Proper Internet marketing account management takes experience, skill, technical ability, and patience. Great Account Managers have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of online marketing and analytics. It is their job to guide the client down the path to success. Here are some helpful tips for succeeding in Account Management:
- Carefully select the right clients: Yes that’s right, proper client selection for any good agency is imperative for achieving success. Every agency has different business goals as does every client so its up to you to identify the ideal client. Some important things to look for include a willingness to invest significant time and money in online marketing, patience in understanding results will not happen over night,and the ability to work WITH your agency not against it. You also want to consider their product or service and decide whether you think you can market it effectively. Frankly some companies just do not have good products, so if you take them on anyway you will likely not be able to convince consumers to “buy” (see cartoon). Eventually you will get fired and realize you wasted a few months on a poor project when you could have been building momentum on a successful one.
- Set proper expectations: It is not just the sales team’s responsibility to set proper expectations for an online marketing campaign. The Account Manager must do this at the beginning of the campaign and all the way through it. Marketing is fluid and the plan will like change or need adjustments and expectations must be managed every step of the way. If communication is consistent and clear (and you are working with the RIGHT client) then you should have no problems.
- Set goals and KPIs with the client: The key word here is “WITH” the client. This process should be done together, not simply dictated by the client. Sometimes people do not understand Internet marketing and social media and will therefore have unrealistic expectations. You need to be a part of the planning process and then of course manage expectations during this crucial step. Setting goals with the client serves a few purposes. First, it helps them understand that you want them to succeed and that there will be milestones to work towards along the way. Second, it holds you accountable to work hard on their behalf and be diligent in hitting benchmarks. Third, it sets a tone for the relationship that this is a team rather than just a client/vendor relationship.
- Pay attention to detail: This is of course extremely important in anything we do in life and that is why it is one of IMI’s core values. As an Account Manager, one must juggle many moving pieces in order to keep the project moving forward. Attention to detail is crucial. If little things slip through the cracks especially at the beginning of the campaign it tells the client that you are either careless or don’t care enough about their campaign in order to ensure everything is perfect. This of course may not be the case, mistakes happen. But the client won’t care and little mistakes add up and will eventually have a detrimental effect on the relationship.
- Manage the process and your team: Any good agency will have processes that need to be managed for a campaign. The more services being offered the more procedures, deliverables, and people there will be to manage. Let the specialists and project managers handle the little things while you manage the process, maintain solid communication with the client, and analyze results.
- Build a personal relationship: Again, if you choose the right client you will most likely have built a relationship already during the sales process. Be friendly. Nobody wants to fire their friend! Go above and beyond and add value. Simple things like making a quick phone call just to check in can go a very long way.
These are just a few tips so I would love to hear more feedback and additional advice. Feel free to share!