Welcome to the Agency!
The second semester for the iMC students consisted of an “Agency” setting, which is described by Mark Gauthier, a student in the program, as “a unique and rewarding experience that provides students with a “Real World” approach to the work environment”. Students were divided up in to four groups, and there were four clients on the table. We started off learning how to create a request for proposal, and thus a bidding war began.
After getting assigned to our clients, then the work began. We had eight weeks to create a Marketing Communications Plan for our clients. We started off with a “discovery session” with the clients. We met with them to discuss what they were looking for, and what goals they were wanting to accomplish, and to get a general feel for the company. With the information that was gathered, we set off to create a full fledged Marketing Communications Plan. We had to develop a creative brief and get our client’s approval before moving on to the actual plan, and once that was finished, we had complete control over the plan (while keeping our clients updated with the progress that we had made). Over these eight weeks, we met deadlines, worked individually as well as a team, came up with some really great ideas and eventually it all came down to the pitch for the final plan. This really gave us the chance to see how our clients reacted to what we came up to them, teaching them some new things about their organization, and just to see that look of gratitude that they had by the end of the pitch.
These are the final covers of two of the marketing plans from this semeseter.
Agency taught the groups a lot of new skills, from team work to meeting deadlines to creating a full fledged campaign that could be used by their clients. It gave those who have never been in an agency the insight that they needed to make a decision on whether or not agency was for them. It also gave new timers a chance to learn at a fairly steady pace what exactly goes in to the brainstorming, the plan and the presentation; while let’s the veterans use their skills to help guide those who may not know as much as the others.
However not everything was so easy, with great team work comes many challenges, but also with that team work, these challenges can be overcome. While some students thought it was somewhat stressful trying to figure out the balance between a personal life and a work life, others found their fellow teammates a little difficult to work with. There were also some conflicts with the clients, which should be expected in the real world - clients will not always be the easiest to work with.
Two more of the final covers of the marketing plans
Overall, it was good preparation on what it was like to be in an agency (I assume). There was stuff to be done as a group, in class, outside of class and on your own. You got a taste of everything from brainstorming to putting the final touches on to your Marketing Communications Plan. Learning the skills to work alone and on a team is extremely valuable for the future. You never know what your team is going to be like, and you are going to have to find a way to work with them, not against them.It resulted in a very interesting and realistic learning experience for the whole group.
By: Shannon Cooper, iMC Student