What Does It Take to Be a Strong Account Manager?

The AdU Account Management program was a sold-out event held on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at the Rubin Postaer and Associates (RPA) headquarters in Santa Monica, California. While the program was specifically tailored to highlight account management within the advertising world, key takeaways were beneficial to account managers outside advertising as well. The program offered insights into the overall elements of being a successful account manager, including key traits they possess, what a day in their lives is really like and helpful tips for thriving in an account management role.

Instructor Lisa Tanner, VP Account Director of RPA, was joined by former colleagues to discuss account management as seen through the lens of the agency team as well as by the client. The instructors and attendees collaborated to create a list of the key traits displayed by a successful agency account manager (your typical A-Type or, in other words, “Ad-A”), which included being outgoing, organized, passionate and driven. The traits came as no surprise to the group. Although a large portion of what makes an account manager successful is indeed his/her traits, it was also interesting to hear a few things that clients feel a successful account manager will do for their brands’ accounts.

Take clients’ schedules into account.

When it comes to effective client communication, it is important for account managers to keep in mind that as much as their time is limited by a full schedule and a variety of tasks to complete before day’s end, the same holds true for their clients. A lengthy email providing each and every detail involves more work than getting right to the point. On average, a professional must respond to 120 emails per day, making it easy for your urgent email to be overlooked or for specifics to get lost in translation. One suggestion for ensuring that your message is not only received but also clearly understood is to write the communication with the reader in mind. When it is not imperative to provide full detail, use bulleted points; break up lengthy paragraphs to avoid blocks of text. In other instances, it might be simpler and more effective to just pick up the phone and call your client.

Plan for failure.

Sounds crazy, right? But the last thing your client wants to hear is that something happened and you have no solution for addressing the situation. It is important for account managers to work proactively rather than reactively to anticipate all potential problems before they arise and to put together a proper strategy for resolving any possible issues in a timely fashion. Plan ahead by always being over-prepared and doing your homework. An account manager can possess all the key traits for being successful; however, by not planning to fail, he or she will not be able to achieve true success.

Be flexible.

Most importantly, the true keys to being a successful account manager are to enjoy what you do and to be flexible! If you thrive on routine, an account manager’s role may not be for you. Successful account managers might have a day planned out perfectly, but must be able to adapt at any given moment as new priorities come up at the drop of a hat.

What Makes a Case Marketable?

Litigation can be complicated, difficult to follow and fraught with legal jargon for marketers. The Legal Marketing Association’s (LMA) Los Angeles Chapter held their “Law School for Marketers: Litigation” program on Tuesday, October 20, which offered insight on how legal marketers can effectively act as translators between lawyers and their constituents – whether they are clients, recruits or the press.

So how do legal marketers do just that?

A solid understanding for commonly used industry terms is a must. It is also imperative for you to understand not only who your client is and what they do, but what industries they serve in order to learn that industry’s “speak”. This will not only build the relationship between the firm and the marketing team, it will establish trust. By doing so, you can effectively determine the appropriate media audience, as well as the client cases that are indeed marketable.

So what kind of case is marketable?

  • The first of its kind.
  • A hot industry topic.
  • A high-profile case.
  • High stakes.
  • Novel lawyering.
  • Unusual case facts.
  • The case resulted in policy change.
  • The case challenged state/federal law.
  • The results affect the population at large.

The panel included: Russell Sauer, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation Department with Latham & Watkins; Morgan Crowder, Practice Development Coordinator with JAMS; and Shauna L. West, Competitive Intelligence Specialist with Nossaman LLP.

By truly understanding your client and commonly used industry terms, legal marketers can bridge the gap between complicated litigation and effective legal marketing.

Adding a Personal Touch

Everyone has their opinion when it comes to the proper interview follow up strategy in today’s digital landscape. Sending a generic e-mail to everyone you interviewed with is now a commonly accepted practice, replacing the traditional handwritten thank you card. However, a combination of both the old and new school ways of sending a thank you to prospective employers can set you apart from the competition.

Here are 8 helpful tips to keep in mind when you are crafting the perfect thank you.

1. Business Cards
Make sure to ask for each interviewer’s business card. The last thing you want to do is forget the name of the person you interviewed with and miss the opportunity to send a thank you note.

2. Personalization
Remember to address each interviewer personally in every thank you note. The correct spelling of their name is crucial. Seems simple, but it is a common mistake that could minimize your chances of being selected. If you talk about something specific, for example certain qualities that the company is looking for in a candidate, make sure to address that in your note. Relaying back what was mentioned during your interview indicates to the interviewer that you were paying close attention.

3. Values and Culture
Highlight what you admire about the company and/or its culture. Don’t just use what’s found under the company’s description on their website. Highlight how your values and the company’s align and why.

4. Appreciation
Express appreciation for the interview. If they asked for writing samples and/or references make sure to include them.

5. It’s a Match
Explain why you are the best fit for the role based on responses you touched on during your interview. Be specific about examples from previous roles and responsibilities.

6. Correcting Mistakes
Sending a thank you note is also an opportunity to clarify answers to any questions you stumbled on during your interview.

7. Timeliness
Send the thank you email as soon as possible or at least within 24 hours of your interview.

8. Adding a Personal Touch

Follow up your thank you email with a handwritten card. Adding this personal touch will go a long way, even in today’s digital world.
Remember, a thank you note can be just as important as showing up on time for the interview. It is the last impression you leave and undoubtedly will set you apart from the competition.

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