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Has it become impossible to manage traffic?

#WHATELSE Travel Rishi Sen • November 16, 2016
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I’m not talking about our regular Bombay traffic. The creative services industry is in a dilemma. Agencies are constantly searching for a miracle when it comes to functional and coherent project management, tracking of productivity and client service and delight.


The “Traffic Manager”, a role which originated in the West, has also been adopted by Indian agencies looking for a way to manage their processes more efficiently.

The primary function of a Traffic Manager is to work as a liaison point, connecting account management teams to the departments within the agency that ideate, strategize, create and execute various forms of content. They co-ordinate all projects, from start to finish, ensuring an orderly flow and timely delivery from all contributors.

A new trend shows an increase in the number of agencies eliminating the Traffic Manager function and allowing the Account Managers to serve as their own traffic managers. They drive their own projects within the agency, assign tasks to other departments, track their respective work and route required materials. This is happening for the following reasons :

  • Budget cuts – Having a traffic manager can be viewed as a luxury, an “add on” administration function which only larger agencies with deeper pockets can afford
  • Technology – Marketing and creative services agencies are adopting and implementing sophisticated project management and collaboration software tools which are often seen as a replacement for the traffic function


What are the downsides of an Agency without Traffic Management?

  • Every job fights for priority, with no-one to “referee” the process – the creative team is left to decide how to prioritize the work which distracts them from doing what they do best
  • The Agency Head may need to step in to resolve issues, distracting them from playing a more strategic and/or revenue oriented role
  • Breakdown in communication among employees may cause problems
  • Inevitable conflict with account teams vying for the same resources
  • Managing creative talent and temperaments, and getting the best out of creative people is best conducted by a connected and responsive Traffic Manager


How do we do it at THE120MC?

At THE 120 MEDIA COLLECTIVE, the Traffic Manager is the anchor between all businesses and operations. All work flows via the Traffic Manager making sure expectations are set upfront, and timelines adhered to.  In short, nothing moves unless the Traffic Manager says so!

A typical day for a traffic manager at THE 120 MEDIA COLLECTIVE includes :

  • Assigning tasks and checking on the status of outstanding tasks
  • Conducting daily meetings to go over new tasks assigned, evaluating existing task progress and determining if there are any roadblocks
  • Raising issues with the team and business management and helping resolve them
  • Conducting weekly status meetings to identify upcoming jobs and resource allocation
  • Internal budgeting and timelines

Check out 6 personas of a successful creative agency

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THE 120 MC