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A Day in the Life – Account Director Edition

By: Katie Gardner on May 6, 2015

client services

Meet Beatrice, she brings over a decade of client service experience. She sat down with CP blog to share a day in the life of an Account Director extraordinaire.

Can you tell me a little bit about typical day as an account manager?

The day starts with thinking about client objectives for the week and understanding what it is that I need to achieve. The week has five days, what am I going to do to chip away at my to-do list? Then it means thinking about the team’s bandwidth and balancing the demand for their time while keeping up with client priorities. This requires thinking on a holistic level while still being proactive, yet remaining to sensitive to the client’s needs and team’s time while managing against the organizational objectives.

On average, how many projects do you have at any given point in time?

Minimum four projects, and they range from big to small. However, what people underestimate is that the small projects are just like the big ones in the sense that they still require a request for people’s time and attention. Because everyone is moving at 90 miles per hour, projects can be very humbling because regardless of the size, they require the same thought, care, and attention as retainer activities.

What are some of the challenges that account managers face?

Resource constraints. We are competing to use the same internal pool of talent and it requires a delicate balancing act. We need to balance the organizational goals while being cognizant to needs of each account. At the end of the day, we have the same needs as our clients – to ensure that we are employing best practices, and delivering value for the organization. And like our clients, we need to ensure we are maximizing resources to deliver value and growth. Coming from Epsilon, even though it was a much larger organization, we felt the same constraints with resources allocation.

What is your daily mantra?

It can only go up from here!

As marketers, we are not saving lives. We treat the challenges and requests as they come in and we can only improve and grow as the day goes on. Things do not always go to plan, which is why it’s important to keep everything in perspective.

What is your favorite part of the job?

When the team probes and asks about the client requests. The subject matter experts on the team always know the right questions to ask in order to achieve the client objectives. It is in these conversations that I am constantly learning and I often find that this dialog helps to spur new discoveries and methodologies to solve the task at hand.

What are qualities that make a great account manager?

A willingness to listen and understand what you’re hearing. A successful account manager is one who listens to what is being asked and then asks the right questions to work with the team to achieve the desired results. There is a level of curiosity that drives account managers and client service professionals and a need to be constantly learning that comes with being an account manager. By listening and asking the right questions, it helps the team to solve the problems at hand.

If you could give other account managers one piece of advice, what would it be?

You are going to take a wrong step every now and again. Accept the instances where there will be errors. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes; rather see what you can learn from it. Don’t think the mistake will define you, by learning from your mistake it will allow the opportunity to do better the next time around… since there will definitely be a next time!

What emoji would an account manager be?

RecycleSymbol (1)

The recycle sign. Each client is different yet they still requires the same sense of order and processes and priorities and much like the recycle sign, we are always moving in a continuous cycle trying to sustain momentum and create value.

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