Empathy is in short supply between the engineering and the media buying teams. A developer would think that a business analyst doesn’t get what technology is, and doesn’t have enough patience to wait for a feature to be fully ready.

A media analyst would think that tech sucks or engineers are bad, and because of that, the product doesn’t work.

It is a common problem among agencies, and the usual solution is to hire a product manager.

The problem with this approach is that if the product manager has a stronger business or tech background, she will add extra tension to one side or another.

This is not a tactical problem that can be solved with an org. change. It is a strategic problem.

SaaS companies, like HubSpot, doesn’t have this problem. Their revenue depends on the users. If a user doesn’t like a feature, or something is not working, they will walk away, and the company will suffer.

So it is in the best interest of everyone that the engineers work on the right feature, and deliver with quality.

In agencies, the user is not paying for anything (not in form of money anyways.) She is just trying to do her job. Engineers might feel entitled (or in a more powerful position) and overlook or don’t pay attention to what the users need.

What’s the strategy change you should make then? Get rid of the media and engineering team. Make them “the team.” The goal of an agency is to provide performance to their clients. The only way to do that is by having a team of both media analysts and engineers, working together.

Media analysts have a wide range of ad tech/martech products they can use. They don’t need to wait for an engineer to reinvent the wheel.

Engineers, on the other hand, get to work on specific client’s problems that are much more fun than creating a clone of the FB Ads Manager.


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Leo Celis