Jay Haines talks to Business Insider about why young advertising creatives should be learning how the business side of their company works.
The internet has fragmented the advertising industry, creating more opportunities than ever for young people to try new roles and prove their worth to their employers.
Last week, Jay Haines from Grace Blue, the ad industry executive search firm, told Business Insider about what newcomers to the business should be doing to get ahead.
Haines, Grace Blue's CEO for North America, told us that in addition to the obvious (work hard, take on additional responsibilities, etc.), young creative types looking for a promotion can do wonders for themselves by learning how the business side of their company works.
Since agencies are increasingly being paid on a per-project basis instead of an annual payment promised in advance, Haines said firms are looking to chief financial officers to secure favorable payment processes.
If young people can spend time with their company's CFOs and master the changing business landscape, they could find themselves with a significant leg up on peers that remain focused only on their creative work and keeping their clients happy.
"Most of the people who are in that space, they just don’t understand the financial metrics of the business that they’re in," Haines said. "So not only do you have the client services and the creative outlet, but you also have an understanding of the way the business is changing financially. The two things together are very powerful."
Haines said his firm has now done 10 CFO searches in the past year, adding it's up to CFOs to work closely with CEOs to figure out how best to use a firm's resources now that agencies are receiving money from clients in smaller increments.
"Companies need these people more and more as the world changes to come up with new models and different ways of working," Haines said. "So if you are a young up-and-comer in the business, you want to get close to those guys and learn from them. Because the CFOs are becoming as important as the CEOs."