The world of the media agency is always one of trends; from programmatic, to native advertising, to Big Data, there's always a 'hot' topic that clients want to test candidates on, or candidates want to get more exposure to in a new role.
Certainly the trend of the moment is talk around change in the structure of agencies - a number of networks are moving to an integrated, client-specific offering with data at the heart of the agency, and creative sitting side-by-side in the same building with media. This will undoubtedly mean a change in environment and culture for many agencies, and whether this is a positive or negative thing will largely depend on your point of view.
What these changes will also do is open up new opportunities and job functions, ones that merge media planning with data or creative account management. Media planners and buyers will be looking to immerse themselves in these new functions to make sure they remain as employable as possible in the future.
"Building the agency of the future" is a buzz phrase of the moment. Translation: We need to do things differently. We don’t know how exactly, but we should bring creative and media closer together, produce content, and make data integral to the offering. Agencies are trying to move from being "agency of record" to a "key partner agency". "There is an ‘egg-breaking’ shift in the way agencies are structuring themselves for the future," Will Hamilton of marketing management consultancy Hamilton Associates says in a blog about the challenges facing agencies as marketing disciplines blur.