Running a Successful Ad Agency: Creatives

Here at Function Point we are constantly working with creative firms, advertising agencies and digital (new media) agencies to help better define internal processes and workflow using our software. In doing this we have come up with 6 personas that interact within the typical creative agency.

Helping people in this role work more efficiently and effectively together will help the agency become much more profitable.

How to Run a Creative Agency – The 6 Personas:

  1. New Business
  2. Creative
  3. Account Executive
  4. Traffic Manager
  5. Accountant
  6. Owner

Creative

Job Description

The creative team develops and produces the agency’s creative product for clients. This team includes copywriters, designers and developers. The team works with the AEs to make sure the client’s needs are being met and the creative goals are on track.

The creative team develops every aspect of an ad campaign based on the client’s marketing plan, conceptualizing those ideas for clients, assigning projects to staff and verifying that the client’s deadlines are being met. The creative team generally gets the glory when a campaign is a success and takes the blame when it’s a failure.

Comprising various team members with different roles, here’re the most common positions of creatives in advertising and their responsibilities:

Copywriter:

Copywriter is an essential role in any creative ad agency. This person is in charge of writing concise and compelling ad copy, website content, and other marketing collaterals. They collaborate closely with designers and developers to ensure their messages are impactful and reach the marketing objectives. Some content formats that a copywriter works across are slogans, catchphrases, landing pages, social media posts, video and podcast scripts, etc.   

Typical responsibilities include:

  • Interpret account briefs and creative direction to understand client’s requirements and compose persuasive copy concepts
  • Create clear and attractive copy for diverse mediums such as ads, blog posts, social media content, and newsletters with a distinct voice that reflects the client’s branding and tone
  • Work with with designers, PR and other marketing executives on marketing projects to brainstorm and develop marketing materials
  • Join meetings with clients to understand their goals, key message, and target audience, and present creative ideas to client for approval before carrying out projects
  • Find customers’ insights via high-quality research and interviews
  • Apply SEO principles and best practices to maximize copy’s reach
  • Edit and proofread copy to meet clients’ expectations

Designer:

A graphic designer brings a company’s visual look to life in both online and offline channels. Together with copywriters, they oversee the entire ad creative management  process. While copywriters lead the content, designers focus on the visual look, from understanding requirements, searching for ideas and inspiration, to visualizing graphics, and making necessary modifications. Their work can include logos, illustrations, layouts and photos, event posters, website design, product packaging, book and magazine coverages, and more. 

There’re various types of designers, including graphic designers, web designers, UI/UX designers, animation designers, game designers, brand and product designers, etc. Depending on your creative ads agency niche and requirements, you’ll assign different tasks and responsibilities to your designer. However, here’re the most common responsibilities of this role: 

  • Create imagery concepts and typographic by hand and digitalize them with software like the Abode package
  • Design graphics and layouts for specific marketing needs like logos, packaging, advertisements, banners, brochures, or imagery for digital and printable products 
  • Collaborate with copywriters to understand the content concepts and choose appropriate design direction, such as how to fit images and text to a specific layout and size.
  • Suggest design ideas to clients and work with them to find the best option that captivates consumers
  • Turn text into engaging visual content like infographics or short videos to simplify complex ideas and make them more accessible
  • Test different design formats to see which one performs best
  • Incorporate client feedback into revised designs 
  • Stay updated with the latest design tools and technologies

Creative Brief Templates for Your Creative Team

Fuel the Design Process With Ready to Use Creative Brief Templates

Developer: 

In agencies, a developer work across various digital platforms and projects like website development, app development, game development, digital transformation for businesses, and many more. They take the requirements from the copywriters and designers and create the back-end and front-end codes for the digital products. They can also leverage Bubble Developer by Unico Connect to transform concepts into tangible solutions, ensuring flawless functionality, user-friendliness, and alignment with clients’ objectives.

Here’re the common daily tasks of a developer:

  • Create clean, efficient, and testable code with web development best practices
  • Make website layouts and user interfaces with HTML and CSS
  • Discuss with stakeholders to gather and understand client’s technical needs and specifications 
  • Work with web designers to realize the design intent
  • Upload and migrate data from various back-end sources to the new website or app 
  • Build and maintain software documentation
  • Check and ensure the software is compatible when integrating with other systems 
  • Maintain the site and scale up when needed 
  • Keep updated and follow emerging technologies and industry trends for operational activities

Requirements and Skills You Should Look for Your Creative Team

With the above job descriptions for each role in your ad creative agency, look for these traits when you hire a new creative member:

Copywriter:

  • Proven experience producing copy for print and digital media channels that contribute to the success of marketing campaigns
  • Knowledge of content strategy 
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills for various media like website, presentation, social media
  • Understand SEO concepts and able to write SEO-oriented articles
  • Strong research skills
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Creativity, adaptability and the ability to collaborate effectively with others

Designer:

  • Strong graphic designing experience
  • A diverse portfolio of graphics and illustrations
  • Familiarity with design software or animation software, depending on your needs
  • Detail-oriented and a keen eye for aesthetics
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Orgnaization skill to work methodically and deliver tasks by deadlines

Developer: 

  • Good knowledge of technology and digital tools with strong coding experience
  • A comprehensive understanding of the structure of web, app and other digital projects
  • Have passion to create digital products to the highest standard and a desire to push boundaries
  • Have the ability to explain technical jargon to creative teammates and clients

A Typical Day

General activities of the creatives agency team:

  • Attend strategy meetings for new business
  • Work with the AEs and Traffic Manager to check the status on current projects and assign new projects
  • Lead brainstorming sessions with creative team to develop ad campaigns based on client’s needs
  • Create advertising proposals for clients
  • Pitch concepts to clients

Activities of Copywriters:

  • Grab and debrief clients’ demands to express and translate this into written content
  • Create copies to engage the audience while adhering to the client brand’s tone of voice
  • Working with the art director to generate creative strategies and ideas to build innovative campaigns
  • Conduct amendments if requested by clients

Activities of Designers:

  • Produce a set of ideas, select the best ones and sell them to the other team members and clients
  • Nurture creativity and encourage others to share their ideas
  • Produce visual work in the right format as required
  • Communicate with management and clients to keep them updated with project milestones

Activities of Developers:

  • Explore creative ideas with the team and offer technical input to match
  • Convert ideas into prototypes and check their viability
  • Code front and back end development, CMS building, using suitable languages like HTML, JavaScript, CSS and other coding
  • Stay abreast of the latest technologies

A Typical Interaction With FP

  • FP is used to receive tasks, complete tasks and provide commentary about the tasks
  • FP is used to track time for billing and reporting purposes
  • FP is used to look up client phone numbers when necessary
  • FP is used to store and view necessary files
  • Function Point’s Client Portal is used to share creative amongst the team and with clients.

A Perfect Day

  • The agency creatives are left to create and are not burdened by processes or systems
  • Tasks are completed on time and meet clients’ satisfaction
  • Win a creative pitch with a new client

Top of Mind Issues

  • Making clients happy
  • Focus on creative work and not wanting to be micro-managed
  • Time and task tracking must be easy, quick and not overbearing.

We love working with our clients and prospects by helping with both the software requirements to make working together easier, as well as developing efficient workflows. If you have any comments or think we’ve missed something from your job description, drop a comment in the section below.

Still wondering how to run a successful advertising agency? We’re here to help creatives run a profitable business! If you’d like to see what Function Point can do for your creative campaign agency, let us know.

This article was written by former Function Point employee, Tate Lillies.

Are You Making The Right Decisions for Your Agency? Free Guide Download

Learn how an all-in-one agency management tool takes away the guesswork and helps you make better decisions for a thriving team, happy clients, profitable agency growth.