Agency Account Manager; Client Facing & Managing Staff

This part of the Digital Marketing Recruitment Guide goes into detail about the role of the Digital Account Manager: why you need them and which ones to hire. To hire an agency manager, you've got to know exactly what you're looking for and what responsibilities you need your new employee to undertake.

In this section Patrick Minard, Senior Account Manager at Harvest Digital shares his experience and knowledge of the digital marketplace to enable your agency to go about recruiting a digital account manager in the right way.

"Account Managers provide a point of contact between client and team. Technical knowledge and good people skills are required."

Marketing has evolved a lot over the past few decades, mainly because of the introduction of the internet but we are all already aware of that, right? I hope so! As marketing evolves and adapts, the skills previously used to analyse, implement and communicate the marketing strategy need to evolve and adapt too.

The example below, advertising a concert, shows how advertising has transformed. With this transformation comes an increase of information that online advertising such as Google's Pay Per Click (PPC) can provide, compared to previous offline methods. Such as the ability to segment your demographic, understand the target ages and know exactly what makes the user convert. These are the insights into the data and results that have to be communicated to the person responsible for allocating budgets so they can decide how much to spend on their digital marketing.

Frank Turner DMRG 1

But what does this have to do with finding the right Digital Account Manager?

Well, a lot. The Digital Account Manager is the main point of contact between the specialists and the client. The client needs to understand what they are getting for their money and if all they get told is 'back-link this' and 'algorithm update that' then it is very quickly going to go over their heads, not to mention when you start talking about Pandas and Penguins.

Your Digital Account Manager is there to translate what is actually happening and communicate the strategy to the client in a way that is simple and easy for them to understand. But for this to happen your Digital Account Manager needs to have the right level of skill to understand what is being done. Only by truly understanding it will they be able to translate the technical talk into the commercial language.

So how do you find the Digital Account Manager that can do this?

By ensuring the correct criteria is followed when recruiting. There is no magic list which can be ticked off like a chart that will ensure you do get the right person, but you can give yourself a chance by finding someone who displays some of these traits:

  • A passion for digital marketing.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proactive and highly organised, with good time management and planning skills.
  • Experience of managing updates to a customer-facing website.
  • A strong numerical and analytical mind with attention to detailed figures.
  • A solid understanding of search, social, content development and online advertising.
  • Understanding the fundamentals of SEO, for example how link building works.
  • Analysing and regularly reporting on the success of digital marketing campaigns/ROI and impact of traffic.

This is no easy task.

The problem is that although there are a lot of great candidates out there who have experience in marketing, most of it is within the offline marketing sector. Although offline is a vital part of the marketing mix, when looking for a person to drive digital campaigns forward it is the passion for online and the knowledge which is going to really help build the relationship between the client and the agency, in addition to increasing the performance of the overall campaign.

It's not all doom and gloom for offline marketers. Everything outlined in the criteria is very achievable especially with so many free teaching tools and free resources out there on the internet. So get learning if you want to take the leap from offline to online!