Keys to Effective Account Strategy and Execution Account Strategist January 2009 Roundtable Presented by James E. Sullivan Senior Account Strategist
Objectives of Presentation <ul><li>Identify the best attributes of effective account management. Know the client! </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how the things that you do everyday can build and enhance client relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen relationships with internal departments, staffs and mentoring skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Media lists, Build relationships with media outlets and services, learn to develop trust and sharing skills. </li></ul>
Group Activity (it’s a test) <ul><li>Let’s write your job description! </li></ul><ul><li>What skills that you think are required here that makes a good Account Strategist like yourself? Why are you here to work with Optic Nerve Direct Marketing? Not just the money now, or the vacation time. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think are good qualities to join us? Why do you think going on a meeting with an important contact at some “afterparty” is good for you at 3:00am. Bring us a sample of a bad Strategy RESULTS, show us something we have not seen yet! </li></ul><ul><li>EX: Need an account manager who is willing to work long hours thinking about solving their clients' pain and their lack of Exposure. Are you able to be flexible to manage and execute all kinds of tasks, however menial. Able to look at the big picture as well as execute the minutia. Must be a good communicator as well as a great listener as well as thick skinned. Candidates should lead team in ideas as well as actions and make educated decisions. Stand up, be counted.. </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate should exercise good judgement and have strong writing skills. Travel and public speaking as well as presentation skills required. </li></ul><ul><li>If we asked you to tell us a story, would you tell a good one…ok, Go, you 5 seconds.…. </li></ul>
Account Management Defined <ul><li>Webster’s Dictionary defines Account Management as the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. “The combination of separate elements to form a coherent whole”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>B. David Ogilvy’s definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Leaders grasp Nettles”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Which do you better agree with? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell us why? </li></ul>
Optic Nerve Direct Strategy Managers <ul><li>As an Optic Nerve Direct Marketing Account Strategist you will be involved in every aspect of your clients’ business needs. From the big picture of marketing, down to remembering your clients children’s names as well as their dogs, cats, snakes. You get the idea. </li></ul><ul><li>An Optic Nerve Direct Marketing Account Strategist plans and helps execute strategic as well as tactical efforts and presents results, good or bad. Good obstacle course skills needed, that what makes a good Account Manager/PR at Optic Nerve Direct Marketing. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you dodge/weave/gravitate up or down, switch lanes, stop on a dime? Then maybe you would work out well with us. Maybe tell us another story? Or Maybe, tell us something funny about your/yours? </li></ul><ul><li>Go ahead, maybe tell us a joke? </li></ul>
But wait, More on Account Strategic Management at OND… <ul><li>Account Strategy has sometimes been defined as a trapeze-like skill. If one leans more toward the client and less toward the agency, the balance is tipped. We all lose. </li></ul><ul><li>Your role in the Agency is to be the advocate for the client within the agency as well as the advocate for the agency with the client. Therein lies the balance. </li></ul>
Some Tools of the Trade <ul><li>Job Orders/Job Tickets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every job is assigned a job order to set goals and expectations, to detail “the big picture”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include details, include milestone schedules, add fluff time, at least a week, for things to take longer than normal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include Next steps, some folks need hand-holding as next milestones needed to proceed. </li></ul></ul>
More Tools……Use em ’ <ul><li>Conference calls, At least once every 2 days-Current jobs sometimes require a call every morning. Check with Production, check with Traffic, check with Studio, get your notes together, then call the client before the client arrives at his/her desk. Call the client, leave just “good news”, please call me when you are free to discuss. Media, media,media, media, media, media, media…All Media…. </li></ul><ul><li>Be Pro-active, send them articles about their business, send them magazines with articles about competitors, about career advancements in their industry, anything and everything about your clients’ business…Your Client is Your business, live it, grow it, thrive and then succeed in all of your clients business, even the little things. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you send the sports page picture of your clients’ son/daughter tagging the other team’s son/daughter out at home plate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You should not have the client have to tell you the story. </li></ul></ul>
More about conference calls… <ul><li>Upon completion of your update of your conference call, (you should have an associate take all notes) , then recap the highlights in bullet points with suggestions, thoughts, ideas, but above all, the rationale behind and beyond thoughts and other idle conversations. Probe, ask! </li></ul><ul><li>Send to all parties involved, to include traffic, production, associates, owners/partners. </li></ul>
Estimates & Schedules <ul><li>Create your schedules as a team, enlist traffic, production, studio director(s), when preparing a schedule to be presented to your client's, after all, your team will be one executing the milestones deliverables, and best of all, You will be one ACCOUNTABLE for the success of the project. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure is not an option, ever! </li></ul><ul><li>YOU ARE THE DRIVER OF THE SUCCESS. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to get agency/client approvals of the schedule milestones as well. Signatures are key. </li></ul>
Let’s talk Creative Briefs…. <ul><li>The creative brief is the guide to both strategic and tactical focus of the marketing goals. The brief should also include the best as well as the worst, expected results of the project. It is to prepare expectations, predict costs and results as well as offer evaluations and present options, suggestions and cost savings. </li></ul><ul><li>It is also to project trust/confidence in YOUR SKILLS! </li></ul><ul><li>YOU ARE THE DRIVER OF RESULTS . </li></ul>
But wait, more about Creative Briefs.. <ul><li>A comprehensive BRIEF includes both a Strategic and a Tactical BRIEF . This ensures client success. </li></ul><ul><li>Good Briefs ensure success. Why, you ask??? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good brief “talks the talk and walks the walk of your clients business”. If you think like your client, that’s good. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll be able better able to look at goals/expectations, differently. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A good brief targets like a heat seeking missile, whom the clients’ target audience is, what they look like and where they live, how much money they make, </li></ul><ul><li>What is their lifestyle. You then own them…. </li></ul><ul><li>Hopefully, then you data mine them, find others like them. </li></ul>
A good brief also does… <ul><li>Primary purpose is to explain in detail, what is the both the goals and the expectations of the specific marketing endeavor. Be specific! </li></ul><ul><li>Who is the primary audience, who are they, where do they live, how much money do they make, are they married/divorced/separated? </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude/Beliefs/Objectives to marketing objectives/desired results </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior of target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Unique Selling Proposition </li></ul><ul><li>Tone of Key Messaging and benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Proofs-do all of the response devices work or are active-check now! </li></ul><ul><li>Communication vehicle-what is it…direct mail, collateral, trade show? </li></ul><ul><li>Call to Action-what do you want the prospect/respondent to do? </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatories such as client logo, tag lines, legal requirements, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Budgetary constraints/deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>What would you do with the mailer/email/interactive device? </li></ul>
Building Relationships with Clients <ul><li>Manage Expectations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with clients expectations and success defined, what are the metrics to the success? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure Closure-inform your client of next steps. Keep you client informed, they are your partner in the successful endeavor. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t commit to anything without consulting with your team. THEY ARE YOUR SUCCESS FACTOR! </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up EVERY meeting, EVERY call and Every decision. Verbal isn’t enough, get it in writing. CYA is quite active in most circles. </li></ul>
Your client is your Partner <ul><li>Remove the element of Surprise </li></ul><ul><li>Get Approvals from your client on the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Briefs-Both Strategic and Tactical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedules-Timeframes, milestones, next steps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimates and Budgets-10% contingency too </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final Creative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t leave anything to chance-get client buy in and signature sign offs. </li></ul>
Clients are OUR Success story <ul><li>Deal with any problems or situations immediately, don’t let them fester, it only gets worse. Be honest and up front. </li></ul><ul><li>Not all problems need to be shared with the client. Decide which ones that need input from the client. </li></ul><ul><li>You take the heat, not your teammates, EVER! </li></ul><ul><li>When a problem arises, discuss it with your teammates to decide upon a solution. Approach your client with the problem and the proposed solution. Provide options, not just one idea. </li></ul>
What have you done for your client today? <ul><li>Be Informed about your client’s brand and their competitors. Know your client’s products as well as they do, even better. </li></ul><ul><li>Bring information to the table each time you meet with them. Share news, ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a breaking news maven, read the trade publications that target their audience. Support your opinions with facts. Put names on faces, Faces on Names. BE SPECIFIC ON CAUSE AND EFFECTS OF ACTIONS AND RESULTS. </li></ul>
Big Picture thinking <ul><li>Always be thinking about the next steps-make decisions based upon long term, not short term convenience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be the Concierge-Clients like to work with people they can like and build relationships with from the very beginning. Clients are long term, the best clients are the ones that have been with Optic Nerve Direct Marketing for years. </li></ul></ul>
Resource Allocation <ul><li>Provide your colleagues with the tools to get the job done correctly the First Time. </li></ul><ul><li>Research, compile all of the information in a thorough manner. For all to review as well </li></ul><ul><li>Be available by phone, cell, email, in person </li></ul><ul><li>Be curious with how other jobs are done. You don’t need to know everything about printing for example, just go on a press check or two and smell the inks. </li></ul>
Positive Attitude is Contagious, spread it along……. <ul><li>Be the cheerleader of the Agency Account Team, Share the good news with the team, award the team with something special, be aware of that your team provides the avenue for your success. </li></ul><ul><li>When giving feedback, first praise, then bring up less successful events. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a positive attitude, its contagious! </li></ul>
Oh Yes, the Creative Team <ul><li>Make friends with the creative team! </li></ul><ul><li>Respect that it is difficult to create hard work. Involve creative in the brief development process, every step of the way, your life will be come become easier. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide client input, good or bad feedback with client suggestions or alterations. </li></ul><ul><li>Fight for your creative, help your client buy it and have the ammunition to do so. Now! </li></ul>
Optic Nerve Direct Marketing’s Vision <ul><li>Strategy -I will become an extension of my clients marketing staff from planning through execution. I will establish myself as a valuable ally to my clients goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus -I will educate myself on my client’s business. I will become a key informational source by understanding my client’s marketing environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership -I will proactively lead my accounts and not simply take orders. I will not burn bridges with my clients or teams. I will be the eyes and ears of my clients, as well as their voice. I will build relationships with my client and my teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Results -I will plan ROI/CRM into my strategies and tactics, helping my clients achieve their sales and marketing goals. By producing results for my client, I will build agency profitability. I will review budgets and ask hard questions </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation -I will explore beyond the obvious. I will strive for innovative approached, not for their own sake, but to benefit my clients’ customer interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty -I will NOT SAY YES, when NO will benefit the client or the agency most. </li></ul><ul><li>Excellence- I will know my clients’ expectations and strive to exceed them strategically, creatively, on-time and within budgets. </li></ul>
What’s Next for the Roundtable, stay tuned…. <ul><li>Account Planning -The Ability to interpret consumer research and inform actionable tactics and strategy from its results. </li></ul><ul><li>Print Production -How do Production Managers do the voodoo that they do best. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative -What does it take to make a good creative team-or is it just the I-Macs? </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful out there </li></ul>
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