.
For example, Katie will have a “team”. Katie’s team will include ppc people, seo people, display people, and support folks. Katie’s team will service a portfolio of clients. Everyone on Katie’s team will report to Katie, and she’ll be responsible for the success of the team with their clients. As a team, everyone will work together to service the portfolio. If you’re on Katie’s team, you work on Katie’s clients. You’ll stay together as a team kicking ass and taking names. Katie will be responsible for making sure your workload is fair, your deliverables are awesome and that you’re getting the opportunities you need to further your career and move up in responsibility (if that’s something you want).
We’re building three fully resourced teams to start. For now, we’ll leave ‘creative’ and ‘trading desk’ as departments outside of this structure
Here’s why I love it:
1) We’re now organized the way clients see us—a team of experts dedicated to their goals.
2) The delivery unit for the client (example: Katie’s Team), will be holistic and bring all of Booyah’s capabilities to the table. This should help us bring forward innovative cross-channel opportunities to the clients faster.
3) You’ll work with the same folks on a regular basis. This familiarity should improve efficiency. This should also create more “mentor/apprentice” relationships (best way to learn in my book)
4) Healthy competition between teams is sure to deliver some fantastic client work.
5) Small teams give more people a chance to lead in the future. This structure will create more Directors in the long run.
I’m thrilled by this opportunity!