Within a full-service digital marketing agency, any single job or person is only one piece of a larger puzzle. You need every individual component to be operating efficiently in order for the whole organization or team to succeed.
For account and project managers, the primary role in this machine is to ensure that everything is operating effectively and efficiently so that the team, the company, and the clients are calibrated for success.
Take a look as we break down some of the key functions of project and account management.
Leadership in Practice
As a project manager, it is easy to presume that your success is primarily measured by the success of others. Whereas each individual role in the company works toward a specific goal on every project, a project manager must ensure that all tasks are being completed by each respective team member in a timely manner.
The deliverables for clients need to be passed over for approval on time and within budget. Ultimately, what that means in practice is that the writer must finish copywriting with enough time for the editor to review and for the graphic designer to implement creative assets if needed. This process needs to happen behind the scenes, unbeknownst to the client, so that each and every piece of content or work is delivered on time and to their expectations.
Time & Task Management
Looking at project management at an even more granular level, a writer has to have enough time allocated in their week to be able to complete their tasks, which is one of many ongoing processes. At any given moment, a writer may be working on drafting copy while the editor reviews another piece and the graphic designer is creating yet another.
In many instances, if even one individual piece gets lost or delayed, an entire chain of processes and work could be affected. Every single role is just one of many moving parts which need their time delegated and designated for specific tasks in order to meet any agreed-upon windows for the delivery of work. It is the responsibility of the project manager to keep track of not only the overall strategy, but each and every moving piece within it–the macro and the micro.
In the more overarching sense, a project manager has to manage every aspect of each project internally, from the smallest component to the overall picture. While they control the internal operations for individual projects, an equally important and complementary role is managing external expectations and communications as an account manager.
Acting as an account manager entails leading all the communications with the agency’s clients. One of the most important aspects of this role is managing client expectations. If this is managed the wrong way, the internal team and even the agency and client relationship could be set up for failure. Realistic expectations that can be met and goals that can be achieved must be set within the defined operating capacity of the agency.
At times, clients may make requests that can’t be accomplished under the current circumstances or ask for unrealistic deadlines that can’t be met without affecting other accounts and projects. In these instances, the most important thing to do is communicate the reasoning for why a request cannot be accommodated and offer alternative solutions that will work for both parties.
In any relationship, whether personal or professional, the most important aspect for the longevity of that relationship is communication. If either party fails to communicate their needs and expectations, they have failed to define the purpose and reasoning for the relationship to exist in the first place.
It is always in one’s best interest to clearly communicate what the other person or party can expect from the other. It is also perhaps equally important to define what the other party should not expect from the other. That is why for each client, at the very start of the relationship, the scope must be clearly defined.
This acts as both a way to define what the work will entail and what to expect from the relationship. Anything outside of that agreed-upon scope of work can be considered in the future, but the two parties must then work together to communicate a new scope of work and redefine their relationship moving forward.
How to Measure Success
The success of any client-agency relationship is ultimately measured by the success of the client. The goal in working with any client is always to drive results in whatever their business entails. Our digital marketing agency works with businesses from a diverse array of industries, from law firms and private car services to military component manufacturers and macadamia nuts. We have driven our clients to reach and exceed their goals across a wide variety of fields, each with vastly different parameters for success.
For project managers and account managers, success is frequently, if not always, defined by the success of others. When the team is doing their work effectively, they are meeting or exceeding expectations set for the benefit of the clients. When the clients are satisfied and see that success is reflected in their business, the agency has accomplished its goals. When all of this–every moving part, every piece of work, every operation–is happening efficiently and effectively, a project manager has accomplished their goals.
As an account and project manager, you should always be an advocate for the clients, the team, and the company. When their success is your success, you can rest assured that you will always be an advocate for yourself.
Fishbat is a full-service digital marketing agency that exists to generate results that our clients value through goal-based marketing. To learn more about how to successfully navigate the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, read more of our insights here.