Account Director

A day in the life of...

A typical day could be that your Client called you this morning to tell you the brief you had co-authored was finally approved and was in your inbox waiting for you for when you get in.

You call a meeting with your team – Account, Data, Planning and Creative and give them an overview of the brief so they can start to plan their part. From there you agree time with your planner to sit and discuss the agency brief that needs to be written. You brief your Account team to start to pull together timings plans, budgets. You ensure that the relevant people are briefing the agency departments to secure resources that you have previously pre-warned them of. There are no surprise. Now it is pure action.

By the end of that day your client has an update in their inbox – status on timing plans, budgets, anything they need to know and a rough idea of when you propose to come back with a tissue session response.

You do all this whilst ensuring that everything that is already on-going is on track.

We rely on you to...

Client Leadership

You are the day-to-day lead on several lines of business within the overall account – the trusted linchpin (as seen by both clients and within the agency) who has full ownership (and a great understanding) of every detail on the day to day running and output of the account. You make sure your team are aware of the overall ambitions for the client and business and set a clear vision for all to play their part in.

From brief to final delivery, it is your responsibility to lead the clients and agency team to deliver the very best work which will deliver against the client brief, creating an environment of motivation, inspiration, trust and partnership.

Beyond managing the projects, you should be leading the clients, driving the agency agenda. This is built through a deep strategic partnership with clients, where they always want your point of view because they know you understand their business as well as them. You should always be asking the right questions and doing your homework to ensure you have a robust understanding of the client's business, its strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats, as well the motivations of the clients themselves so you know how to best frame the work.

Because of your understanding of the client's business, you are able to partner with clients on their brief, inspiring and challenging them to ensure it's the best brief it can be in order to get to good work. From the minute you get the brief until the work goes live, you should think about all the things you can do in order to create the conditions for good work. Whether it's an analysis of competitor activity so you know what's going to cut through, or a presentation on some of the new tech trends to get the clients excited (or potentially less scared), or even on a basic level, making sure the client has met everyone who's going to be in the presentation before - you've got it covered.

Being all over it and connected to the client at the right points, you are able to get access to the information you need, anticipate the issues, ro dblocks and indeed opportunities that lie ahead - and are able to proactively manage them.

The Account Director should ensure that the client interaction with the Agency should be the high point of their day, and can leave them feeling stretched, even challenged at times, but always constructively so, based on building to a shared goal not individual disparate agendas.

You should always do what's right for the work and sometimes that means having the difficult conversations - whether that's on the brief, on creative feedback, timings or budget but based on your knowledge of their business and their personal motivations, you know how best to do this and have built up the trust that will make this easier.

Take pride in the agency product - make sure that all work (and all presentations) is/are packaged up in a way that is going to give it the best chance of being bought. All presentations should be professional, and structured in a clear, logical way - thought and care should go into everything that leaves the agency.

Regardless of the team structure beneath you, it's your responsibility to ensure the team are all over the detail - because a pissed off client is never going to buy good work. The little things go a long way.

Whilst there may be a time lag of the work we want to make vs. what we are currently producing for our clients, the ambition should be clear. We want to produce work that will generate or join a conversation that drives customer value to our Clients – it is bigger than just a piece of creative work and all Account Directors should support the Business Directors in building and delivering the plan to get there.

Making it happen

You are responsible for the delivery of all projects on brief, on time and in budget - at the very best quality.

You are responsible for ensuring you have access to the right skills to deliver, whether that's in OglvyOne or the rest of the group. You should get to know what the Client offering is within the different group companies, why it could be relevant to your Client and who the discipline experts are within our those companies. Be collaborative to ensure a seamless integration of skills, all working for the same thing - the work.

You need to be able to build strong relationships with creative, planning, data and production and become a trusted partner. Show strong creative judgement and give clear and honest feedback to teams to be able to helpfully influence their thinking. Be a champion for great creative work and actively seek opportunities to expand our output.

Ensure all your team (Account Management and Project Management) are embedded as a core part of the team, with a bigger picture view of the business. All of your team should be able to tell someone what the project and business ambition is.

You are responsible for getting client approval on all aspects of production. That requires thinking ahead, ensuring clients are clear on what needs to happen when and therefore setting the right conditions to drive the agency agenda and getting to the best output.

Strategic input

At Account Director level we expect you to demonstrate a sound strategic understanding and insight into your client's business, its competitors, the broader category and its customers. You should have a point of view on what is right for their business (not just what the clients want) bringing a fresh perspective to the table. You should be able to present strategic thinking with clarity, often leading the conversation both internally and with clients. Your planner will not always be in the room, so you should learn not to be overly reliant on them for their point of view.

You should be able to write a compelling strategy, with a logical thought flow, and show ability to craft a story.

You should have a sound knowledge of how their customers are behaving, where the potential lies to gain new customers, what the threats are to losing the ones they have.

Account Directors should be capable at writing good creative briefs for smaller projects, always with an insightful 'did you know' that can frame the challenge.

You're the day-to-day point of call for all research, from inputs to analysis of the output and you should show the ability to apply this to new briefs or ongoing work. You should know what has worked in the past that can feed the future.

You should start to lead the longer term view, having a point of view about what the approach should be beyond the current projects in order to deliver against the client's objectives.

Team leadership

You set roles, responsibilities and lead your particular silo team on a day-to-day basis, mentoring and coaching as appropriate. You play an important role in keeping everyone motivated - not only in account management but also planning, creative, data and production.

Inspire high standards throughout – both internally and in all aspects of client service. You should provide positive leadership in all situations, especially the difficult ones.

Create a culture of immediate feedback, both positive and constructive, so the team know how they are doing, what they are doing well and what the areas are that they need to work on in order to get to the next level. But crucially, they know what good looks like, what they are aiming for.

You ensure you have the flexibility of style between orchestrating, facilitating or driving a team and knowledge of when each style will help to meet the end goal.

Nurture and develop junior talent including performance appraisals and encouraging productive career conversations, including the setting and regular reviews of objectives. This approach should empower the team to become self-aware, self-motivated and inspired to do their very best.

Take responsibility for, and work to develop all inter-departmental and inter-agency relationships.

Demonstrate the ability to manage individuals (both senior and junior) and their workloads to get the best from them.

You are responsible overall for delivering campaigns on brief, on time and on budget - delegating work effectively to the wider team taking into account individuals skills and development needs.

Financial acumen

The Account Director should show a clear understanding of the financial status on the account at all times and have a point of view on why that's the case, and whether there is work to be done to improve it. This should cover scope, margin, profitability and revenue.

You should be able to accurately forecast and ensure members of you team have contributed to and understand the targets set for live and upcoming projects.

By having a strong knowledge, understanding, and leadership of the financials, there should be no surprises for the agency or client.

You should know the scope of the projects inside and out so that any scope creep can be discussed immediately with your clients and a resolution found – either cutting back in line with scope or incremental revenue to cover additional costs.

Equally, you should be able to identify incremental opportunities with a value attached to them. Ideally you should have a yearly target to aim for.

You should own the budgets of all projects and be able to troubleshoot, including being able to manage these across multiple channels and group companies.

You should also contribute to good financial management of the business, improving profitability and maximising revenue, always looking for better ways of doing things.

In order to ensure you have the right resource against your account, you will need to work with the Client Partner on capacity plans and revenue forecasting.

You should ensure the team is following all financial rules and regulations, both internal and external as well as any client agreed processes.

You are great at...

You are the person that everyone wants to work with. Not because you are easy to work for but because you stretch them and ask of them to do their very best. You have a natural ability to bring people with you. You are a leader and your team flourish and grow under your guidance. Everyone knows what part they are playing in the overall vision.

Your client feels you have full ownership of their business and that you will spend their money well. You always get to know your clients really well, both their professional ambitions, pressures in their job and what keeps them up at night. You can walk a mile in their shoes.

You are a believer in the process and the importance of knowing how it all works work. You understand and embrace that as part of your role.

You do all of this in a way that supports the values that we share:

  • Courage: Not being afraid to stand by our beliefs
  • Idealism: Raising both our own and clients' sights to try new things without being naïve
  • Curiosity: Wanting to know more and not do what's always been done
  • Playfulness: Knowing when not to take things (including ourselves) too seriously
  • Candor: Being open, straightforward and having an opinion
  • Intuition: Showing a good "gut feeling"
  • Persistence: Persevering with beliefs, without being pig headed

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