To excel in Account Management, you need to be an expert in the business of your clients and the business of your in-house team—to think strategically, plan creatively and manage superbly. Unfortunately, the Account Management function within most in-house agencies is often the least defined and therefore the most undervalued. Why?
The primary reason is that few in-house agencies take the time to determine what the Account Management team’s “reason for being” truly is. What role does Account Management play within the agency and across the larger organization? Has that role been clearly defined? If so, has it been communicated to the in-house team and the internal client base?
Without alignment regarding the function, your account team will forever be subjected to endless interpretation regarding the purpose of its role—reacting to the demands of the projects they manage and the whims of the clients they support.
As an Account person, you are the liaison between the in-house agency and its clients—as vital to the success of the work as you are to the individuals and relationships surrounding it. While you might be the quarterback, you are also a utility player that covers a lot of strategic and tactical ground by:
- Understanding the client’s business needs and why they chose your team to address them
- Partnering with clients to define strategies that meet their needs and making those strategies actionable within the in-house agency
- Enabling the smooth flow of information and encouraging collaboration among the resources that are assigned to the work
- Ensuring that creative solutions are produced on time, on budget, on strategy and on brand
You are the one that makes it possible for the in-house agency to do its best work, to develop and maintain healthy relationships, and to become a trusted and valued partner to the businesses you support. Embrace your role in its entirety and know that the success of the team is dependent on what you do every day.