When I got into the media business (sales) ad agencies were known for hiring youth, paying meager wages, providing minimal training and offering limited advancement. Long hours were common and I’m pretty sure late night pizza delivery was common several times a week.
That was 45 years ago! Over the last couple of decades agencies have pivoted, reimagined, reinvented and hacked themselves promising to be the agency of the future.
But wait, there’s more. Back then it was common for an agency to have 10 employees grinding on just 1 Million dollars in billings. Over time technologies introduced some new efficiencies and, of course, salaries exploded with inflation and the ratio declined to one person working on $1 Million. Today, I’m told, a single agency employee works on several million dollars’ worth of billings.
So, have those millions of dollars clients spent supporting the agency of the future built a place of well-trained, highly experienced, highly compensated individuals with multiple choices for early and frequent advancement?
I’m guilty of generalizing because there are some great shops, foundries, farms, or whatever that are doing their clients proud. For the rest keep disrupting until you get it right!