One of the most fulfilling aspects of serving as an account executive is functioning as the quarterback of a team. I remember when I was a kid and we played schoolyard football, if an odd number of kids showed up, we’d choose two even sides and then appoint an “official quarterback.” He’d be the quarterback for each team, depending on who had the ball.
Being an Account Executive (AE) is similar. We interface with our clients and our internal team, serving as a check and balance of sorts. We’re always mindful of how strategies and tactics relate so we can best achieve your marketing goals.
AEs are responsible for account planning, marketing strategy and navigating the nuanced art of relationship building with clients and our internal units. We’re also tasked with understanding the roles of our team members who function as subject matter experts (SMEs) and how to best leverage their skills for the benefit of the client and agency. While AEs need not dive into the weeds on all things technical, it’s critical that we possess a foundational knowledge of various subjects. Because of this, it’s important to have a great account executive working on your team to help you achieve your marketing goals.
These days, the rapid evolution of our industry continues to place new service demands at our feet, specifically the rise and integration of digital marketing in its many forms. Over the past four years at RDW Group the demand for digital services and, correspondingly, our internal team dedicated to the effort have grown considerably. So too have we as AEs. In real-time, we’re actively skilling up in areas like search engine marketing (SEM) best practices, marketing automation, paid social media, and digital analytics to better serve our clients.
Here are a few common examples of how a great account executive helps achieve your marketing goals:
- A digital engagement strategist enthusiastically recommends a new software or tactic that’s the hottest thing at industry conferences. But is it a fit for our client? Will it help us accomplish our goals and impact our KPIs? An AE helps connect strategic thought leadership with client business objectives.
- A marketing analytics strategist has done a bang up job on compiling an integrated monthly performance report. Now it’s time for our team to interpret, analyze and flesh out the report. We must collaboratively challenge our team to draw thoughtful, actionable insights from the report. What are those insights? What adjustments can we make to move the needle for our client? How can we effectively present the information in a way the client can understand, examine and make decisions upon? The account executive tugs at all the strings. They’re able to support you by seeing the whole picture, and drawing actionable conclusions.
- Our SEM specialist did a great job in launching a client’s AdWords campaign. In light of our client’s goals moving forward, what is the early data demonstrating? How often should we be refreshing ad executions? How is the tactic performing relative to others in the integrated campaign in light of goals and spend level? A good AE helps connect the dots.
At the end of the day, it’s all about using our blend of account knowledge and industry knowledge effectively. When we’re doing our job well, we’re a stabilizing force in the identification of both issues and opportunities, involving SMEs, and driving business results on our client’s behalf.
Chris is Vice President of Client Services Innovation at RDW and the talented wearer of many hats. A former practicing attorney and current nationally-recognized Atlantic 10 basketball conference media maven, Chris is presently leading client engagements in the higher education, scholarly publishing, healthcare, and real estate sectors. If you want to talk college hoops this (or any) month, follow him on Twitter @CDiSano44.