During my six years as an Account Manager—currently at the full-service Colorado Springs advertising agency Blakely + Company, and previously at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York—I’ve been working on accounts that range from dandruff to diapers! Variety is actually one of the coolest parts of my job. I’m able to help our business clients in tourism, aerospace, education and everything in between.
I’m not sure if people realize this or not, but in advertising you work incredibly hard for your clients. Their success is your success and in the best types of client relationships, you really feel like you’re a part of their team. For instance, it was thrilling watching my diaper client pass the market leader for the first time in three decades! And, recently, one of our education clients had their best recruiting year on record.
Even though I’ve worked on so many different businesses, I’ve seen a common thread that binds the best services and results together. When you’re shopping for an agency, find one that has Account Managers with these five specific talents to provide maximum results for you—their client.
1. Understanding a client’s needs
When initially being introduced to a new client or briefed on a new project, we make sure to put ourselves in our client’s shoes. We think: What if this was our business? We want to make sure we are on the same page with what our client’s goals are. While advertising can be very fun and a creative environment, everything we do needs to fulfill a purpose. We need to know the work we do has a clear benefit to the consumer and will have a positive impact on our client’s business.
2. Knowledge of his or her business or non-profit
I’ve always said as an agency and especially as an Account Manager, it is our job to know the client’s business better than they do. While first and foremost we need to understand their priorities, clients also look to an agency to anticipate their needs and make the best recommendations to fulfill them.
3. Knowledge of the advertising landscape
The advertising industry in general has changed so much over the years. We used to just work in TV, print, radio and outdoor. Now we have a whole world of digital and experiential advertising to work in. The possibilities are endless. But because of this, we really need to have an understanding of our client’s strategic goals, target audiences and how each marketing tool can help our client accomplish their goals.
4. Bring new and creative ideas
One of the best things about being in an agency is how creative this field is. There is no shortage of right-brain thinkers, so fun and cool ideas are always flowing. When a client comes to an agency, they should feel like they are being transported to a different world that they might not get to be in every day. It’s our job to be up-to-date on the latest trends and technology, and show them how we can take their business problems and solve them in creative and unexpected ways they would never even imagine.
5. Constant communication
Lastly, as in any good relationship, communication is key! The client should never feel like they have to ask what’s going on with a project—the more we keep them in the loop, the more successful our partnership will be, and the more trust will be built. One of the best things about working in a local, full-service Colorado Springs marketing agency is that we are right down the street from most of our clients. It’s so easy to grab lunch with them, pop over for a chat, even just to say hi! Face-to-face communication has been one of my favorite things about being locally based.
So no matter which business we work with or what industry a company competes in, these top five principles should be applied by Account Managers to ensure we are providing the best service for our clients.