Lots of young marketers start their professional lives agency-side. It’s fast-paced, it’s fun, and you learn a lot – fast. If you want to be a marketer then starting your career agency-side is one of the best things you can do to turbocharge your professional development. I’ve worked at a few; encountered hundreds, and just about every one encourages an environment where their marketers are empowered to take on as much as they want. If you’re hungry to test yourself then you can get a ton of exposure – and grow very quickly.
Some then stay agency-side and climb the rungs to management and beyond, others have their eye on the vaunted holy land of client-side. For some it’s wanting to fly under the flag of one brand, belonging to and building one thing; others reach a point where they want the stability of a more corporate structure; others still just enviously see their contemporaries client-side handing out briefs and making demands while they sit at the pointy end of production.
For those I’ve worked with that do make the jump to client-side, specifically to big brands, there has been one consistent bit of feedback:
“It’s so slow,”
“Everything takes ages to get signed off by finance,”
“Legal needs to clear everything before it goes out, it’s painful.”
Despite the trend recently of large companies to try to recreate agency work models internally, trying to tap into the fast-paced environments that are better suited to a now digital-dominated marketing landscape, it always seems to fall down once the process moves to other departments. When every consumer facing media placement requires sign off from legal teams and financial teams it can really hamper the quick-to-market advantage that can separate good marketing teams from great ones.
Digital marketing is fraught with risk and nothing worries accountants more than risk.
Now part of the solution to this problem is the reserve of operations: flattening out processes, finding efficiencies, and updating to reflect the speed of turnaround required to make the most of digital. But a significant part of the challenge is: transparency. Even if, as an in-house marketer, you have a more digitally clued-up group of colleagues around you, digital media buying is still a mystery, and unlike more traditional media buying, it isn’t locked in at a certain price and there is no material asset for the investment. In short, if you’re outside the marketing department, and especially if you are in the finance team, digital marketing is fraught with risk. And nothing worries more accountants than risk. If there is a potential for digital marketing budget overspend, they are going to be concerned. What adds to this is the impenetrability of PPC dashboards and disparate nature of the data spread across multiple platforms.
The challenge is: transparency
While Hawke AI was developed initially to service an agency, the central problem it was trying to solve was the same: data transparency. Siloed marketers working on siloed platforms – at scale, as is the case with agencies, is risky. Just about every agency has had to write out a cheque at some point due to a PPC budget overspending. We solved that problem by bringing all that data into one place, made it easy to read, and contextualized all the data points against targets. Now getting a picture of spend and results is as easy as logging in to a single platform. Well, the same solution is now helping in-house teams with cross-departmental visibility, allowing accountants to sleep a little more soundly, and speeding up cross-departmental processes.
Brands are using Hawke AI to protect against the risk of PPC overspend and give a greater level of transparency internally – by itself it might not make in-house teams move at the speed of their agency counterparts, but it’s definitely helping close the gap!