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Celebrating brilliant account women

Energy and fearlessness: What makes Zoe Eagle a brilliant account person

Accenture Song’s co-chief is added to our list of the industry’s finest account people

By creative salon

Ask a handful of people to describe Zoe Eagle and invariably "energy" and "fearless" will be the words used to paint a picture of her. In an industry that is defined by a state of almost constant transition and transformation, there's been a welcome re-ordering of business leaders running agencies. Leaders who don't quite wear the badge of energy and fearlessness as a heroic trait but who are action-orientated and have the courage to do what really matters. As the co-chief of Accenture Song, Eagle is one of those leaders.

The co-chief has been steering the wheel of the Accenture Song ship with her leadership partner Will Hodge for over a year now. Together they have lent into the power and might of Accenture, accessing its consulting services to put Song ahead of the curve by peering through a new tech-informed creative lens. The pair have shared the leadership role in true yin and yang style, with Hodge hailing from a planning background and Eagle having worked as a highly accomplished suit.

"Zoe embodies the progressive leadership that every company needs to face into today’s challenges," Hodge says about her. "Her unique ability to create highly motivated teams, carve through complexities and deliver rapid change whilst protecting what needs to endure, is genuinely magnetic. Zoe has always cultivated a natural and effortless energy that pushes teams towards delivering creative and commercial excellence at every step of the way."

And Eagle’s impressive career speaks for itself. Prior to rising from managing director to co-chief at Song, Eagle held MD positions at Karmarama - where she ran the Lidl and Army accounts - and also worked in account teams at BBH London, Creature and DLKW Lowe. She joined Karmarama as managing partner from BBH in December 2019 where she led IPA Effectiveness award-winning work on Virgin Media and Weetabix.

Bill Scott, the managing director of both Accenture Song and Droga5 London, added: "Zoe carries that magic mix of energy, fearlessness and resilience – which not only makes her a brilliant partner to her clients but a beacon of energy to her team in the agency. She creates the conditions to make great work happen and push the art of what is possible. Which is the very premium that brilliant account people should command – getting the absolute best out of the agency for clients, and their business."

Zoe Eagle on being an Account Person

Tell us about one experience you’ve had as an account person that made you really proud.

The opportunity to lead the Lidl team during the pandemic was both character and career defining for every person involved. It’s no secret that working for the UK’s biggest retailers requires a particular level of energy and relentless curiosity to keep customers engaged, and this period drove that reality home more than ever for our agency. 

We established a new level of trust and collaboration with our client team; solving issues that we never imagined would exist whilst navigating all the human challenges that arose during this time had a very formative impact on us. There was no room for ego or a lack of ambition, which is exactly what I’ve always felt you can find in some of the industry’s best account teams - that and the ability to bring a sense of humour and humanness to the most high-pressure environments.  

What’s been the biggest learning you’ve had in your career?

To be loudly and proudly myself. Sounds easy- it’s not. Particularly as a woman. I’m girlie, silly, self-deprecating, informal but also demanding and strong. The cultural framework of most organisations is defined around a more traditionally male set of characteristics, so I think many of us female leaders are experienced as counter cultural. It takes a lot of confidence and courage to be yourself - but it’s massively and disproportionately important in a personality driven business like ours. If you can master this, the authenticity that you project allows you to be a trusted partner to your clients and colleagues. Your influence and impact increases - and, you’ll have loads more fun in the process! 

What’s that one skill that the best account people you know have?

Vision. Account people are like opportunity magpies - we can see the shiny promise of opportunity and potential in anything and anyone, which is why the best account people can constantly amaze with what they can get out of a team, brief or relationship. It’s a sixth sense I think, but one that you hone as time goes on. It’s this that makes great account people so uniquely commercially valuable and is the root of the ‘dark art’ characterisation of the role. Some hard-to-pinpoint combination of optimism, curiosity, and imagination- but it’s unique to our breed and agencies would be nowhere without it.  

What makes for a strong, productive client/agency relationship?

The agency being able to step inside the realities of the client’s world - then understand how to help them reshape that ambition. Ultimately, I think that’s what we’re paid for. To understand the client’s business - how it grows, how decisions are made, what it really offers the world, why it gets to exist; the people - what motivates them, what excites them, what will progress their career, what scares them.

One of the greatest privileges is being paid to offer clients an informed perspective on growth that has come from a diverse team of thinkers and doers. Creativity is the single most distinct and powerful tool we have here, but it's the understanding, empathy and insights that gives us the focus and opportunity to unleash it in the right ways.

What advice would you give to people wanting to be a brilliant account person?

Enjoy it - this job is fascinating, ever-changing, joyful and we’re privileged to do it so throw yourself in and be the ultimate showrunner. If it needs doing, get it done, if it needs saying - ensure that it is said. 

Believe that there will never be a client, commercial or creative challenge that is insurmountable and you’ll find that there isn’t. I learnt this the most during my time building a start-up, but I find it as applicable to the highly complex client challenges within a company that has as much breadth as Accenture. So, put yourself in the middle and enjoy every bit of it!


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