If someone asked you what an account manager does, you’d probably say, “Manages accounts.” You wouldn’t be wrong, but account managers do a lot more than that. They’re the glue that holds everything (and one) together, ensuring clients get the work they want on time and on budget. And trust us—that’s no small task.
Great account managers know how to get the best work from their team, plus obtain a profit for the agency. Not only do they help identify key objectives from their clients, but also make sure the final product is effective for everyone involved. That’s not always easy, and is only the beginning of why account managers are so valuable to an agency’s overall success.
Here’s 10 other reasons why account managers are agency superheroes:
1. They’re industry experts.
Account managers have to know everything they can about both the advertising industry and the industries their clients are in. Good account managers will research by reading blogs, publications and a variety of other news resources to acquire the most industry knowledge possible. Then they’ll share their wealth of knowledge with their team. This education is also important when drafting creative briefs—the Holy Grail in ad agencies that are crucial to the development of a great campaign.
2. They possess strong business skills.
Effective account managers have the adept ability to demonstrate leadership to their team members. They also tend to have strong speaking and writing abilities, and play a major role in client meetings and presentations. Their business frame of mind enables them to keep their eyes on the prize, which is a successful outcome that is kept within time and budget, and stays true to the brief.
3. Questions are a must-do.
To truly understand what their clients want, account managers are not afraid to ask questions—and a lot of them. They realize that each client has a different set of goals, even if they all sound similar. By digging a bit deeper, they can find out the small details that are imperative when developing the best strategies. This can be anything from pinpointing their main target audience to identifying what unique competitive advantages they may have.
4. Organization is in their DNA.
Most account managers are innate planners who take everything into consideration to ensure deliverables are ready on time. A large part of their role involves being prepared, planning ahead and staying on top of everything so projects are executed to their highest potential. By doing so, creative team members are able to focus their attention more on the “Big Idea,” and spend less time chasing down information.
5. Strong communication skills are part of the job.
One of the biggest responsibilities account managers have is effectively communicating a client’s needs to the rest of the team. By providing this necessary information, team members have a better chance of delivering a final product the client will love. Account managers also provide regular status updates to clients, even if it’s just through email or over the phone. This helps keep the lines of communication open, while building a sense of trust.
6. They act as spokespersons.
Essentially, account managers are advocates who represent a client to the agency and the agency to the client. Acting on behalf of their clients, account managers take their objectives and represent them to their team—always keeping their best interests in mind. And when communicating with team members, they’ll push for the very best to ensure the end result meets the proper criteria.
7. Juggling is second nature to them.
From planning shoots to writing killer briefs to monitoring ongoing activities, account managers are always multi-tasking. Just a few of the many things they can do on an average day include:
- Creating budget plans
- Reviewing the progress of projects
- Updating clients
- Conducting meetings
- Negotiating with vendors
- Managing client expectations
- Leading presentation
- Compiling research and data
And what about having to manage the different needs and expectations of other agency team members? Often, that could be a job in itself!
8. They have psychic abilities.
Ok, maybe not. But they do tend to foresee potential problems ahead of time. That’s because great account managers stay in constant contact with others working on a project. This helps them detect if something is missing the mark or could be delivered earlier on in the process. It also makes it easier for them to set the appropriate expectations for everyone involved.
9. Relationships are always maintained.
Account managers tend to be people persons who have the ability to establish new client relationships and nurture existing ones. Whether handling one large client account or multiple smaller accounts, account managers know how to form strong client relationships and establish a rapport of trust and mutual respect. They also know how to work with other internal team members so that projects meet timelines and client objectives.
10. They defend without offending.
When a client sets unrealistic expectations, such as tight timelines or ideas that don’t fit within a limited budget, account managers are there to speak up and take a stand for their team. More than just “yes” people, they know how to manage client expectations within the capacity of their internal team—and strive to create the best solution for everyone involved.
If you’ve ever questioned the importance of having an account manager, think again. Because behind every successful campaign, media release or strategic plan is a hardworking, dedicated account manager making sure every last detail has been considered. And for that, we salute them.
g[squared]™ has over 20 years of account management experience from long-term employees who know the industry inside out. To find out how they can make your marketing vision a reality, give us a call.