by Kat Grider
Dear Account Managers,
If you look around, you might find your job is in jeopardy. Recently, Ad Age weighed in on the value of Account Management, saying,
“everyone seems to be in agreement that account management is indeed valuable and needed.” Furthermore, Ad Age postulates that "with so many strategic players in so many disciplines, it can feel like an account person’s strategic role isn’t ‘real.’”
Everyone SEEMS to be in agreement that your job is needed??
Here’s what is real: the value you bring to a team is seriously in question, and not just by the pundits of Ad Age. Bree and I are right there with them, which is why we submitted a SXSW talk under the same title as this blog. YES, this is a shameless plug to get you to vote for our proposal in the SXSW Panel Picker. But even more powerful than our desire to get on stage, inspire healthy debate and then go to the Salt Lick for some serious BBQ in March, is our desire to see the Account Management discipline not go the way of the DonDraperosaurus (that is, extinct).
Account (Client Services, Client Partner, etc) can no longer settle for just routing emails, buying lunches and finessing rate cards. That’s what we on the ranch would call, “All hat and no cattle”. The truth is, if the account management discipline is going to survive in a world of integrated teams and shrinking budgets, it must demonstrate tangible value to the client AND to internal teams.
We must actively MAKE THE WORK BETTER and GET THE WORK SEEN MORE OFTEN.
We must feel responsible for creating an environment in which our teammates can elevate their craft. This means everything from drafting an SOW that focuses on work that works, not just work that is completed on time, all the way to knowing how to organize a team (client included) around fluid business priorities every single day.
Once you’ve helped the team create great work, your real, distinct, only-you-can-do job begins. Charlotte Beers, not only a fine Texan, but also former CEO of Ogilvy and Undersecretary of State to Colin Powell, believes that Account Management’s job is to get the work “noticed, used and appreciated”. We agree.
Yes, it’s a tall order. But we know it can be done and the Aha Method is committed to identifying and sharing the tools that make it possible as the digital world changes. We’d love to share some of these with you in Austin. But first, in case you missed it, we’ll need you to vote. Visit the SXSW Panel Picker now and give us a thumb's up.