To be an Account Manager at STANDOUT in 2019 requires a broad range of skills and understanding for a role that is oversimplified by its title.
Account Management, in the typical or historical sense, would be a role that acted as a conduit between client and creative / production / planning teams. The reality of Account Management in smaller integrated or smaller full-service agencies is that there is a requirement for a range of skills and input that are vital to the successful retention and development of any client.
What makes this role interesting?
There are no two days that the same. One day you’ll be organising a photo shoot and another day you’ll be auditing competitor eCommerce stores to ensure that our recommended solution is ahead of the curve. You might be working on a strategic document for a social media campaign burst or working with our production team to establish the best method of printing a luxury hotel’s champagne branded private dining room brochure.
What will you learn?
Undoubtedly you will learn from experience whilst working at STANDOUT. Every client is different and every project is different. Our goal always is to provide effective marketing solutions that enable our clients to sell more products and increase value within their businesses. Using the skill-sets you already possess you will be able to develop them further and there will be areas of the business that you may not have experienced which you will be able to gain knowledge of and eventually implement as your own thinking.
Who succeeds in this type of role?
Individuals with initiative, patience, tenacity, creativity, attention to detail, care for others and those who are able to work without ego. It’s this type of person, with these types of character traits, that succeeds and is able to progress and develop.
Which skill-sets do you need?
- Attention to detail and accuracy
- Outstanding communication skills
- Mac or PC knowledge (you can work on the platform you prefer)
- Microsoft Word skills
- Adobe understanding and ideally some skills
- Creative understanding and appreciation of brand
- Strategic thinker in terms of marketing
- Strong administrative skills
- An awareness and understanding of Google, its tool set and specifically analytics
- Brief writing capability
- Social marketing awareness and understanding (strategically and creatively)
- Active on social media
- Honesty and integrity (we can’t train this bit of course!)
What is STANDOUT’s mission?
To significantly improve our clients’ competitive advantage, shareholder value and overall business performance through the implantation of effective marketing tools and strategy.
What does STANDOUT do?
We are an integrated marketing agency and we provide creative and strategic services to clients
across a number of industry sectors. To summarise in a listed form:
- Brand identity and positioning
- Graphic design for printed literature, packaging and advertising
- Digital design, build and implementation for web, email, app and social
- Marketing strategy, rationale, analytics, reporting and recommendation
What don’t we do?
Whilst we may advocate certain (marketing) channels within a client’s plan, we do not carry out the following in-house – but may purchase these services (from third parties) on behalf of our clients:
- Media buying
- Exhibition design and build
- Retail design and build
What would a typical day in the role of an Account Manager look like?
You would arrive between 8:30am and 9:00am for a 9:00am start. Undoubtedly you would be checking your emails for any client correspondence received since the night before and, of course, actioning those items and informing the clients of next steps. Typically, you might be:
- Booking in time to speak with the offline design team about feedback on a brochure
- Letting the digital teams know that the content for a new website has been delivered
- Sending through a revised estimate for a campaign that we’ve recently quoted on
- Chasing up a client for sign off due to an impending production deadline
Once you’ve caught up on your emails, then you might move through to the room next door to get your head in to a social strategy document that we’ve promised one of our clients. On completion, you may then have allocated time to review one of your client’s websites to check for any broken links, missing images or opportunities to enhance the website further – you might compile this information and share it internally for discussion.
After lunch it might be that you’ve allocated time for research in to fashion brands’ email communications, signing up to competitor brands to see how they acknowledge the handover of data and how they communicate with you thereafter.
You’ll have taken a number of phone calls throughout the day from your existing clients and possibly fielded one or two calls from new potential clients, taking down their requirements and contact details and ensuring the right person within the business has the information to follow up or even following up yourself after asking a few questions internally.
You end the day by checking in on social and making sure your clients’ posts are ready to go – you might quickly adapt a piece of creative content, either yourself or with the help of the team, as you’ve identified a way that you think it could be even more effective than it is.
Finally you check your desk, ensure that no client has sent an urgent (on the train home) request for something that they need for a first thing meeting and you switch off your monitor and breathe!
So what does a week look like?
Monday morning is a big day for us. We like to have new and freshly updated status update reports to all of our clients, telling them what we have done, what we have been working on and what is going to be delivered for them that week.
Then it’s time to check your time tracking is in shape from the week before (ideally completed on a Friday, but often Monday morning provides the energy you need to get this done).
It’s then time for a formal or informal production meeting with the team to establish what’s been worked on, what is going brilliantly, where there are problems and critically what needs to be delivered that week.
And then you’re off and running for the week with a wide range of tasks as outlined above.
And in a month at STANDOUT?
You’ve started the week with production meetings and status reports and throughout the week you’ve worked on creating new briefs, strategy documents, ideas and during the month you’ve sat in on client meetings and project kick-off sessions, sending proofs, costs and correspondence.
You’ve constructed carefully worded emails to request additional budget and you’ve taken calls from a number of clients with a range of emotions from mildly stressed to euphoric – depending on what is going on in their world and especially what is going on in relation to the projects that we’re working on for them.
You end the month by rounding up all of your clients’ work, making sure everything is in shape, checking in on clients and compiling and distributing Key Performance Indication (KPI) reports for those clients who retain our services for ongoing marketing activity.
Collectively we assess the month, assess the performance, plan for the next month and quarter and celebrate the successes and achievements as a team whilst learning from anything that we believe we could have done better or more effectively.
How are the teams structured?
Standout is small team. Our belief is that we are able to deliver outstanding and effective services at this size and that we avoid compromising any aspect of that service. It is a manageable size that means we are not chasing ‘any old work’ and can, instead, thoroughly invest in our clients and truly build longer term relationships.
Our team is made up of three sections: Client Services/Offline/Digital. Account Management sits within the client services team which is headed up by Chris Smith who is our Client Services Director.