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There was a time when advertising account managers were sales people. They had firm handshakes, wore crisp suits and boasted low handicaps. They were great company of course – it was their job. They had a knack for knowing the best restaurant and trendiest tavern in any city, and they always picked up the tab. They were the most powerful people in an agency because they owned the accounts. So much so that when they left the agency, the client would often follow.
That was a long time ago, and now the account manger’s role is less clear. Planners, brand strategists and creative directors often have more input into strategy than account managers, who are left to organize projects and act as go-betweens.
At a time when our entire industry is being redefined, few have bothered to redefine the role of the account manager.
This was the subject of a conversation I had about a year ago with the 4As new leader, Nancy Hill along with VCU Brandcenter Director, Rick Boyko, and colleagues, Don Just and Caley Cantrell. Nancy challenged us to develop a graduate-level program that would train the catalysts for a new era of account leadership. She asked us to develop leaders who understood brands, embraced new ways to engage consumers and who would never cede their seat at the strategic table.
We spent a year working with industry leaders, agency owners, digital experts, CMOs, CEOs, and CCOs. We spoke with agencies like Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Publicis, The Martin Agency, McCann and Ogilvy. We built a 5-day program that will shape in the careers of a handful of account leaders. The program begins on June 5th and those who are able to attend will emerge stronger, more confident leaders. The kind of leaders who win new business, grow accounts and establish trust among clients and colleagues.
At the time I’m writing this there are still a few seats available. If you or someone you know would benefit from attending, I encourage you to drop everything and follow the links below for more information or contact our program coordinator Megan Clifton at 804 828-8384.