Jason Baker, Strategic Director at Hunterlodge Advertising describes how completing the Commercial Certificate helped him achieve a deeper understanding of all things commercial to get ahead in his career.
Having worked both agency and client side, I have been on the both ends of commercial and financial conversations. We all know that agencies need to make money but it is quite remarkable how many people in our industry, on both sides of the fence, don’t have a firm grasp of the ins and outs of financial management. I think it really is a bit a dark art to many.
It was refreshing to see that the IPA Commercial Certificate addresses that head on. The course was a comprehensive walk through of the financial machinations of an agency business, and it even talked about how client side money works. Knowing things like the language of finance is invaluable to everyone in agency – from Account Exec to Creative Director. After all, clients and financiers don’t have a magic filter that makes them only choose to discuss money with the account manager or account director. Believe me I’ve done it!
From an agency perspective, understanding cash flow and getting your head around how the agency profit and loss works makes it easier to spot problems, opportunities, and keeps the agency running as efficiently and effectively as possible. There are really useful sections about how finance works in production and with media which really helps explain how the agency gets paid and makes money. There’s even a short piece on contracts which complements the IPA LegRegs programme.
As a result of the course my colleagues and I are better equipped and more confident in dealing with money issues internally. Also the deeper understanding of the terminology and how things work means that teams can negotiate fees and costs with our clients from a much stronger stand point. In fact, our agency valued it so much that at Hunterlodge Advertising every client facing and finance member of staff has passed the IPA Commercial Certificate in 2013.
Find out more about the Commercial Certificate.
Last updated 22/01/2014