I just read an article by an earnest young account management type lamenting that the traditional role of account service is going the way of Betamax and VHS.

This is a fine proposition.

Although certainly not ground-breaking. Many heretofore job descriptions in traditional advertising agencies are going away. Or, more correctly, moving to the client side.

Account Service to be sure.

Creative in a lot of instances. (Author will rant about this at another time.)

Media, not as much as they tend to have the power of the negotiating purse client’s don’t have. Yet.

Production, oh yes, in-house production is a boon. Have a camera and can edit something together? You’re the new go-to. (Author will rant about this at another time.)

The list goes on and on. Truth is, if you are in a position in an agency where a client (someone who’s helping to pay your salary) needs you to bring something to the table other than just your body and an appetite for pastries, be worried.

Good people in each and every discipline of an agency invest themselves in their clients’ business. Not because it’s in the job description but because they want to do right by the client. If they don’t come in to an agency with this basic part of their DNA, DO NOT hire them. Be they account service, media, production or creatives.

I know, I know, I already hear my fellow creatives talking about hacks that can’t do terrific, mind-boggling ads getting hired versus creative geniuses with gorgeous portfolios. You may be right. To a point. But still, at the end of the day, if your ad doesn’t move the needle for sales, you may need to re-think YOUR proposition.

Now then, students get a pass. As creatives, we need to see how you think. How you solve a problem. How designers and art directors use type and imagery and copy to create not only beauty but persuasion as well. Ditto writers.

But at some point, the questions become less about how many awards you won for a piece and more about how this affected the clients’ bottom line. And it’s the same for every discipline in the agency.

Keep everyone’s focus on the business of the clients’ business and success will follow.

Amazing how happy, smiling clients make meetings go so much better. I guarantee this job never goes out of style.