The Different Roles within Marketing Agency Departments

Marketing and advertising agencies are a hub for talent. Since not all agencies are the same in terms of size and specialty, navigating the many departments and roles inside of an agency can get complicated.

Here is a simple breakdown of some typical agency departments (and the roles within) for those interested in working with/for a marketing or advertising agency.

Marketing Agency Departments


Account managers are the link between clients and marketing agencies. They decipher the client’s ask and translate it to the marketing team to execute. They are in charge of the marketing brief.

Account Management

Account managers are the client advocate within the agency. In addition to serving as the liaison between the client and the agency, account managers also offer the client strategic guidance. In order to do their job well, account managers need to be natural problem solvers, analytically minded, and proficient communicators. The account services team often translates the client creative/marketing brief to the agency team.

Some titles that fall under the arm of Account Management within an agency include:

  • Account Planning Supervisor

  • Relationship Manager

  • Group Account Director

  • Account Director

  • Account Group Director

  • Account Services Director

  • VP/SVP/EVP of Client Service

  • Chief Client Officer

  • Account Coordinator

  • Client Coordinator

  • Account Planner

  • Account Services

  • Account Supervisor

  • Group Account Supervisor

  • Management Supervisor

  • Account Executive

  • Account Group Supervisor


The Business Development team links the sales and marketing teams. They bring in revenue by nurturing and gaining new business.

Business Development

Most agencies want to grow, and they rely on the business development team to bring in new revenue from new and existing client accounts. People in this role are strong communicators, relationship-oriented, strategic, and knowledgeable of the agency’s capabilities and values. They have to bring sales and marketing together in order to turn leads into closed deals.

Some job titles that fall under the Business Development umbrella in an agency include:

  • Business Development Director

  • VP of Marketing

  • Vice President (VP) of Strategic Growth

  • Senior Vice President (SVP) of Agency Growth

  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

  • Chief Growth Officer

  • Marketing Coordinator/Specialist

  • Business Development Associate

  • New Business Coordinator

  • Business Development Coordinator

  • New Business Manager

  • Director of Communications

  • Director of Business Development


The creative department implements the client’s idea into a visual, graphic, website concept. They are typically very knowledgeable of the industry and culturally aware.

Creative

The creative team is responsible for bringing projects to life. Everything from designing the user experience of a website to crafting the visual concept or style of a product/advertisement/social post requires creative expertise. Creatives must be artistically talented and also must be able to communicate in a way that convinces stakeholders that their creative ideas can drive business objectives. Since they bring the client’s ideas to life, they must be able to interpret the client’s vision and craft many iterations of an idea throughout the creative process. The best creatives are decisive, socially and culturally aware, and have a deep understanding of marketing.   

Creative department job titles within an agency include:

  • Associate Creative Director

  • Copy Supervisor

  • Senior Copywriter

  • Senior Graphic Designer

  • Art Business Manager

  • Senior Traffic Manager

  • Studio Manager

  • Creative Manager

  • Creative Group Head

  • Creative Service Vice President

  • Director of Creative Services

  • Director of Graphic Services

  • Executive Art Director

  • Executive Creative Director

  • Experience Director

  • Senior Art Director

  • Art Director

  • Creative Director

  • VP, Group Creative Director

  • Chief Creative Officer

  • Junior Copywriter

  • Junior Designer

  • Assistant Copywriter

  • Assistant Graphic Designer

  • Associate Interactive Developer

  • Associate Designer

  • Creative Coordinator

  • Studio Specialist

  • Content Producer

  • Illustrator

  • Image Retoucher

  • Associate Producer

  • Interactive Designer

  • Experience Designer

  • Information Architect

  • Social Producer

  • Production Artist

  • Junior Art Director

  • Social Media Copywriter

  • UX / UI Designer

  • Copywriter


The media team in a marketing agency is strategic, understands the industry, and communicates with the client and the creative team.

Media

The media team handles the visibility and execution of a client’s campaign including radio time, TV advertisements, billboards, magazine features, influencers, and digital takeovers. Members on the media team are strategic planners, creative thinkers, communicators, and have a deep understanding and knowledge of the community, industry, and digital trends. The media and creative team usually work closely with one another and share similar qualities.

Media department job titles within an agency include:

  • Media Manager

  • Digital Marketing Manager

  • Associate Digital Marketing Manager

  • Senior Digital Brand Marketing Manager

  • Associate Media Buying Director

  • Associate Media Director

  • Corporate Media Director

  • Engagement Planning Director

  • Media Director

  • Media Research Director

  • Group Broadcast Director

  • Group Media Director

  • VP of Digital Marketing

  • Senior Vice President of Marketing

  • Digital Marketing Executive

  • Executive Media Director

  • Executive VP, Media and Corporate Administration

  • Media Coordinator

  • Marketing Coordinator

  • Media Traffic Coordinator

  • Media Research Associate

  • Assistant Media Planner

  • Digital Marketing Specialist

  • Media Assistant

  • Media Buyer

  • Media Planner

  • National Broadcast Buyer

  • Group Media Supervisor

  • National Broadcast Supervisor

  • Media Account Supervisor

  • Broadcast Media Supervisor

  • Media Research Supervisor

  • Media Supervisor

  • Content Manager

  • Associate Media Research Manager


Operations manages and organizes the processes to complete the project for the client.

Operations

The Operations team deals with both internal and external business operations. This department coordinates the execution of client projects as well as running internal business affairs (for example, accounting and human resources). Operations must have a deep understanding of the client’s ask as well as the agency’s internal processes/capacity since this operations team manages the timeline, budget, and resources allocated to the project.

Job titles that are found in the agency Operations department include:

  • Director of HR

  • Digital Media Managing Director

  • VP/SVP/EVP of Delivery

  • VP/SVP/EVP of HR

  • VP/SVP/EVP of Finance

  • Senior Vice President, Operations

  • Director of Project Management

  • Agency Operations Manager

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

  • Chief Culture Officer

  • Operations Associate

  • Accounting and HR Specialist

  • Assistant Project Manager

  • Project Manager

  • Print Project Manager

  • Program Director

  • Broadcast Project Manager

  • Marketing Operations Manager

  • Creative Operations Manager

  • Senior Project Manager

  • Director of Finance


Technological and analytical roles in a marketing agency are very numbers focused and data-driven.

Technology & Analytics

Technology is integrated throughout all departments of a marketing agency. Most of the time, a digital, creative, or user experience campaign involves complex technologies. Developers, engineers, and software techies must turn vision into reality through technology. They handle anything from website development, mobile application design, and the creation of interactive experiences.

Analytical roles, on the other hand, are for data-driven people who can provide insights from the vast amount of data available to companies. Whether in social media, traditional media, mobile, web, print, or digital marketing, analysts in an agency make recommendations by mining through the data and analyzing marketing performance. Analysts must be experts in database marketing, integrated channel marketing, and using data analytics tools like Google Analytics, Adobe, Salesforce, IBM, and others.

Some Analytical and Technological roles include:

  • Marketing Research Manager

  • Network and Operations Manager

  • Email Marketing Manager

  • Application Development Manager

  • Manager of Information Technology

  • Business Systems Manager

  • Associate Director of Analytics

  • Senior Database Administrator

  • Technology Manager

  • Creative Technology Director

  • Director of Information Technology (IT)

  • Director of Technology

  • Head of CRM Marketing

  • Information Technology Director

  • Technology Director

  • Director of Analytics

  • VP Intelligence

  • SVP Intelligence

  • Chief Technology Officer

  • Creative and Production Systems Manager

  • Email Marketing Specialist

  • Email Campaign Specialist

  • Database Developer

  • Analyst

  • Digital Marketing Analyst

  • Data/Insights Analyst

  • Marketing Research Specialist

  • Digital Operations Specialist

  • Business Systems Specialist

  • Information Technology Specialist

  • Interactive Webmaster

  • Database Marketing and Sales Analyst

  • Marketing Automation Specialist

  • Application Specialist

  • Web Architect

  • Software Developer

  • Software Support Administrator

  • Senior Email Marketing Strategist

  • Senior Analyst

  • Senior Interactive Analyst

  • Senior Web Analyst

  • Lead Analyst

  • Marketing Research Lead


 

Strategy

The Strategic Department in a marketing agency is goal-focused, motivated, and forward thinking.

Strategic roles in an agency are driven by creativity, research, and industry knowledge. Similar to operations, they are highly motivated, organized, and analytical people. Strategists are innovative thinkers who are trying to understand the connection between the consumer and the brand and fuel the creative team with insights that lead to creative executions.

Strategic roles include:

  • Director of Strategy

  • Brand Planning Director

  • VP/SVP/EVP of Strategy

  • Chief Strategy Officer

  • Brand Planning Coordinator

  • Brand Planner

  • Brand Strategist

  • Digital Strategist

  • Cultural Anthropologist


Depending on the type (specialized or full-service), focus, and size of the agency, roles and titles may vary. In fact, many agencies craft odd job titles for the sake of being different. That said, this list is not all inclusive and overlap often exists for each role.

Whether you are a job seeker trying to understand which role is a good fit for you, or a client looking to decode the agency hierarchy, this agency role list makes it easier to distinguish between the departments and roles within an agency.

Job seekers: If you are looking into agency work, know that there are several different paths you can take in marketing - check out the Marketing Career Path.

Client-side marketers: If you find that the communication between you and your current marketing agency has gone stale, be sure to download our Agency Scorecard templates. Or, if you are in need of an agency, download The Complete Guide to Finding a Marketing Agency to help you find a better agency match.

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