Insights / Client relationships

The role of an Account Director

I think the one thing creative teams don't understand about my job, is that there's a fine line that we have to straddle by being part of two teams. One being the client representative within an organisation, but also representing the creative team, and the agency, to the client. And making sure that, not only do we solve the client's unique business problem in a creative way, and actually come up with something that they're happy about that moves the needle for their business, but something that all of the teams at the agency and the creative team can be proud about creating.

You can't obviously be everywhere and do everything at all times, so it's about really identifying the unique opportunities where you can exploit a certain creative opportunity. A lot of times, that happens on the edges. When you have a very big ask, and a lot of people involved, and you get into the scenario where there's creative by committee, it becomes very difficult to navigate.

It's not about selling the idea to one person, it's about selling an idea to multiple departments, all the way up the chain. And sometimes you're side-by-side with the Creative Director to sell this through, and other times a lot of triangulation happens between different client stakeholders and groups to be able to address their needs, and make sure they get a win as well.

It's not an easy gig. I mean, I think you have to build trust with both the client teams and creatives to know that you have both of their interests in mind, and that you're going to be this 'translator' between the client's business, and your creative teams. In any negotiation where someone's caught in the middle, you have to use a lot of judgment to make sure you're not only representing the interests of one party, but essentially finding that middle ground where both parties can succeed.

The role of an Account Director

Previously: Publicis Sapient

Clients: VolkswagenMicrosoft