The traffic manager will create detailed schedules, set deadlines at each stage of the project, and will also make sure that work is distributed equally and fairly between creative teams and other departments. If too much work is coming into the agency, and resources are in short supply, the traffic manager can work with account managers and the creative department to move deadlines, or hire additional help in the form of freelancers and temporary contractors. The traffic manager will constantly monitor this process, often with the help of a trafficking system, and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.
The traffic manager work also closely with the media director to strategize media budgets and ad placement. When the traffic manager does their job correctly, they will be considered a quiet hero. Everything is running smoothly, due to their schedules and input, and the client is happy. When the traffic manager does a poor job, everyone notices. Deadlines are not met, rush fees are paid, teams are overworked, and clients can quit the agency due to the logistical mess. It’s a very important role.
Education and Training
A traffic manager will be expected to have a bachelor’s degree in the field of advertising, marketing, or some other business-related field. However, as is often the case, considerable agency experience, especially in traffic management or project management will be considered.
Traffic managers are very organized and detail-oriented. As a traffic manager, you will be expected to lead people and teams under tight deadlines and will need to be cool under pressure. You should be a people-person, as much of your daily duties will revolve around interaction with different members of each department. You should be good at problem-solving, and also be proficient in traffic management software.
On daily basis:
- Meet with the heads of departments to learn about the status of existing projects, and details about new projects coming into the agency.
- Create a schedule for new jobs, and assign those tasks using the trafficking system in place (this is usually done with software, and many tasks are automated).
- Review current and future timelines and job statuses with the heads of department, and if necessary, the individuals working on the jobs.
- Reschedule projects based on new or changing priorities. This often happens when clients initiate rush jobs, or the agency becomes involved in a pitch.
- Report to management about the current workflow, and communicate any possible issues with too much, or too little, work coming into the agency.
- Work with the accounting and production departments on invoicing and possible additional costs due to rush fees, or unexpected deadlines.
- Work with freelancers and temporary contractors, getting them up to speed on jobs they will assist with.