I began working for Davidson Belluso, a Phoenix advertising agency, in 2015. This was part of a personal plan to migrate away from freelancing and join a stable, successful and creative team.
I had enjoyed success as a freelance web developer since moving to Arizona in 2006. When my daughter was born in 2013, I suddenly found the need for financial stability quickly outweighed all other factors. Dusting off what I felt was an antiquated resume, I set my sights on a career at Davidson Belluso.
As with any new job, it took me a while to become familiar with my co-workers and to get a true understanding of their core values. I have the opportunity to work with dedicated and creative people and I wanted to take a few moments to share what might be a typical day for me.
Phoenix Advertising Agency: Auribus Teneo Lupum
It may seem strange that I chose a Latin phrase from the Roman playwright Terence that means to “hold a wolf by the ears” to describe working in a Phoenix advertising agency. In the day of Terence (circa 160 BC), this phrase referred to a situation where doing nothing and doing something, were found equally risky. This saying can be equated with a modern phrase, “holding a tiger by the tail”, which is more appropriate.
Every client that walks through the doors of our Phoenix advertising agency already has a dream and a vision for their business. Our job is to translate those dreams and visions into a plan of action that will best represent our client. Everything from brand recognition to technological requirements is gone through by our team and custom-tailored to meet the requirements and personality of each client. While each project is different, the focus can be on a redesign of their logo to a complete overhaul of the look and feel of their website.
A day in the life
One of the most challenging, and most rewarding, facets of working in a Phoenix advertising agency is the variety of talent that is brought to bear on a project. I have watched the creative and interactive teams build television commercials, radio ads, internet advertising campaigns, print ads, and web development projects. The teams are coordinated by several account executives who communicate with both the clients and team members working on their projects. The following schedule will give you an idea of the work involved in running a successful agency.
Traffic Meeting – 8:30 am
The Traffic Meeting is held every Monday morning at 8:30 in the morning. The entire team gets together in the studio to go over all of the upcoming projects for the week. The Account Executives go through all of the actual and possible tasks with the Creative Team and the Interactive Team. The Creative Team primarily handles graphic design and copywriting while the Interactive Team is responsible for the programming and technology architecture. The most critical tool that I have found while working for a Phoenix advertising agency is communication. The traffic meetings keep us focused on the goals we need to meet and help streamline the communication significantly, which sets us up for a successful week.
Quarterly Review – 9:00 am
This morning I had to attend my quarterly review to discuss my performance during the last quarter. In attendance were myself, the two company owners, my immediate supervisor and a member of the Human Resources department. During this time, I had the chance to discuss the things I am excelling in as well as the things I might need to improve on. Having goals to reach are an important part of personal growth and personal growth leads to team growth. The quarterly review process provides clear goals for the next 90 days and also ensures that everyone in my chain of command sits down with me on a quarterly basis.
Daily Maintenance – 9:30 am
Part of my personal job is the management of our system of internet servers that we use to host websites for our clients. These systems require daily maintenance that includes managing backups, application maintenance such as upgrades and ensuring that the systems are running smoothly for both internal and external processes.
Daily maintenance also entails the evaluation of our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts for both our own website and the websites that belong to our clients. This can involve everything from making updates to their websites to evaluating their Search Engine Ranking Placement (SERPS).
Focus Time – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Last year we instituted the concept of Focus Time in our organization as a way to provide a solid block of time each day to focus on billable work. With the constant evaluation of our internal processes and the fast-paced nature of acquiring new business, many ad hoc conversations take place throughout the course of the day. While these conversations are critical to ongoing projects, there needs to be focused time every day to accomplish the bulk of your production. It is important to understand the balance between individual time and team time to accomplish great work.
Monthly Lunch and Learn – Noon
Once a month our company hosts a Lunch and Learn that is typically given by one of the members of our team. In the past, we have hosted such topics as the current state of the company, our internal processes, quarterly Key Point Indicators (KPIs), how to write excellent blog articles and the list goes on. We also host a Launch and Learn once a month that discusses projects that we have launched during the month and upcoming projects in our queue. This is actually a time that is a great deal of fun and provides everyone on staff to present a topic that is near and dear to their hearts.
Client Training – 3:00 pm
One of my favorite things to do is work with our clients during client training time. For me, personally, this usually involves walking the client through their new website. A large number of our clients use WordPress as their web platform, though we have a number of sites that are based in Drupal, Joomla or even custom-coded proprietary applications that were taken from conception to completion.
Not only is this an excellent time to communicate with our clients concerning the implementation of their project, but it is also a time to get to know our clients on a personal level. As a side note, one of the most exciting benefits of working for a Phoenix advertising agency is the wide variety of technology and culture we encounter from client to client.
SEO Review – 3:30 pm
Part of life in a Phoenix advertising agency is embracing the latest best practices for Search Engine Optimization. Not only do we provide SEO packages for our clients that host with us, we view ourselves as a client and provide advertising services for Davidson Belluso. Social Media does play a large role in our SEO strategy and we have a dedicated employee who handles all of our Social Media engagements throughout the month.
With the new introduction of Google Rankbrain, along with research into the latest SEO trends, SEO and Social Media are the primary tactics we use to gain an organic audience. While we do implement Google Adwords for our clients who specifically request a paid advertising campaign, most of our work is focused on gaining internet traffic from organic methods. This time is rounded out with in-depth analysis of our Google Analytics.
Creative Team Meeting – 4:00 pm
As part of our ongoing process evaluation, we hold team meetings on a regular basis to discuss the creative process. This meeting usually involves everyone that is part of the studio including graphic designers, writers, and programmers. Usually, this time focuses on existing projects and can involve a post-mortem for projects that have been recently completed. The constant evaluation of our process is important to our future success as a team.
Happy Hour – 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Once a month we get together as a team after the office has been closed and visit a local establishment to relax. Social interaction and team bonding is a high priority with our management staff and this is an excellent time to enjoy each other’s company. Spending a few hours, once a month, outside of work hours to have fun and relax is an invigorating part of our team process.
Working for a Phoenix advertising agency has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have ever had. The constant variety of work, the challenges of team goals and the exciting creative culture that I am surrounded with serve to make this one of the richest life experiences.