Account management goes beyond project management. As an Account Manager, you are the voice of the people when they are not in the room, you are the go-to expert on all things [insert client industry here] and you are the bodyguard protecting your team’s time and creativity. As an Account Manager, you are an advocate for both your client and your team, ensuring that everyone is together.
Advocacy refers to the practice of actively supporting the interests of a party. It is easy to see how the Account Manager can be an advocate for the client and the creative team individually. Account management is a critical component of success for both parties and helps to ensure that the creative team has a clear understanding of the client’s goals, objectives and preferences, as well as the necessary resources and support to deliver the desired results. For the client, effective advocacy provides peace of mind knowing that their account is in good hands and that their investment is being managed effectively. At the end of the day, the account manager makes sure that everyone is together on the same page. Advocating for the success of the project helps build trust and fosters positive working relationships, which is essential for the success of any project.
With this in mind it is easy to see how we could replace the title of Account Manager with Project Advocate.
So how can you be an advocate for both your client AND the agency?
- Actively listen – Listening to your client and team is the first step in good account management. What you hear in a client meeting will inform what you discuss in your creative kickoff. The passion and vocabulary your client expresses should give you a foundation for how you present the project to the team. What your team says, the questions they ask and the ideas they present will guide the creative assets. If you are listening carefully, you should be able to see how these align.
How can you show that you are actively listening? Taking clear and concise notes during internal and external meetings will ensure that you can speak confidently about your project. When you speak confidently about a topic, it communicates to your team and client that you have a thorough understanding of the subject matter and are capable of making informed decisions. This builds trust and credibility, as it shows that you are knowledgeable and reliable.
- Speak up – It is important to speak up if you see or hear something that does not align with your client’s vision/mission/interests. However, it is equally as important to be able to defend the creative team’s strategic work and process. It is a delicate dance as you mediate between the two partners.
How does this look in practice? Perhaps your client insists on TikTok content, but your strategy team’s data indicates that their audience is not on that platform, and it would be a wasteful investment of both money and creative team production hours. By confidently speaking up and presenting the data to advocate against the idea, you can help steer the project towards a more effective direction and demonstrate your value as a strategic thinker.
- Be thoughtful – Behind all your communications, strategic moves, and milestones should be a thoughtful plan. No matter the scope of the project, your client and team deserve thoughtful interactions and a considerate timeline.
How can you do this? Take a moment to acknowledge your team’s current workload before promising a quick turn around deadline. Get to know your client on a personal level, this can provide insight into their thinking process and work style. Be empathetic in your approach to project management; we are all just humans, you know.
Tasking yourself with these three things on a daily basis is an easy and effective way to successful account management.
When you work with Magnetize you are not just getting a project partner you are expanding your team with dedicated designers and writers, creative minds and thoughtful strategists, a team that will be just as passionate about your success as you are.