Sam hawkey

the future of account management

We've always been the engine room

In the first of our series of mini-essays the chief executive of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO argues that his discipline is the only one that can take on the task at hand

By Sam Hawkey

I never quite understand the conversation that insinuates a receding of importance or reduction in power of account management.

It has always been the engine room of any agency. A discipline that acts as the fulcrum and leader to ensure all types of talent, capability and team member come together to produce the best possible outcome. Skills that are essential to leading any business, not just an advertising agency.

And as our output has become more multi-disciplinarian, technological, data driven and creative we need this understanding and ability to make it happen more than ever.

Its issue is a lack of young talent coming through that is not just trained but native in all aspects of this new world. That’s why the industry’s obsession with our talent crisis and the need to look further a field for diverse talent is not just a nice thing to say but imperative to our business and this department.

In addition we need to make sure we elevate the role it is playing in the process and explain its value to clients. If account management allows itself to be positioned simply as project management or production support then it will be one of the first things to go and the spiral continues.

In short, unlike most things in our industry its future lies partly in its past.

To be the people who can bring together, lead and deliver in the marketing world we find ourselves in now end-to-end. Because no other discipline is going to take on that task for clients, especially not the clients themselves.

Continue to make that account management's super power then we’ll see more of them rising through the ranks to lead our agencies again.

Sam Hawkey is chief executive of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO


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