Account Manager

Also known as...

Client Services Manager; Business Manager.

The role in brief...

The Account Manager, and wider account management team, are the bridge between the client and the agency. They are responsible for ensuring that the agency is meeting the client’s needs, working with all the key functions that go into creating the agency’s advertising output. They are constantly solving problems, managing internal and external communications, and driving projects to completion.

Working with...

  • Internal: Agency account team, including planners/strategists; Creative teams and directors; Creative services and production staff; Finance/accounts.
  • External: Client marketing team; Other agencies e.g. Media, Public Relations etc; Regulatory bodies.
  • Account Managers will report into an Account Director, and can have management responsibility for more junior staff and their development e.g.. an Account Executive.

Responsible for...

  • Managing the client relationship through effective communication, problem solving, and responding to requests.
  • Taking client communication briefs and, where required, supporting the Account Planner with drafting creative briefs.
  • Presenting and selling creative work.
  • Ensuring that project deadlines and budgets are met, communicating and seeking approval of any changes to these.
  • Identifying ways to grow client accounts through new business opportunities.
  • Managing the work and performance of team members e.g. Account Executive.
  • Keeping the team and the client up to date with useful knowledge.
  • Maintaining accurate records of meetings, decisions and next actions.
  • Working with Finance to limit write offs, bill client accurately, chase unpaid invoices, do reconciliations e.g. for TV commercials.

Those who succeed are…

  • Personable, and able to work effectively with a variety of different people.
  • Organised, with strong attention to detail and time management skills.
  • Effective communicators, both verbally and in writing.
  • Persuasive, able to sell work and ideas, and respond positively to feedback.
  • Flexible, and able to solve problems.
  • Resilient and positive in difficult situations.
  • Able to juggle competing demands and accept pressure with equanimity.

Where they come from, and where they go...

Account Managers have usually gained some previous agency experience, typically as an Account Executive. Some may transition into the role from other disciplines such as project management, or from a marketing role at a client organisation. Account Managers can then go on to become Account Directors, before progressing into agency management roles. These promotions will come as a result of delivering excellent work for the client, managing effective relationships both externally and internally, finding new business, and demonstrating a passion for the role. Having gained experience of the communications process, some Account Managers decide to take a different career direction and transition into other agency disciplines such as Account Planning.