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Account Management Role in Creative Work

Question: We work at an agency with an outstanding creative reputation and a dedication to and focus on doing great creative work. What should the account manager’s role be in enhancing this?

Answer: There are a number of things that an account manager can do to achieve this.

Some of the more obvious ones are:

  • Create a client environment that understands and is receptive to great creative work

    • Share other Martin Agency creative work that you think is good and say why
    • Do a competitive analysis on the creative work being done in the client's category
    • Send the client articles about creativity along with your commentary or point-of-view
    • Send the client show reels from creative award shows

  • Become a student of advertising. Know who's doing great work. Know what new techniques are being used. Know who's thinking "out of the box

    • This will enable you to make more intelligent comments when you review work internally
    • It will demonstrate to your creative team that you recognize and care about good work

  • Become adept at selling great creative work to the client

    • Determine how to ground the rationale for the work in reasons that are about the client's business, not just because it's cool work
    • Find analogous situations in other categories that support the kind of work being recommended
    • Try to "grease the skids" by pre-selling the work before the meeting and getting the client enthused and excited
    • Identify anticipate client comments/objections before the meeting and prepare responses (This might entail exposing the work to internal groups for reaction)

A couple more interesting suggestions:

  • Take an advertising course in which you have to develop and present creative work

    • See what it feels like to be in the creative team's shoes
    • Learn to anticipated possible reactions to the creative work

  • Expand your cultural horizons

    • Go to movies, plays, concerts and museums that you ordinarily would not attend to expand your creativity acceptance

  • Buy your creative team a drink

    • Listen to them talk about creative work, pick their brains, share your ideas. You'd be amazed how productive this can be




Bruce Kelley

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