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The new age of account management

Breathe in, breathe out client service team – old school account and client service management is a dying trade… The new age is well and truly here!

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The increase in complexity of client demands and the continued search for transparency has transformed the art of account management.

Historically speaking, activities such as return on investment analysis, client profitability and efficiency reporting were all tasks reserved for the agency finance team alone. Nowadays as an AM, you are having to deal with these requests at the helm and often require answers on the spot. Your skill set has had to expand from largely relationship building attributes to include much more analytical and finance orientated tasks, adding meaningful input where the client sees value.

In addition to these varied reporting requests, you also have to deal with managing the delivery of a far greater breadth of offerings across a number of channels, as well as the stress of tightening client budgets and, more often than not, justifying to client procurement how the agency adds value. Couple this with managing internal agency functions such as looking after a team, providing direction on specific resource allocation and ensuring adequate capacity planning and it can all get a bit much!

The direct correlation between client satisfaction and efficient client service means the more complex client management gets, the heavier our reliance becomes on accurate and timely information being available to adapt to client demands. Given the amount of effort required to ensure the availability of this information after the fact, it often becomes tiresome to prepare and removes us from working on the things we love about the job and those things genuinely making a difference for our clients. Double entry, the manipulation of dumped data in Excel and pulling together comments from various different systems are all unnecessary additions to the daily workload and run the risk that you’ll lose control of the data. But there is a solution.

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As my colleague, Les Parry Managing Director of Pegasus Systems, alluded to in his article for the DBA last year “The Importance of Information”, one of the magic ingredients to achieving seamless access to job information is to ensure everything is in one place and one place only, your core system.

With the right system in place, job level and client related information should be ready at the push of a button at the end of the process. This will put you firmly in control of your data, whilst the headache of using Excel and multiple other tools to prepare estimates, create revenue forecasts, allocate resources etc. will be a thing of the past.

Performing a review of your job management processes is often the first step to making any clear changes for the better – something we at Pegasus Systems ensure is completed during the implementation phase of introducing a new system. This provides you with a full understanding of what information you’ll need to ‘get out’ and therefore importantly what needs to be inputted first, so that when required, you’ll seamlessly have all the information you need.

With your data for the 2017 DBA Annual Survey now submitted, and the Report eagerly awaited in a few months, it’s an opportune time to ask ourselves how we can best use this internal information to win more business, make our current clients more profitable and gain meaningful ground on the war against unnecessary admin this year.

Partners for the DBA Annual Member Survey Report 2017

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Pegasus provides a specialised marketing services software solution focused on exceeding our clients’ expectations, developing the system with our user base and building long term relationships through innovation and exceptional client support. Our clients include all major international groups, plus a growing number in the UK with notable agencies such as JKR and Droga5 amongst them. Supporting over 130 clients with 6,000+ staff globally in London, New York, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan. We are a private staff-owned company with over 30 years focused solely on the advertising and communications industry. All directors are previously agency FDs, all client service and product delivery staff have worked in agencies in senior financial roles. Our in-depth understanding of agencies’ processes is our strength!

About: Daniel Hogan, Consultant, Pegasus Systems (UK)

Daniel Hogan is a CA qualified Consultant at Pegasus Systems UK with an extensive history in operational and financial management of Advertising, Design, Creative and Digital agencies. He specialises in agency platform transition management and is committed to growing the presence of Pegasus in the UK.

Not a DBA member?

If you are interested in benefiting from access to the DBA Annual Survey Report – the most in-depth benchmarking report in the design industry, analysing the fees, salaries, utilisation, income, recovery rates, benefits, and trends of DBA members – please contact adam.fennelow@dba.org.uk for membership details, or take a look at our membership benefits.

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