Throughout my career there is one thing I have always strived for, and that is simply putting a smile on my client’s face by delivering outstanding work for them. In this regard, whilst it’s been great fun keeping pace with constant technical changes, the ability to understand the root of an issue has remained a constant necessity and the most important skill required in account management.
All projects should start with empathy and understanding:
i) Thoroughly understand the issue and the opportunity
ii) Generate the idea (to solve the problem)
iii) Define the most appropriate communication method (in order to share the solution with the target audience)
Early in my career I worked for a company who advocated the approach of acting as a ‘corporate butler’ – a notion that has stuck with me many years hence. What I like about this concept (albeit that it’s a little old-fashioned) is the implication that working in client services is far more than simply delivering client requests. I cannot survive in account management by merely being an effective ‘doer’. To be truly effective, I must be able to pre-empt my client’s needs, my style must adapt to their way of working and I must gain a clear understanding of their overall vision. In short, I need to become a trusted advisor.
I work to the mantra of ‘right person, right job’. Within agency teams I’ve always found that every project member has something valuable to add to the account; it’s vital to know where and how to best utlise their skills – I can achieve a lot more with a team than I could possibly hope to deliver on my own.
In this regard, prioritisation becomes essential – what needs my direct attention right now vs what would be beneficial to delegate vs can this request wait while we deal with something more urgent? It comes back to being able to see the big picture – what does the client need right now? What are the strategic priorities and how can we deliver on those?
There are other aspects to working successfully as an Account Director; I’ll be measured on account revenue and project profitability for example. However, these are often a natural output of having first and foremost built a successful and collaborative partnership – one built on trust, respect and expertise. I can organise and plan with the best of them – but I need to be sure that I am solving the ‘right’ problem. With a clear understanding of the issue I can then bring in the relevant subject matter experts to form and build the optimum solution – including committing to (and managing) a realistic project time frame and budget.
We’re delighted to welcome Luke Brason, Account Director, to the team. Luke brings a wealth of experience to LAW Creative, having previously worked with clients including Barclays, BMW, BPI, Hitachi, Lloyds Bank, MINI, Nestlé, Nikon, O2, Panasonic, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Verizon Business, Virgin Mobile, Volkswagen and Whitbread.
LAW Creative is a multi-award-winning integrated marketing communications agency with an experienced team that can help deliver success for your business. To find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.