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What’s Better – Agency or Client Side?

Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo …

Choosing your career path is a big decision – no doubt. But, sometimes life presents you with an opportunity to change that path mid way. And in marketing and advertising, more specifically for account people and marketers, that opportunity is always looming.

So, the big question therein lies – Is one direction better than the other? To answer that, you must ask yourself several questions:

  • Do I have an initial preference, or am I leaning one way more than the other?
  • Do I really understand how the roles/responsibilities differ and how my current skills are/are not transferrable?
  • Is there an opportunity to develop myself and advance my career by “switching sides?”

These are just a few questions to consider. But there are also several myths you must weigh as well.

  • Client side doesn’t always pay more.
  • Client side hours aren’t always better or more structured.
  • Agency side isn’t always as glamorous as it may appear.

The reality is there are truly advantages to experiencing and learning both sides of the business. Personally I have jumped twice to each side. And, each time provided enormous amounts of knowledge that I would not have gained otherwise and that I will continue to share with my staff and with my clients. It has made me appreciate how both sides are extremely similar and extremely different.

I know for a fact (now that I own my own advertising agency) I treat my clients with even more respect than I did in the past. I understand their daily challenges; I empathize with the magnanimous amounts of decisions they make in a day; I feel for the fact that they too don’t always get to spend enough time with their families.

Spending the years on the client side that I did has indeed made me a stronger, more effective account person. I’m honored to have been a part of the growth and marketing strategy developed while I was on the client side, and truly appreciate the tireless energy my account teams expended on me on behalf of the agencies that served our brands.

And now, back on the agency side as I continue to grow my own firm, I will pass on this amazing learning and serve our clients in the manner they deserve. I will entrench myself in their marketing strategy, understand how they make money and drive customer traffic and trial and make them even more successful than they are today with stand out creative work that will blow…their…minds!

– Cindy Haynes

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