One executive recruiter is predicting that a CFO will lead the advertising industry to a new model of doing business.
Jay Haines, CEO of Grace Blue, contributed an article to Forbes in which he wrote that advertising’s “legacy model” isn’t codnducive to efficient decision-making. But fast decisions are imperative in an era when advertising agencies are working on a project-by-project basis, fighting for their business day by day, week by week, instead of relying on tight client relationship.
He wrote, “There are few with a better opportunity to create change in that model than the CFO – but it has to be the right one. The executive who figures out what the new, agile and successful set-up looks like will be greeted as a legend – and everyone else in the industry will copy it.”
Advertising CFOs need to temper their characteristic caution and “challenge the way things are done,” according to Haines. He urged them to question not only how much an agency is spending but “also how it’s billing, who they are billing and the type of work they are looking for.”
To effectively manage an agency’s finances, a modern advertising CFO needs to to be “disruptive,” in the manner of a startup business. “The creative CFO needs to have the talents of a hedge-fund operator and the creativity of a tech entrepreneur,” Haines wrote.
Regardless whether a CFO has built his or her experience at an advertising conglomerate or a small shop, success in today’s advertising industry requires that the finance chief “have the energy to drive the need to do things differently.”