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Account Managers in the Digital Marketing Space

Account Managers have it easy (or so I thought)

I always thought Account Managers had an easy life. It seemed they got to do the fun stuff like go on shoots, take clients out for dinner and always seemed to be at the heart of any office party. My perceptions changed within a week of being thrust head-first into the fast-paced world of Account Management in a big agency back in India; it was baptism by fire. I realised my new job was so much more than social events and monthly reports. It required technical skills as well as brilliant communication and time management. It was a lot more work than I originally thought; It was a way of life.

I’ve now been an Account Manager for the last six years and I’ve learned you have to wear many hats. The role is all about relationships; whether it’s dealing with demanding clients, third party vendors or internal teams. The bigger the account, the more complex the challenges and at the heart of Account Management lies the ability to communicate effectively. Account Management may include sales, planning and business development and these skills will remain constant across most industries.

Digital media is ever-changing

However in the case of Digital Account Management (DAM), the ability to conduct sales and business development is a small part of the skills required. The world of digital marketing can only be compared to the Auckland weather: it’s ever-changing. A DAM needs to be well versed with all aspects of digital production, marketing and reporting. The analytics dashboard is the bible and they’re the pastor. Working as a DAM has made me realise being blessed with the gift of the gab could only help you get through the rounds of introduction when meeting with clients.

I’ll never forget the first time I presented an online marketing report to a client. I consider myself a pretty good speaker and generally have no qualms with presenting to top management but the moment my client requested I pull up the dashboard I was reduced to sentences with filler words. That was the worst first impression to make and I realised if I was ever going to cut it in the digital space I needed not just an overview of digital marketing but an in-depth training on SEO, Adwords, Analytics, display ads and Social Media Marketing.

If you’re not a digital encyclopedia, then you’re irrelevant

It’s been a few years working in digital marketing and today I consider myself the one-stop for anything digital, and that’s what every digital account manager should aspire to be. Having a holistic view of the entire digital sphere is crucial in order to understand how the different elements fall together. Today the need for collaboration between web developers and e-marketers is necessary for websites to be in sync with the latest digital technologies and marketing channels. We live in the mobile world and the need for websites to function across all devices is no longer an option. DAMs need to be well-versed and must play an active role in the development of all digital collaterals. This will ensure that the digital collaterals are developed keeping in mind digital marketing requirements.

by Nick Baskaran