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What to look for once you are hiring an Advertising Account Manager

Magnifying glass on CV folder

Lately, especially in the Myanmar Advertising Industry landscape, due to the shortage of well-rounded & well-experienced professionals, I see that there are a lot of job vacancies for account managers where it's coming up with the typical job description. And I understand the headache of HRs or agency owners in identifying a good account manager as there is no proper account management training in the academic way, and all the account managers are all experienced learners while you are finding the perfect talent in the pool of candidates with very little experience. I'll tell you the secret of what to look for when you are hiring a good advertising account manager.

The Wrong Account Manager: A Recipe for Disappointment

Imagine this: You hire an account manager, hoping for a strategic partner who can win new clients and nurture existing relationships. Instead, you end up with someone who simply takes orders, leaving you with the heavy lifting.

Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • The Order Taker: They simply record what clients say without offering strategic advice or proactive solutions.
  • The Micromanager: They obsess over every detail, becoming a bottleneck for progress and frustrating both you and the team.
  • The Communication Breakdown: They struggle to communicate effectively with clients, leading to misunderstandings and missed deadlines.
  • The Strategy Vacuum: They lack the ability to think big picture, hindering the development of successful campaigns and long-term client partnerships.

The result? Lost time, frustrated clients, and stagnant growth. Not exactly the rocket fuel your agency needs. That’s the result of hiring a wrong account manager.

The Account Manager Rocket Fuel: Qualities that Take You to the Stars

So, what kind of account manager should you be looking for? Here are the key ingredients to propel your agency forward:

  • Client Champion: They see your clients' success as their own, going the extra mile to build strong relationships and advocate for their needs.
  • Proactive Problem Solver: They anticipate challenges before they arise, developing creative solutions and contingency plans to keep projects running smoothly.
  • Strategic Thinker: They understand the bigger picture, aligning client goals with your agency's strengths and developing data-driven strategies for success.
  • Communication Powerhouse: They excel at clear and concise communication, both written and verbal, ensuring information flows seamlessly between clients, the team, and you.
  • Data-Driven Decision Maker: They leverage data and analytics to inform their decisions, providing a solid foundation for campaign optimization and client satisfaction.
  • Project Management Prowess: Juggling multiple clients and projects simultaneously is par for the course in the advertising world. Your account manager must possess exceptional organizational skills and an unwavering attention to detail. From managing timelines and delegating tasks to ensuring deadlines are met and promises are delivered, project management proficiency is a must-have trait for any successful account manager.
  • Has a Sense of Accountability: An exceptional account manager takes ownership of the accounts they handle and feels a sense of responsibility for the client's business success. They accept responsibility and don't make excuses when challenges arise. Someone with a strong sense of accountability will proactively seek solutions rather than playing the blame game and creating politics inside your agency.

Hiring beyond the Resume: Uncovering the Perfect Fit

A resume packed with experience is just the first step. You need someone who not only has the skills but also aligns with your agency's culture and values.

Here's how to go beyond the resume and unearth the true potential of a candidate:

  • Skills Assessment: Consider incorporating a skills assessment test that goes beyond just years of experience. These tests can evaluate critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and communication style.
  • Scenario-Based Interview Questions: Present real-world scenarios a new account manager might encounter. This will reveal their thought process and approach to handling challenging situations.
  • Case Studies: Ask candidates to analyze a past client campaign or case study. This gives you an idea of their strategic thinking and ability to leverage data.

Full-Time vs. Freelance Account Manager: Choosing the Right Fit

Businesses experiencing sudden growth might consider a freelance account manager initially. They can manage a few key clients while you build your internal team. However, this is a temporary solution. You can easily mark up a percentage to the account manager's commission as your profit. Easy to manage for both profits but there is the downside of hiring a freelancer as they are not your full-time staff 

For established businesses, a full-time account manager offers significant advantages. They become a familiar face for clients, fostering deeper relationships and trust. This translates to increased client retention and recurring revenue.
Part-time vs full-time account managers pros and cons

Conclusion: Invest in the Right Fit, Watch Your Agency Blast Off

Hiring the right account manager can be a game-changer for your small agency. They become your partner in crime, freeing you up to focus on strategic growth initiatives. Don't settle for a lukewarm candidate. Take the time to find someone who embodies the qualities mentioned above. By investing in the right talent, you'll be well on your way to launching your agency to new heights.

Ready to ignite your agency's growth? 

Book a 30-minute free discovery call with us for “Account Management Training” service. Let us shoot you a couple of questions regarding to your agency operations issue, and we provide customized training plan based on your agency & team structure.

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