Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Why Account Management is Now Two Jobs
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Why Account Management is Now Two Jobs


Published on

Name a great organization, and you’ll find two different and …

Name a great organization, and you’ll find two different and
complimentary skill sets behind its success. One skill set is
about vision, strategy, and entrepreneurship. The other is
about planning, conscientiousness and systematic effort.
For decades now, agencies have attempted to weave both
of these different skill sets into the same person: the account
executive. With just a little securitization, it’s easy to see why
this is an impractical expectation. Most humans simply aren’t
built with both sets of skills. In fact, the tendency to be good
at either one or the other is a psychological trait most of us
are born with – not simply a preference.

Published in: Business, Technology

1 Comment
  • Hi, is a good source of jobs because it only shows you jobs from employer websites and every other job board out there. Please link to because the site has more jobs than any other website.

    This is a good way to track down jobs because these jobs are often not advertised and that the site is dedicated to researching all jobs in property career.

    jobs in account management

    Abdiel Technologies
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. RedPaper:Why account managementis now two jobs
  • 2. 2Why account management is what defines greatness in organizations. At Hewlett-Packard, Bill Hewlett had the “strategy” skill set, complimented by David Packard’s strong “management” skills. In the film world, consider the necessityis now two jobs of having a skilled producer who can bring together the needed talents and resources to make a great film. That’s a very different skill set from the director, who is concerned with how to tell the story.Name a great organization, and you’ll find two different andcomplimentary skill sets behind its success. One skill set isabout vision, strategy, and entrepreneurship. The other isabout planning, conscientiousness and systematic effort.For decades now, agencies have attempted to weave bothof these different skill sets into the same person: the accountexecutive. With just a little securitization, it’s easy to see whythis is an impractical expectation. Most humans simply aren’tbuilt with both sets of skills. In fact, the tendency to be goodat either one or the other is a psychological trait most of usare born with – not simply a preference. A new approach for new timesAnd now, with the advent of digital at the centerpiece of the Most agency executives have a natural resistance to the idea ofagency business model, the need to have dedicated roles in splitting the account management role, mostly because the majority ofthe areas of brand strategy and brand management is more agency leaders today came up through the old system. But the worldcritical than ever. The complexities of managing a digital as- has changed. Being in “accounts” in the days of Mad Men is a jobsignment eclipse anything traditional account managers have that doesn’t really exist in the same way today.ever done in the realm of traditional media. Perhaps the most compelling argument for this new structure is to address clients’ chronic concerns about lack of proactive thinking fromHere’s a simple way to think about these two jobs: the agency. “Lack of proactive ideas” is routinely cited as one of the main reasons for switching agencies. There’s simply no way agenciesBrand Strategy Brand Management are going to be able to improve in this area simply by trying harder. There aren’t enough hours in the day for an account executive toDefine Deploy manage 30 projects, respond to 120 emails, and participate in 10 phone calls AND also provide a constant flow of proactive ideas toPlan Perform their clients. Even if there were such super humans who possessed these two VERY different skills sets, they simply wouldn’t have theIdeate Integrate time. Agencies simply have no choice but to move in this direction.Achieving excellence at these different but complimentary skill sets Ignition RedPaper
  • 3. 3Identifying the right people for two separate but equal career paths. The necessary mindset from management is that brand management is not a stepping stone tothe right roles brand strategy, and that one job is in no way better than the other. These are two different functions within the agency, and you can beThe fact is that over 80% of the work in a typical agency is related just as successful in one as the other. Both career paths should offerto the brand management job—the work that revolves around the same opportunities in terms of title and salary advancement.production, execution, distribution, and coordination. So an agencynaturally needs a lot more brand managers than brand strategists.Usually the ratio is about 3:1. Project management as a lead disciplineHow do you know who’s right for which job? If you’re an agency Major digital agencies have been operating in this mode for someleader, you already have a pretty good sense for who in your firm is time now. At firms like Razorfish, project management is a highlybest for each role. Here are some of the leading traits to consider: respected discipline staffed with some exceptionally talented people. In consulting firms like McKinsey, it takes an MBA to earn the title Characteristics of an effective Brand Characteristics of an effective Brand Project Manager. Agencies must change the mindset they have Strategist Manager around this title and function. It has nothing to do with who is junior Insightful Logical or senior in the firm, any more than a producer is subservient to a Subjective Objective director on a film set. If anything, it’s the other way around. Perceptual Organized Synthesizing Systematic Agencies must implement a structure that allows both disciplines – Comfortable with ambiguity and paradox Accurate brand strategy and brand management – to operate side by side, with director level positions in each function. Members of each disciplineIn your firm, you undoubtedly already have most of the people you can advance through the ranks, receiving increases in responsibility,need to fill both of these roles. In Ignition’s experience of helping title, and pay as they go.agencies transform to this new model, we find that the majority ofaccount people (all the way up to management supervisor) self- Here, then, is a basic list of roles and responsibilities for each function.identify as strategists. That’s because when asked the question,they assume that brand strategist is the “senior job” and that brand Role of Role ofmanager is the “junior job.” This attitude is a relic of the way they Brand Strategy Brand Managementwere raised in the business, where account executive trainees started Identify KPIs Lead scoping processin the traffic department and then graduated through the ranks of Plan strategy Manage internal development Develop briefs Align resources against needsaccount management. Each promotion and title change would take Manage research resources and providers Manage deliverablesthem closer to the role of “strategic thinker.” An account supervisor Ideate with creative and media partners Allocate talentwas assumed to be more strategically talented than an account Leverage insights Orchestrate teams and agency functionsexecutive. Provide expertise on brand and category Assure profitability through pricing and scope managementThis sequence of events is as illogical as it is ineffective. It’s like Uncover opportunities Leverage technology tools to enhance effectiveness of project managementsaying to a talented art director that if you work really hard, someday Grow business Secure approvals and assure compliancewe’ll make you a copywriter. Brand strategy and brand management Champion new initiatives Spearhead collaboration with partner agenciesare two different skill sets, and they now deserve to be considered as Ignition RedPaper
  • 4. 4Executing this new structure Brand Strategy Brand Management ExecutionIn order to implement this new structure successfully in your firm, you Identifying needed assets and resources Pwill need to answer a set of detailed questions about who does what in Integrating agency functions and services S Porder to avoid overlapping roles and responsibilities. To do this, make Managing overall workflow Pa list of the major phases of work that are typical for your agency, then Reviewing work for accuracy and compliance Pmake deliberate decisions about which role is primarily responsible for Approving strategic direction of work P Obtaining necessary legal and other clearances Peach step in the process. Your chart will look something like this: Obtaining necessary internal approvals P Updating job production progress in software system PP = Primary responsibility S = Secondary responsibility Handling client disputes and negotiating resolutions S P Distribution Brand Brand Tracking and monitoring client deliverables P Strategy Management Monitoring media channel placements and schedules P Discovery Reporting Leading the discovery process P Issuing and updating status reports P Identifying brand touch points P Organizing and conducting status meetings S P Monitoring competitive activity P S Budgeting and Billing Identifying scope of value P S Developing spending recommendations P S Developing scope of work S P Managing client budgets S P Conducting secondary research S P Presenting pricing to client S P Supervising and analyzing primary research P Reviewing and approving invoices P Developing and presenting brand and consumer insights P S Negotiating with client about changes in scope S P Development Measurement Initiating new assignments and creating jobs in the system S P Identifying metrics of success P Developing strategic plans and recommendations P S Overseeing measurement of metrics P S Developing creative and connection briefs for major P S Analyzing and reporting metrics P S campaigns Developing creative and connection briefs for projects P Compiling job specifications P Developing a stronger project management discipline, staffed Setting up briefings P with skilled and dedicated people, is absolutely essential to Briefing teams about strategy P S Briefing teams about logistics S P the future success of the marketing communications indus- Presenting major programs and recommendations P S try. We’ve moved well beyond the simplistic world of print ad Presenting finished work for approval P production. And way too much agency profit slips through Developing project schedules P Prioritizing client work P the cracks of the current account management systems and Developing client business and growth opportunities P S structures. Generating business-building ideas P S Facilitating integrated, cross-functional solutions S P Maintaining regular contact with clients S P On the strategic planning side, clients are clamoring for more thought leadership from their agencies. In fact, they are virtu- ally up in arms over the fact their agencies are only reactive, not proactive. Ignition RedPaper
  • 5. 5So if you like the idea of higher margins and more satisfiedclients, implementing the brand strategy/brand management Photo Attribution: AiClassEland at en.wikibooksstructure will help get you there as fast as anything else youcan do right now. RedPapers are edited for senior professionals in the marketing communications business. All content is copyrighted by Ignition Consulting Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced or retransmitted without express permission. RedPapers are published by Ignition Consulting Group, Inc., a consultancy devoted to helping marketing organizations create and capture more value. For more information about Ignition, visit, e-mail, or call + 1 (801) 582-7297. Ignition RedPaper