Effective Advert Account Management

Effective Advert Account Management

Advertising agencies must plan, prune costs and make income from billing more efficient and profitable. Emphasis in this regard should be in the efficient and careful in the selection of quality rather than quantity in their clients’ lists. Early invoicing, efficient control manpower and effective control of operating costs must be strictly adhered.

Various parameters may be employed to determine whether an account is profitable or not. Although it is not usual in Nigeria for agencies to resign lucrative accounts, this is common practice in Europe and United States of America where Agencies have had to resign huge accounts because they are not profitable. That ought to be the guiding principal for reputable and profit-oriented agencies worldwide.

Where an Account is considered profitable, the onus is on the agency to provide efficient and effective creative services to ensure the Account’s viability and the client’s continued patronage. In this regard, Shobanjo (1982) recommends the following guidelines for effective account management;

1. Accounts should be allocated to competent and creative client service personnel while ultimate responsibility rests with the Account or Client Service Director.

2. It is counter-productive to allocate an account to two account handlers if the account does not justify it. In the same vein, it is also not advisable to overload a good account handler. This will eventually render him ineffective.

For major proposals to Clients, it is preferable that account handlers undertake a full briefing session, where all relevant departments are present rather than piecemeal briefs to individuals. That way, the coordinated effort of all concerned is more likely to produce creative/media proposals that are acceptable to the client at first presentation. If revisions are to be made later, they would then be minimal. Time will, thereby, be saved while excessive bill arising from so much time spent on a job (often unacceptable to clients) would be minimized.

3. Advertising positioning strategies should be discussed and agreed with clients before account management commits the agency to commissioning visual and media plans. This enable the client to cut down costs in time and materials on such jobs.

4. The account management team must literally sit in the shoulders of each department to ensure that deadlines are met on creative and media jobs and that campaigns achieve as near 100 percent media appearance as possible.

5. Account management should honestly adhere to mark-up percentages agreed with clients on production jobs to avoid distrusts. They should also ensure that volume and series discounts on media are passed to the client.

6. Strict adherence to the use of time sheets by all involved to determine hours spent on assignments ensure that the agency’s bills to clients are fair while guaranteeing profitability.

7. The easier management team should always be steps ahead of the client with ideas and suggestions that facilitate the client’s growth and profitability. The agency invariably benefits thereby.

8. It is easier to expand the agency’s business with an existing client that to look for new ones. This, however, is dependent on the quality of service, which the agency provides its clients.

9. If certain individuals are doing well on an account and a personal relationship then develops between the client and agency personnel, it will be most unwise for management to move the agency personnel off the account.

Generally, therefore, if an ideal working system, which details with percentages represent revenue accurable to the agency exists, income and profit levels. This would involve an efficient system which makes room for checks and balances, strong creative and media teams, an efficient accounts department, which ensures that invoices are dispatched promptly and payments collected as due from clients.

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