A sneak peek into the world of digital advertising: Client Servicing
In the present day and age, as we know it, it’s all about the internet. People have made the shift, businesses have made the shift and so has advertising. From traditional to digital, ad agencies have come a long way and continue to keep pushing forward. And of course, they should! The Internet is the new age society and people tend to spend most of their time online.
In order to be noticed and remembered today, it’s very important to maintain a social presence. This stands- not only for people but for brands as well. With development of new social media platforms, digital advertising has also become an industry with rapid advancement each day. Social media has grown into a field which requires quick adaptability and continuous learning and growing.
So, what exactly is digital advertising about?
Digital advertising is the new age form of advertising which helps a brand drive its sales as well as maintain its presence in the online space. It is the duty of a digital agency to provide the brand with all possible digital solutions. A digital ad agency is merely a tool for a brand to achieve their targets (be it sales targets, creating brand awareness, maintaining the brand position in the market, etc.). This being the overview, there is more to a digital agency than meets the eye.
Today, the digital advertising space has seen creativity booming like never before and in turn, it has led to ever growing fierce competition in the industry. This competition again leads to agencies stepping up their creative game and thus, a never ending loop.
To be able to deliver this level of creativity and the best digital solutions to your clients, it takes the smooth functioning and co-ordination of various departments of an agency. Business Development, Account Management, Planning and Research, Brand Strategy, Creative, Finance and Accounts, Media Buying and Digital Expenses, are the various departments that come together as a team to complete an agency.
Each department works as a pillar to an agency and each has their own important role to play. As we dive deeper into the functioning of a department, we realize that what we know is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more that goes into the working of a particular department to deliver its share of the output. For now, let’s take a sneak peek into the workings of one of the most crucial departments of an ad agency - Account management, also known as Client servicing.
Account management is the department that connects the creative efforts of the agency to the digital requirements of the client. An account manager is the liaison between the various departments internally (Creative, Media planning, etc) as well as the liaison externally (between the client and agency). Let’s take a look at a day in the life of an account manager.
No advertising campaign goes from an idea to a sales driver by itself. It is the client servicing manager who guides the campaign-building process. From client communications and work flow to budgets and billing, they have many responsibilities. It is their job to adhere to the requirements of the client and deliver the same, complete,well packaged and on time. For a client servicing manager, every day is a new day of creativity and every task needs to be well planned and strategized.
A typical day of a client servicing manager includes taking and understanding briefs from the clients, briefing the creative team to deliver the same, sharing the creative with the client, receiving creative changes from clients, relaying those changes to creative team and supervising them till the revised creative is ready to be shared. At times, the creatives get approved on the first draft and saves the Client Servicing manager the additional steps.
All these processes are to be done while keeping in mind timelines to be met. While performing these tasks a client servicing manager is also expected to maintain and grow client relationships, handle client expectations of timelines, carry out extensive research, brainstorm, work through differences between departments internally. Whether a client makes socks or sells cars, the account manager needs to become an industry expert.
This requires them to be constantly up-to-date and always learning and expanding their knowledge.
In my opinion, a client servicing manager is the backbone of the entire campaign. A brief is pointless unless there is someone to interpret it, brainstorm around it, build on it and then deliver it to match the client’s expectations. Along with the delivery, the targeting, budgeting and operations need to be seen to as well.
Hence justified- ‘account manager’ is a role that comes with great responsibility and great difficulties as well. It requires diplomacy, patience, creativity, good communication skills and so much more. It is a never ending process of learning that needs to be fueled by the urge to keep improving.
People often think that the servicing department is one that does not offer growth. However this is a misconception. This department of the agency is ever growing and improving and hence has a lot to teach and offers a lot of opportunities to grow creatively and career-wise.
All in all, Client Servicing may sound like a piece of cake to people not familiar with the role, but the truth is that it’s way more than just a handful.