The day to day:
When it comes to account management, every day is different. Whether you are writing a proposal, holding a creative meeting, visiting clients, pitching, reporting on campaign metrics or attending events, you can guarantee every day will see you doing something different.
You’ll have a range of clients to work with, gaining exposure to all of their services and business units. This is a great way to build a deep knowledge of how businesses work across various sectors.
The job is also hugely rewarding as you get to see a project come together after months of planning and you have the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference to your own business and your clients.
• Client Management/Relationship building
• Attention to detail
• Creative insight
• Background in agency is always a plus
• Project management skills
• Multi tasker
• Fast paced
• Ability to deal with issues and conflicts. Be resilient!
• Within digital agencies you will need to have knowledge of PPC, SEO and Google Analytics.
• For print agencies, you’ll need to have knowledge of print process, artworking, art work process, managing a studio.
In terms of qualifications, I find that some agencies like people to have some sort of Marketing or Advertising background, but from my experience education backgrounds can vary from creative degrees like Fine Art or Graphic Design right through to Business Studies or English Literature. For me your chosen degree isn’t necessarily the enabler for being able to do this job. This job requires someone who is honest and upfront with their clients, communicates well and has the ability to quickly build strong relationships.
When it comes to account management, having previous experience within an agency is always a bonus.
Ultimately, culture fit is a key deciding factor when it comes to working within an agency, especially as an Account Manager. It is important that you will fit in with the rest of the team as you will need to liaise with lots of different types of people in order to deliver projects for clients on time and within budget so being able to build relationships with everyone from creatives to chief executives is a must.
Having a commercial mind is also important. Agency owners on the whole will expect their Account Managers to bring in additional work. This will require you to be able to identify areas within an account where the agency can add additional value and be able to leverage relationships to win that work.
Typical working hours:
Agency life means in general the hours are unlikely to be nine to five as when deadlines are set, they need to be met. This can mean sometimes working long hours however when you are passionate about what you do, the hours don’t matter as much.
You’ll also be required to attend events and networking events from time to time, which again will take up some of your evenings, but will add great value to your network and reputation in the market.
The majority of agencies will have clients nationally or even internationally, so another aspect will be travel.
There are plenty of opportunities for career progression in account management depending on the agency you work for. The career path moves from account executive to senior account executive to account manager to account director.
Having a clearly defined career path is great, but you need to be prepared to ‘earn your stripes’ and don’t become frustrated if you aren’t promoted as quickly as you’d like. Some of the very best Senior Account Directors that I know in the market only pushed for promotion when they felt well and truly ready. The agency world can be brutal at times and clients very demanding so any holes in your experience will be picked up pretty quickly.
As brutal as agency life can be at times, the culture is well and truly work hard and play harder, and I think everyone will agree that the agency world definitely know how to have fun.
Are you thinking about going into account management? Check out our vacancies here.