Director of Account Management: Relevant Jobs

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To date, director of account management positions are the most senior–level jobs in account management employment. These jobs require nearly ten years of extensive and in–depth account–management experience with the industry for which their agency does advertising. Above all, directors should be having excellent records from their previous account management jobs.

Account-management directors have also typically accumulated at least five years in the advertising field. For instance, an account director who manages an alternative-energies firm will have about five years’ experience with alternative-energies advertising. In addition, the director will most likely have a technical degree in a scientific field, so he can comfortably discuss ecological topics with clients. The same general requirements hold true for directors who work with pharmaceutical or construction agencies, to give just two examples.

Many account directors hold Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Practically all directors have bachelor’s degrees, especially in marketing or public relations. However, direct experience in account-management is generally regarded as far more important than education.

Account directors primarily focus on advertising efforts. In fact, most account directors begin their careers as advertisers. They mediate relationships between clients and marketing agencies. Account directors meet clients to obtain a concrete idea of their desired advertising campaign and advertising venues. They then direct advertisers to execute the discussed ideas, outlining projects that will fulfill the client’s specifications.

From that point, account directors oversee the quality of ad materials and give the final approval before their release. As advertising projects move along, directors are in close communication with the project managers. There are often multi-departmental projects going on simultaneously, so directors work hard to keep on top of projects and monitor contractual compliance. They question each project manager on whether the projects are meeting deadlines and adhering to budget limits. They concentrate on delivery goals, pushing projects forward so that their client has a fully realized product by the final deadline. Throughout this hectic process, they negotiate contracts with outside workers, such as Information Technology (IT) workers. They are also in close contact with clients, sending them reports on each phase of the project.

In addition, account directors often liaise with other departments involved in an ad campaign. These departments include art departments that provide graphics and publishing departments that provide advertising copy. They troubleshoot any serious problems that arise in all departments involved in the project.

Like all account managers, the director works frequently with Client Relations Management (CRM) software. Working with this software is part of strategic account management, or leveraging optimum buying power from clients. This software records the accounts of each client and details their past transactions with the firm. Furthermore, CRM software alerts the director if the agency has taken every strategic measure to do business with that client. For example, many agencies rely on client referrals and testimonials to broaden their clientele. If CRM records a client who has not yet done a referral, the account director may order the drafting of a referral request to that client.

Besides overseeing multiple projects, account directors manage multi-departmental duties. In a sense, they are masters in multitasking. On the financial side, they control budgets, review invoices, negotiate contracts with vendors, and conceptualize risk-management improvements. As for customer-service, they regularly interact with clients and provide them with intermittent status reports on their ad products. On CRM software, they enter data relating to their clients’ past business, key contacts, business ventures, acquisitions, and other information that may open up new advertising opportunities. They also direct account managers in their prospecting duties, assigning them sales territories in which they cold call new potential clients

To their staff, account-management directors act as entrepreneurial leaders. They must be comfortable leading an entire advertising agency, supporting all staff members throughout their projects. When problems arise, directors should have enough experience to resolve them. Directors may cope with problems ranging from client dissatisfaction to contractual disputes. As head managers, they also know how to delegate duties while reserving other duties for themselves.

In a sense, directors are also chief customer-service representatives, since they are the primary client interface. Positive and tactful communications skills are imperative. Account directors also have years of sales training they can refer to for numerous client situations. More than ever, it is also encouraged that directors have second-language skills, especially Spanish. Since so many businesses are urban-based, it is a good bet that account directors will encounter minority clients more than once.

Directors are also responsible for hiring new account managers. They take special care that each new hire will work well with others, since account management is team oriented. Directors additionally work with human resources management to develop employee benefits and incentive programs, such as sales bonuses.

Account directors also use computer programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Project, and PowerPoint. PowerPoint is especially important because directors use it to present possible advertising campaigns to clients. It is also helpful if directors are familiar with publishing software, such as Adobe InDesign, which is used by both art and publishing departments.

Lastly, account directors research new marketing trends for their industry. Studying these trends enables them to present clients with new, dynamic advertising strategies. Furthermore, implementing trends such as new software keeps their agency competitive amid millions of other agencies.

Account director jobs are well paying. At an entry-level, account directors make about $58,000 per year. After ten years of experience, this salary may double to over $100,000. Though director jobs filter out only the top-tier account managers, they are by far the most lucrative jobs in account management.
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