Who am I? I am an AM, a.k.a Account Manager. What do I do? Do I manage accounts? No, of course not! I manage campaigns, you see. Now what’s a campaign? That’s precisely what you need to know so you understand what I go through!
A campaign is a series of communication initiated by a client to promote his product or service. It has a definite primary goal, and may be a few secondary goals as well. The duration of a campaign varies; most are ongoing, while many run for specific duration. Campaigns are run through a certain medium(s), which is been pre-decided. At the end of a campaign (with definite duration) or at regular intervals (for ongoing ones), facts and figures are reported, analyzed and the client decides whether to continue or not, or if any change is required in campaign execution. Following is a pictorial representation of the same.
I know how you’re feeling. So now, let me put this in layman’s term. Let’s assume Flipkart.com to be our client. Flipkart.com wants people to visit their website with a primary goal of getting orders from these visitors. Secondary goals may include visitors registering on Flipkart.com, signing up for weekly newsletter, creating and adding products to wish list, etc. With this brief, Flipkart.com approaches an agency (like the one where I work). The agency will assemble a small team, who will put their brains together and come up with a plan to achieve client goals. The plan would include advertising medium to be used, investment levels in each proposed medium, and estimated volume of orders. It will also include tentative duration to reach several milestones, as well as performance indicators which will help client judge whether our performance is up to the mark or not.
Coming back to our example, the agency will lay out a plan which will say that Google and Facebook should be the advertising medium to promote Flipkart.com, investment levels on these medium, and estimated number of transactions we would generate. Client would review our plan, and once he’s OK with it, will ask us to go ahead and execute. This is where I (the AM) come in. I am responsible to execute the campaign in a way that the projected estimations are met, or over delivered.
How do I go about it? Well, my day at work does not start in office. It may start at my home, or my friend’s home (like on a weekend). It may even start at a beach, or the hills, or a desert, or a pub (like on a long weekend), wherever Internet connectivity exists. It may end at 3 am in the night, but may start as early as 7 am. It all depends on two things – client’s email and campaign performance. To serve my client’s better, I have to be proactive in responding to their mails with relevant facts and comments ASAP. I also need to monitor campaign performance as frequently as I can, to check if All is Well or otherwise. I have to be available whenever the client calls up to discuss anything related to the campaign. I have to do all this and be good at it. It’s like walking on a tight rope, day in and day out. Just kidding, it’s not all that difficult.
Campaign performance is a function of two important things – correctness of the plan and proper execution of it. If any of these fail, the performance may go for a toss. A generous client would allow you to stop, analyze, and revise your plan or execution, thus giving you second chance. However, if you keep expecting such chances very often, you may as well expect losing the campaign to some other agency. Clients have fidgety patience in such matters, and rightly so. They have to be uptight vis-à-vis their competition else they lose their customers. As an agency, we are supposed to help them get more business, at the right investment levels and suitable return on investment (ROI). That’s part of my job that keeps me awake all day and night!
Kidding again; I do have my share of fun, with my colleagues in same team, other teams and my friends and family too. The sense of satisfaction when I am able to meet or exceed clients’ expectation is just too good, so I don’t mind stressing out even at odd hours or go out of my way at times. All this is super exciting, and client interaction does give me a lot of value addition which would help prosper in my career. Being AM is good for sure