With a creative team’s ongoing list of projects and client requests, things can get pretty hectic if you don’t have an even-keeled, assertive multi-tasker to make sure things run smoothly. Who’s the right professional to keep those details, assignments and deadlines straight? A traffic manager.
It often takes a variety of departments to complete a client’s creative or marketing request, and traffic managers are the time-management pros who help creative content teams and other departments organize projects and deliverables for internal and external clients. They are the in-between man (or woman) for their team and project stakeholders, fielding and assigning requests, managing deadlines and delivering final products.
To make sure all initiatives are finished on time and with high quality, traffic managers need standout soft skills, such as communication and organizational expertise. They also need to keep calm under pressure. Juggling a variety of projects can be stressful, and a successful traffic manager can’t afford to get flustered with looming deadlines. Being able to adapt to new demands and unexpected delays is key.
If you’re excellent at planning and you’re looking for a fast-paced role that can help you hone your project management and leadership skills, the traffic manager role might be for you.
Here’s a look at the typical job description and salary expectations for traffic managers today.
Traffic manager salary benchmarks
According to The Creative Group 2019 Salary Guide, the midpoint starting salary for a traffic manager is $55,000. Check our Salary Calculator to find out what a traffic manager can make in your city.
Traffic manager duties and expectations
A traffic manager’s main objective is to ensure that all marketing collateral and work from account services flows efficiently to creative and production departments. They are responsible for keeping everyone on task and projects on deadline, handling the logistics and keeping all parties updated on the progress. Their end goal? To make sure the project goes smoothly and both the client who requested the project and the professionals who did the work are satisfied with the end result.
In most cases, the following responsibilities can be expected:
- Create detailed schedules and set deadlines for various stages of a project
- Distribute assignments to creative teams and other departments, depending on their availability and priorities
- Meet with clients to learn more about new project details and give progress updates on existing projects, communicating any issues
- Monitor projects and workloads, adjusting assignments and deadlines accordingly
- Maintain job files
- Work with freelancers and contractors and ensure they have the resources needed for their jobs
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Professional experience and skills
To succeed as a traffic manager, you need the ability to multitask, organize and collaborate. Traffic managers juggle a wide variety of requests from clients with competing deadlines and limited resources. Strong decision-making and prioritization are essential to make sure everything runs smoothly, and traffic managers need to be as organized as possible to schedule, monitor and adjust deadlines and resources as needed.
This position also requires significant collaboration, and traffic managers should have excellent people management skills. They need to know how to effectively communicate requests and assignments from clients to their team, which includes getting content creators to meet deadlines and following up when they don’t, pushing back when clients make unrealistic requests and making sure everyone is satisfied with the project.
Additional skills required include time-management, an eye for detail and problem solving skills. Proficiency with Excel and project management software is also important. Most employers hiring traffic managers look for professionals with knowledge of design resources and previous traffic experience, whether that’s in an agency or corporate setting.
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This post has been updated to reflect more current information.