The Impact of Account Managers in an Ad Agency

Want a peek inside agency walls and what drives KPI-impacting results for our clients? This month we asked our Account Manager and Restaurant Category Captain to share a bit about her role and the daily tasks he takes on to ensure our clients’ campaigns are successful. Here’s what she had to say.

First thing’s first, what is an advertising account manager? As an advertising account manager, I’m responsible for overseeing the advertising and marketing campaigns within the agency. This involves working with various departments such as the copywriting, creative, accounting, and project management teams. A good way to explain who an agency’s account manager is would be to label them as the liaison between the client and the agency’s internal teams. In other words, account managers, more or less, represent the client as a whole within the agency and it’s their job to know what the client is looking for.

As key members of an advertising team, account managers also take part in things such as market research, developing new promotional strategies, implementing those strategies, and working hand in hand with clients to achieve successful campaigns.

What Are the Daily Duties of an Account Manager?

There are a number of key duties that a successful Account Manager must master. Such responsibilities might include developing or brainstorming new campaign ideas, reviewing or editing promotional materials, and creating estimates to ensure that advertising projects remain within scope. They are a member of the advertising agency that tends to wear many hats.

Account managers are also responsible for supervising the agency’s creative team and facilitating collaboration between the agency and its clients. A good account manager, like those here at evok Advertising, excels in explaining and breaking down complex or technical concepts within digital marketing, media, and monthly/quarterly reporting. Being the final set of eyes on every piece of creative that the agency develops for its clients is one of the most important hats the account manager needs to wear. It’s important to have strong attention to detail and knowing when to send creative back to the creative team if what was created doesn’t feel quite right.

Another important trait or duty of an account manager is being an avid observer of marketing trends. Specifically, among their client’s target demographic and audience. In addition, our account managers here at Evok have found that understanding when it’s appropriate to present a client with a change order versus when to take care of an extra cost for a special project is another important trait to have.

Maintaining & Expanding Interpersonal Client Relationships

Creating and maintaining a strong interpersonal connection is a big part of a successful Account Manager’s role. Getting to know the client’s likes and dislikes is something you must understand quickly. When working with a new client, it’s just as important to get to know them on a more personal level as it is learning what they need from a business perspective. That way, when having weekly status calls with our clients, it’s not all about work from start to finish.

Leveraging a strong relationship can help grow trust and work to your advantage when it’s time to present a client with new ideas or creative risks. Of course, making sure you aren’t simply “friends” with your client and that the client sees you as a valuable business partner who helps them grow is important, too. 

Becoming a Trusted Business Partner for Your Client

There are a few ways an account manager can ensure they have represented their agency as a trusted business partner to their clients. First, understanding the client’s KPIs and goals plus ensuring the agency is operating with that in mind are duties that come naturally to a good account manager.

Sometimes clients won’t always set measurable goals for a project, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Taking the extra initiative will pay off in the long run, as well as keeping the balance between daily tasks and thinking about the “big picture.”

It’s also prudent to provide a client with “would you consider” questions that are out of the ordinary realm of work. This helps to remind clients that their agency, the account manager, and their internal teams, are always looking for new ways to improve their business and advertising opportunities, not just going through the daily motions and being “order takers.” It can be easy to fall into the “order taker” mentality when bandwidth is scarce.

Sometimes, a client’s budget won’t allow the extra “would you consider” efforts. Even when this might pose as a roadblock, putting forth the effort to present them with the ideas will ensure that our clients know we’re taking an interest in their overall success, and in return, they will find value in the agency.

It’s important to know that there is no such thing as a typical day in the advertising industry. Everyone within the agency experiences daily, if not hourly, changes and challenges. The best advice for a new account manager is to not be afraid to be involved, be bold, and have strong relationships to grow businesses. Of course, don’t forget to have fun! The world of advertising is full of creative minds and amazing people.