Whilst I am still new to the marketing industry, I have been lucky enough to work with both agencies and companies. So for this post I’ll share with you my experiences, thoughts and wisdom about both agency life and client side life. Lets begin…
If you are in the industry you will know that marketing agencies are popular. Everywhere you go there will be some sort of marketing agency specialising in everying from social media, SEO and PR to generic all rounders. For me agency life is actually where I would recommend anyone to start their career. If you find a good one they will help nurture you and guide you in the right directions to allow you to be the best asset you can. Agency life can also allow you to start building your network. I personally have used my agency contacts as sources of reference and resource in times of need.
However there can be difficulties working in the agency environment, mainly that you have to have multiple hats. This can in some cases also be a blessing as you will never be bored. With agencies you can be working on multiple client projects all at the same time meaning your time management is crucial as is your ablity to change your thought process dependant on your clients. As no two are the same.
Every business in the world needs marketing. Some will go to agencies to allow them focus on their core skillset, some will not and will choose to have an in-house team. If you work client side, this can be an advantage as you only have to focus on the business, you only need one hat. Client side can also allow you to shine and fully show your value. It’s a chance to show what you know.
Working client side has allowed me to understand thought processes of managers and target audiences more as uou actually see the impact you have made across the whole organisation. While this can happen with agency life, there is a level of disconnect as you may only be with the client for a short time.
However it does have its negatives. Some companies have their styles and ways of doing things and therefore there is little room for your own creativity. Most of the time you also have to be an all rounder, there is little room for you to develop your niche and sense of style.
You may also be part of a larger team and therefore feel like you are simply a clog in the wheel. Where as with agency life you the feeling is muted due to the disconnect I mentioned earlier. It can be less personal in emotion.
Before deciding on one over the other, have experiences in both. It can be easy to want to do one over the other based on pros and cons you read on blogs etc. However, I would personally say to fully understand both sides you have to have experiences.
No two agencies/businesses are the same. Each agency, business and organisation has its own way of working as well as their own niche. As you move through your career you will understand and learn what niches you adapt to best. Also no two locations are same. Like all things in marketing, what works for one might not work for the other.
Use your experience from one side and apply to the other. While client side allows you to simply focus on one organisation, use the time management lessons gained from agency life. Similiary if you develop ways of completing tasks apply them to the other side. Be it communucation techniques, work styles, software. If you can apply it use it.
So there you have it. A short and sweet overview of the different working sides of marketing. If you have your own wisdom comment below.