Welcome to the wonderful world of advertising! If you denote a soupçon of sarcasm, that is because this note is from your older, more experienced and, yes, wiser self. I know you already know everything, but please Rob, listen up: I’m writing to save you loads of precious time and many headaches by sharing a few account management basics I've picked up along the way.
I didn’t do everything perfectly the first time around, but through my accumulated knowledge and years of experience I’ve written an indelible set of “Golden Rules” that should make your career path—and your future employees’ lives—a less bumpy road.
Follow them, and your learning curve will be steep; your career should accelerate.
Rob’s 11 Golden Rules of Account Management
1) Manage your business as if it was your own. (Because it really is your business. Manage your account as if it’s your company. Because guess what….it truly is. All the way down to the bottom line.)
2) The work is paramount. (Great creative drives the following: Happy clients, an energized culture, and this wonderful feeling of being proud of where you work.)
3) The details are everything. (Check, re-check and then check one more time. And then there probably is still a typo. So check again. The reality is that you can be brilliant in 99% of the work and that one little mistake can cost you your credibility.)
4) A client call a day keeps the reviews away. (If you don’t have a reason, then find something relevant online, or in the trades and write a point-of-view…)
5) Know your client’s business better than they do.
6) NEVER ASSUME (You will surely find you assumed wrong.)
7) Have an opinion. (If you don’t, get one. No milk toast. And guess what, it’s OK to be wrong once in a while.)
8) Proactively manage your business. (Don’t wait for the client to ask you to do something. Remember, you drive the business. Make the recommendation before they even think about it.)
9) Manage up and down. (Make sure your manager is managed too. You will find this pays off in the end.)
10) Get help if you need it. (Manager’s proverb: Bring me a problem early and you will have a partner in solving the problem. Bring it to me late and you will have a judge. And when you bring an issue to someone’s attention, always bring two+ smart recommendations along with the problem.)
11) Know your audience. (Every time creative work, letters, documents or any communication goes out the door, it must be relevant and meaningful to whoever your intended audience is. Put yourself in the place of whoever is receiving and viewing it. Ask yourself if you would understand it if you were in that person’s shoes…be it your client or the consumer/end user. Simple stuff. All ya’ gotta do is use your head.)
To read the entire 2013 'On My First Day of Advertising' series, click this.