Organization is the foundation. Some of us, like me, do not have a great memory.
Organization is the key to begin any campaign off on the right foot. Often, we as account managers can get into a robotic function and can then by nature begin to skip some basic steps, such as starting a campaign without testing. Without confirming the post-install events are working. Without confirming to the client, you are going live. Without checking you have all necessary banners and videos.
A simple checklist can help avoid many of the pitfalls that befall campaigns and doom them before they begin, or even just make you appear unprofessional.
Communication is the key to a successful campaign and a happy client. As a wise man once told me, a phone call is better than an email and a face-to-face is better than a phone call. In today’s global economy we often do not have the opportunity to meet with our clients face-to-face, but if you have the chance, seize it. Pursuant to this, we can all make time for a phone call. It is shocking to me how many campaigns run without a proper phone call ever taking place. And the first conversation is a fact-finding mission to discover one thing…
What will it take to make your client happy?
This is beyond hitting the campaign KPI’s, perhaps the client is sensitive to a particular type of traffic. Perhaps they are goal-oriented in beating last years’ numbers. It can be any number of things that are unforeseen. Keep the communication flowing, constant communication will let you see ahead.
Problems, issues, mistakes do happen from time-to-time. If you have open and good communication, these can be dealt with head-on and you can arrive at a solution much faster. In certain cases, it can even be turned into a win if you identify, flag and communicate a problem, more importantly, a solution FAST.
Speed is part of the game. A good AM needs to answer quickly. You don’t always need to know the answer, but a quick reply of “I’m checking, will get back to you ASAP” will always put the client at ease and make them feel they are being taken care of…which they are!
This can also create a situation where the client sees a problem before you, but according to your relationship they will either call/email you to discuss the issue, or you might receive a quick short email to terminate the activity.
If you work with someone for an extended period, the work can sometimes become bland and this threatens you with having a bland relationship with a client. Clients don’t need to be your friends, but the daily grind of life can be tough for anyone. A little sunshine, a little humor, a little music (i.e. send YouTube songs) can break up the monotony of the daily grind.
Another question you should always ask yourself…
“How can you make your client look good in front of his/her boss?”
Sometimes opportunities arise just by being a good listener and sometimes they come from you. Shoot your shot. You can’t score if you don’t shoot. The mobile landscape is full of such interesting media channels and technologies. Learn about them, study them, know them. They will make you look good and professional even if you do not manage them. Passion will take an AM a long way, the clients can see it and feel it and it is contagious.
You might miss 9 out of 10 times but scoring once is better than not scoring at all and is certainly better than not even trying. You can always learn by missing and failing
An account manager can be a taskmaster or a Trusted Advisor. We are not yes/no people. Sometimes a client will respect you more for saying no and explaining why you think they are making an error.
Priorities can change weekly, daily, and hourly. This constantly needs to be evaluated. What is the most important thing for me to begin doing right now?
• Ask for regular feedback (without being annoying)
• Look at the schedule
• eCommerce: Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Etc.
• Sports Betting: Champions League? Super Bowl? Etc.
• Who are the competitors? Look at what they are doing and mention them by name. Sharing a competitive report once in while will allow you both to understand the volume and strategy others are doing and act wisely based on that.
• Selling to an existing account is much more profitable and predictable than trying to win new business. According to Bain & Company, it is six to seven times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Ultimately being able to take ownership of problems, and the actions required to put them right will build respect and trust which will deliver great campaigns for both teams.
All of these things combined, plus a bit of humor, and a whole lot of honesty, will allow you to sustain a successful partnership relation with any client