Account Management Tips

The Five R’s To Successful Account Management In Advertising

By Kathleen Battin
In April 16, 2015

Successful account management in advertising can be tricky at times. You are tasked with meeting (and hopefully exceeding) client expectations while keeping in mind what is best for your business from both an integrity and reputational standpoint.

In my six years working in the advertising industry, I have learned that account management is a lot of things, but the core to successful account management in advertising can really be summed up in just five. So, I present to you the five R’s of account management:

  1. Really, Really, Really Organized.
  2. Have you ever found yourself working on a project but can’t ignore the constant nagging feeling that in the not-so-distant past you worked on a similar project? You need to find it so you can see if you can glean any useful information from it. This has happened to me more times than I can count and I quickly go into Nancy Drew mode looking for any Word Documents, PDFs and JPEGs I can get my hands on. Thankfully, if you are really, really, really organized, you don’t have to take up a lot of time searching. Successful account management means knowing where all projects are at all times – completed or not. By developing a good organizational system you are saving yourself time in the long run while essentially saving the client money. If you are in an account management position, come up with a system that works best for you and stick to it. If that exact organizational system doesn’t work across the board for multiple clients, tweak it.

  3. Responsive.
  4. We’ve all been there – a client sends an urgent email that needs to be addressed and you are on top of it like white on rice. Only problem is, you neglected to tell your client that. And though everything’s going well in your head, your client on the other hand is slowly entering panic mode because they are starting to think that email they sent four hours ago got lost in email purgatory. My advice – for every email that contains an action item, acknowledge it by shooting off a quick, “Received – we will contact you if we have any questions.” This way, everyone is on the same page. In fact, some companies actually have a policy in place that requires all emails be addressed within 24 hours. It’s beginning to become the norm in account management departments at a variety of different agencies. Though for exemplary account service and to keep anxiety low, I’d suggest a limit more in the neighborhood of 24 minutes.

  5. Reliable.
  6. Nothing puts a client more at ease than knowing their stuff is being handled. When clients know their projects are in the right hands, they don’t feel as if they have to micro-manage everything you do. And by establishing a reliable reputation, you save yourself from multiple client phone calls a day asking for a project status update because the client knows you’re going to get it done on time. To establish a reliable reputation, shoot for the stars, but only if they are within reach. Don’t over promise if you know you cannot deliver. And be upfront about it. If a client’s request is 100% not attainable, let them know that, but also let them know why. Re-doing an entire print ad layout one hour before the publication goes to print isn’t very feasible, but what is possible would be to update the layout for the next time that ad is scheduled to run.

  7. Relatable.
  8. By being in the account management department at an advertising agency, you are the liaison between the agency and the client. You’re the representative of the company and it is important for you to always put on a good face when meeting and conversing with clients. Just because the two of you are work acquaintances doesn’t mean you always have to talk work. Clients are people too. They have families, tackle home projects, and look forward to vacations, so talk to them like they are real people. Quick tip: after each conversation with your client, try to gain one piece of authentic information and write it down. Next time you have a conversation, bring up that piece of information. If your client was in the midst of planning their daughter’s birthday party when you spoke on Thursday, on Monday, ask them how it went and what her favorite gift was. In doing this, clients will value who you are and will be less likely to view you as just another vendor.

  9. Rock On.
  10. I will be the first to admit, sometimes it’s difficult getting into the workday groove, whether it’s because I was up late with my son the night before, or am catching a case of ‘Friday-itis’ (see full definition here). To be a peppy, on-top-of-things account executive, I like to rock on–jam to some of my favorite bands and musicians on Spotify. Sometimes it’s Disney tunes, other days it’s the best of the 80s, but whatever it is, it helps get me on track for the day and ultimately makes me more productive.

Do you like our account management style and would like to work with us? Go on over to our contact us page and send us a message or email us at We’d love to hear from you.

Kathleen Battin

I have a male cat named Bella. My response to people’s reaction is, “To me, he is beautiful.” But truth is, I was told he was a girl when I first got him and it wasn’t until months later when my brother said, “Your cat has a package,” that I found out my Bella was a Bell ... o? Aside from my confused cat, I am also a new mommy to a handsome baby boy, and as a new mom, I have learned three valuable lessons: 1. Always have a burp cloth handy. 2. Make sure the diaper is properly secured at all times. 3. Mom is always a phone call away if you are having a freak-out moment.

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