If you’re wondering what an effective advertising agency account executive does all day — you’ve come to the right place. At AMR, we’ve trained hundreds of account execs, helping them understand their role with their clients and within the agency.
To be able to perform these tasks, a person must have proven or quickly demonstrable analytical, organizing, leadership, interpersonal, and oral and written communications skills, plus a solid understanding of marketing and advertising. Oh yeah…and they need to understand how businesses work and make money.
This is certainly no job for the average beginner, or for some lightweight, glib glad-hander who thinks that he or she can con his/her way through your world on a smile, a shoeshine, a few buzzwords, and a dazzling first impression. A good AE is hard to find but a huge benefit to your clients and your agency.
Here’s a quick overview.
An effective Account Executive will:
Big picture for their clients
- Understand their clients’ business goals and help them get there
- Prepare an annual marketing plan for each client, and individual campaign plans as needed throughout the year (with SMART goals)
- Manage and strengthen (not merely maintain) client relationships
- Propose, sell to the client, and oversee market, media, and other research studies as required
- Continuously offer unsolicited ideas to increase the effectiveness of the client’s company and marketing activities
Big picture for the agency
- Understand how the agency makes money and contribute to the agency’s profitability through good management
- Be an advocate for the agency whenever they’re out in public
- Identify and cultivate for new business opportunities (even if they’re just passing them along internally)
- Periodically report to the agency president on the condition of the client-agency relationship and plans to improve it
Day to day for their clients
- Initiate, coordinate, and oversee all agency activities on behalf of the client
- Manage day-to-day client-agency communication
- Report progress, delays and make sure the client is always in the know
- Maintain meticulous documentation of all activities on the client’s behalf
Day to day for the agency
- Closely control the client’s budget and timeline—to maximize ROI for both the client and the agency
- Work with the internal team to exceed the client’s expectations and keep re-earning the client’s trust
- Build up your team – celebrating successes and learning from the mistakes
- Watch for signs of trouble and alert the leadership team early so you can make a plan
For themselves, their agency and their clients
- Stay abreast of all developments in the client’s industry
- Keep honing communication/marketing expertise and techniques which will serve both the agency and the clients
- Network and connect — to serve your community, grow your influence and add value everywhere you go
- Find out what re-fuels you so you can stay fired up and energized
- Improve your presentation skills — for audiences big and small
- Keep learning, stretching and growing
If you’re an effective account executive or have one on your staff – check out our advertising agency training options. There are two great workshops for AEs. The next one is September 4 & 5 in Denver.