It is a fallacy that agency Traffic Teams ‘just’ manage spot distribution along with talent and usage rights issues.
Nowadays, depending on the agency, every piece of advertising content must go through the hands of the Business Affairs and Traffic Teams to ensure the spot reaches its intended audience.
This is no easy feat, with the ever changing ecosystem, these teams must be fully ahead of the game to ensure that they provide the best, most efficient service to their internal clients, the creatives. We asked a few Traffic Directors their feedback for to get more exposure on this part of the workflow:
Traffic Teams vary in staff numbers between 3 to 17 and more depending on the size of the agency and can increase depending on the size of the newly won client.
Working in Traffic is definitely not a 9-5 job. The Team is ON until the spots are out to the TV Networks – this can mean a weekday/weekend working till 3am if necessary. The unsung heroes of the creative world…!
These are just a few of the tasks managed by the Traffic Teams before the spot reaches the network:
Onboarding/off-boarding clients & vendors
Review media plan
Review creative rotation for accuracy
Ensure spot is uploaded in correct tech specs per vendor requirements and is available for delivery
Check for new added units or networks on a campaign that may need traffic/copy
Send Traffic Instructions
Placing orders on vendor platform or submitting a PO
Check PODs (Proof of Delivery)
Reviewing & approving vendor invoices; Update logs. Ad-ID, invoices, etc.
Maintenance of digital campaigns
Prepare orders for Closed Captioning and distribution
Submit and manage spot for Clearance
It is largely agreed that like TV, the Broadcast and Traffic Team is not dying and will be around in years to come. This department across the board, is being forced to evolve to be an even more integral part of the agency. Despite the allure of automation in many parts of the workflow, a human being is still required and performs a better job on some of the Traffic Responsibilities. However, there is a request from some traffic teams to see more automatization between media planning/buying/traffic/spot distribution/talent/accounting programs. This would alleviate some of the stress of the job plus potentially would allow these teams to enjoy a “normal” weekend…!
When it comes to who has the control over choosing which vendor to work or partner with, again this depends on the agency we are referring but it seems there is equal decision making. It is definitely important for the agency to be aware of all vendors in the market, with the brands depending on their feedback ahead of making the decision of which vendor to award the work to. Sometimes this is brand led but with the larger agencies the Director of Traffic does have a huge influence in where this work is awarded.
The decision process considers the following criteria:
Some wish-lists from the Traffic Teams is for there to a real ‘one-stop shop’ vendor e.g. Closed Captioning and Network Clearance is managed through one application online. Many vendors claim to be the one stop shop solution, but it is clear with this feedback, that they still have some work to do.
Special thanks to Conill and Amplify for their feedback.
*Please note that Foresyte Media will be managing a separate Industry Spotlight on Traffic Teams and Business Affairs and will conduct an online survey to gauge more indepth feedback from this industry group.