From Agency to Agency

I am still somewhat of a new kid to the digital agency world, having recently made the leap from another kind of agency – a music booking agency.

Having spent the past five and half years immersed in the live touring plans of hundreds of bands, the move toward the digital space was prompted in part by seeing and being inspired by the ways that artists, venues and multiple music industry entrepreneurs were embracing technologies that allowed voices to be heard in such a crowded landscape.

This career shift certainly came with some apprehension, but a surprising and welcome revelation too: Believe it or not, juggling the needs of advertising clients and indie bands is not as different as one might think. Less rock, similar role.

The Middle
A booking agent acts as the middleman between the bands and the venues. The agent seeks to orchestrate the best possible live show experience through impeccably planned tours and shows, which depend on savvy collaboration with venues and promoters. These efforts should serve to push the career of the artist forward.

An account executive serves as the middleman between the client and the internal team. Our team works to meet the needs of the client by creating a product – be it a digital campaign, a game, an app, etc. – that not only exceeds expectations but serves to increase the footprint of the client in the digital and physical space.

The parallels in these two roles exist in that shared word “middleman.” Both booking agents and account executives manage deadlines, expectations and teams for the shared goal of making a client (be it a band or a company) both happy and more productive in his or her own endeavors. The dichotomy of serving the best interest of both your client and your team (which can certainly be at odds) exists in both places.

The Language
My first dose of the magnitude of my career shift came with the immediate need to learn the new “digital speak”: ad sizes, ad types, file types, CTRs, CPMs etc. – the gamut. I feared this hurdle might take months to conquer, yet it quickly became second nature. I was soon sending emails that I wouldn’t have been able to interpret weeks earlier when I was using my fluency in “booking-agency speak”: rattling off different types of performance deals and contracts, arguing profits, expenses and rider requirements.

No matter which industry language you learn to speak, the way in which you speak is what matters most. One of the most important skills I’ve developed in both roles is how to relay messages, deadlines and requests in a manner that is both concise and eloquent (sometimes a struggle for a wordy gal like myself). I’ve learned quickly that though the jargon may be different, it pays to be multilingual.

The Passion
The pervasive enthusiasm exuded by my co-workers is easily the most wonderful parallel found in my agency transition. Whether motivated by a new band with a sold out tour, or a ground breaking digital campaign executed to perfection, the impact this energy has on the success of a campaign is immeasurable.

Impressions are the universal measurement for success. For a tour, it’s the impression left on the fan. For a digital execution, impressions are a metric that suggests an experience so captivating the user had no choice but to share it with their friends- like a great record. These experiences, no matter the industry or type of agency, are fueled by the passion of their creators.

As we watch the traditional music and entertainment industry paradigms (my former home) move towards the digital space (my new home), it is apps, web experiences and media that prove to be game changers. It is with the education garnered in both of these homes that I move beyond my “new kid” status and join the passion and excitement with which Glow continues to both explore and guide what is next.

Categories: Industry Ramblings, Music
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