6 Tips to Keep on Track as Creative Agency Traffic Manager
Read time: 7 minutes
A traffic manager is an important role in creative agencies, especially if your agency is expanding and taking on multiple projects at the same time. Traffic managers must have a deep understanding of workflow and creative processes to assign proper workloads to team members and ensure timely delivery of project outcomes. If you want to learn how to improve your skills and advance your career as a traffic manager, keep reading. We’ll explore the traffic coordinator job description and reveal the top 6 advice that every successful traffic manager must pay attention to.
Job Description of Traffic Managers
First, what are your responsibilities as a traffic manager, and what are you expected to do all day?
Traffic managers oversee the entire project flow within an advertising or creative agency, ensuring the marketing campaigns stay on track and under budgets and timelines. They collaborate with multiple departments and act as the focal point for allocating resources to each project, directing the flow of work across teams to support efficient project management and collaboration. The traffic manager, or traffic coordinator, plays a crucial role in keeping all components organized and aligned with the project’s goals, ensuring that tasks are finished with the best quality and within schedule.
According to Second Wind (secondwindonline.com), as a traffic manager you are responsible for the following:
- Scheduling all work within the agency. This includes opening all jobs and assigning a schedule (tasks) to get the work completed.
- Preparing a daily status report of all active jobs with a status update to be distributed to everyone in the agency.
- Keeping track of and moving jobs from one status to the next.
- Keeping job schedules up-to-date as timing and scheduling changes occur each day.
- Alerting management if and when disputes or scheduling conflicts arise.
- Monitoring the processes to identify opportunities to optimize workflow and enhance efficiency
- Prioritizing tasks and assigning upcoming tasks and deadlines to team members
- Tracking project statuses and updating all stakeholders on the current stage of projects.
- Planning work schedules for team members and following up on project execution.
- Raising potential project risks or challenges and discussing them with project managers or account executives to find solutions
- Developing timelines, creating instructions, and setting clear goals and expectations of the project
- Communicating any updates or changes to team members when carrying out the project. This facilitates collaboration and alignment throughout the process.
6 Best Practices for Creative Traffic Managers
As we all know, daily change is the norm rather than the exception in the agency world. Deadlines need to be moved and schedules need to be adjusted due to a number of different reasons (client feedback, change of direction, management input etc.). So, although the job of a traffic manager may seem fairly straightforward at first glance, keeping ahead of everything going on in even a small agency can be a major challenge.
Here are 6 simple tips that will help you stay on top of all the changes:
1. Give yourself a task to organize yourself every morning:
Save dedicated time each morning to process any new information or requirements. Use this time to review project statuses, assess priorities, and prepare the daily status report.
Consider which tasks should be prioritized based on their urgency and importance to meet critical deadlines. You can apply time management techniques to stay organized and focused, such as prioritization grids, to-do lists, and calendar blocking. Think about the tasks you can delegate when appropriate. This will free up your time for more important jobs while empowering your teammates to own their work and boost their strengths and abilities.
By starting the day with organization, you’ll be well-informed about the to-do list and stay on top of everything going on within the agency. This routine will set a productive tone for the whole day.
2. Adopt a standard daily status report with crystal-clear information that everyone understands:
You should have a clear and consistent format for your daily status report that contains important information for everybody to understand. Once people know they’re going to get a daily status report that’s always in the same format, they’ll look to it to ensure that everything within their power is on track. The daily report must become a habit for the agency staff and management to rely on when tracking project progress.
It’s a team effort to ensure that the right work is getting done, and you’re the captain. Make sure there are no misunderstandings and give your team something that makes sense.
3. Ensure that reminders are sent out to the right people at the right time:
No one likes to feel like they’re being micro-managed, but it’s ok when communication is standardized and understood. Know when to send reminders to ensure tasks are completed within deadlines without the feeling of micromanagement.
To do that, set the expectation that each person on the team is accountable for getting his or her work done. Reminders (alerts) about task due-dates and milestones need to be consistent with the goal of ensuring that nothing gets through the cracks.
Using an agency management software such as Function Point to create tasks, schedule work, send auto-reminders and quickly build your daily status report will make your job easier and give more visibility into what is going on, but it won’t do your job for you. Follow the 3 tips above and you’ll have a system to help make the software (and your team) work for you.
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4. Foster a positive work culture:
Traffic managers must create a supportive work environment where creativity can thrive. This is especially important in advertising and creative agency. Here’re some tips for creative traffic managers when it comes to work culture:
- Understand the strengths and working styles of your team member to assign proper tasks that can optimize productivity and avoid burnouts
- Nurture teamwork and collaboration, celebrate team successes and individual contributions
- Develop trust with team members and become the one they can turn to for support
- Offer opportunities for professional development, and encourage employees to upgrade their skills and expertise.
- Promote a culture of learning from mistakes and giving constructive feedback for continuous improvement.
5. Embrace flexibility and adaptability:
It’s common for creative projects to face changes in clients’ requirements. Thus, it’s important for a media traffic coordinator to acquire an agility and adaptability mindset. Embrace changes, seek solutions, and adjust plans as you go. However, make sure you have a strong contract to cover your back if facing unreasonable demands from clients.
Keep yourself updated with the latest industry trends and technologies needed for your role. You can do this by attending industry events, conferences, connecting with relevant online social communities, following industry leaders, and learning from the news, and books. This will assist you in finding innovative solutions to streamline processes and make informed decisions.
6. Continuously evaluate and improve processes:
As a creative traffic coordinator, you should regularly review the agency’s workflow and look for opportunities to remove bottlenecks, simplify tasks, and boost efficiency. You can schedule one time per quarter to evaluate your processes and measure if your solutions positively affect workflow and productivity.
At the same time, ask for feedback from team members and stakeholders. They may help you gain insights on possible improvement areas and make proper suggestions.
Qualifications of Traffic Manager
If you want to have a successful traffic marketing agency, look for these traits when hiring your media traffic coordinator position:
- Highly organized and detail-oriented to keep a smooth agency workflow
- Good coordination and tracking abilities
- Excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills to work with different departments and convey concise and accurate information
- Patient and good at working under pressure and managing stress
- Understand people dynamics and know when to push or to allow for flexibility in project progress
- Ability to handle situations diplomatically
- Good at monitoring multiple projects simultaneously
To Wrap Up
Overall, traffic managers contribute their expertise and diligent management to the success of marketing campaigns. They help maintain seamless workflows and achieve desired outcomes for both the agency and clients. By implementing the 6 strategies above, you will enhance your traffic management skills, improve team cooperation, and gain better visibility into ongoing projects. Together with a powerful tool like Function Point, you can advance your traffic coordinator job in a creative agency.