Account management at its simplest is defined as the management of business and client relationships. It can include maintaining timelines and communication with clients to update them on their latest logo mockup, scheduling meetings between design, digital, content, and client teams, and carefully project managing an entire brand and website relaunch.

It’s a big job —account executives are on the front lines of keeping client points of contact happy and in the loop. They’re the ones who hold the reins when it comes to expanding contracts and retaining clients. Nothing would get done without them in the driver’s seat.

But they also do so much more. 

At Red Thinking, we understand the importance of putting the strategy in strategic account management. Our account executives are experts when it comes to executing a strategic marketing plan, and our approach involves infusing strategy at every touch point; from kickoff, to execution and beyond. And it doesn’t just go one way. The accounts team at Red Thinking is savvy. They know our business inside and out, and they’re weighing in on strategy in both directions. 

What does that mean? A client tells their account manager they would like to rethink their Meta ad spend ahead of a new campaign. The account manager doesn’t just turn around and regurgitate that info to a paid social specialist. Instead, this starts a collaborative discussion on the Red Thinking side about the best way to approach the new strategy.

Similarly, the web designer at Red Thinking is working on a wireframe. They hand it off to the account team to deliver to the client, but it’s not a relay race baton pass. The account manager thoughtfully reviews the wireframe with the client’s overall goals and the user experience in mind and provides strategic feedback, if necessary. 

As a leading branding agency & marketing firm in the DC Metro Area, we view our account executives as our client’s strategic partners, and we trust them fully. Here are five ways our account services team facilitates the best and most strategic experience for their clients and the most outstanding results from the Red Thinking team.

  1. We Manage Beyond Our To-Do’s to Foster Strategic Alignment

Our client’s goals are our goals and no one understands those goals better than the account executive. We strive for 100% strategic alignment to keep moving toward results. Our highly organized and thoughtful account executives have the skill sets to closely manage efficient timelines, communicate updates clearly and concisely, and ensure every next step in a project runs smoothly. They are simultaneously monitoring impact, keeping track of progress towards goals, proactively assessing trends, and advocating on our client’s behalf to execute extraordinary output.  Everything that comes in as a to-do for the Red Thinking team should have clarity around objectives and goals, and everything that goes out the door should be client-ready by these standards.

  1. We Know What Works and Plan Accordingly

The to-do list that accounts executives use to keep projects running are set up with integrated strategic thinking in mind and are built based on what we know works. We follow best practices as simple as sharing all assets and access to the full brand toolkit from day one and as nuanced as aligning clients and Red Thinkers on the best communication style for the project and its various components, ensuring all decision-makers and stakeholders are looped in at the necessary time. All this while closely following the project to ensure we’re achieving our agreed upon scope of work with mindfulness for budget and timelines.

The account services team also knows when to make the call to pivot (whether or not pivoting was part of the plan). Our account executives look at everything through a strategic lens and they are agile enough to shift our processes to better meet client needs, or, when necessary, take a step back to take a more effective step forward.

  1. We Avoid Project Management Pitfalls

The account services team pays careful attention to make sure we are anticipating and proactively avoiding any situation where a project can go left. We are trained to identify red flags in the distance, and we take appropriate action upon the first sighting. 

What separates our account services team is our ability to focus on execution, process, and keeping a pulse on client relations and project progress. We know the places where strategy or forward movement tends to fall behind and we know when to ask leading questions to ensure all details are accounted for. We stay alert at specific milestones in a project to avoid pitfalls. The account team isn’t just checking things off, but making sure that these align with the end goals and making sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

  1. We Build Trust by Managing Expectations and Over-delivering 

Our client services are centered around managing expectations. The account team recognizes that solid relationships are built on a culture of setting expectations and meeting or exceeding them rather than taking shots in the dark.

Whether it’s how often to expect communication or specific timelines around deliverables, we manage expectations from day one. We believe that collaboration is key, and our account executives work closely with both our internal teams and clients to make sure everyone is on board. They strategically look at the process from start to finish, holistically.

We prioritize meeting time with our clients to discuss project deliverables, progress, and, honestly, to strengthen our client relationships. Our account executives know that we can deliver our best work when we understand our clients on a deeper level and we’ve established mutual trust, and the account services team puts in the work to make that happen.

  1. We Have an “& Then Some” Mentality With Everything We Do

Our account services team is forward-minded. They know the critical role they play in delivering incredible projects that exceed expectations and build repeat clients. From developing detailed timelines to ensure we meet our deadlines to anticipating the best next big idea, the account executives are continuously working proactively and optimizing at every opportunity. 

Approaching their work with a strategic “& then some” mentality means going above and beyond every time. Extra effort to do something the right way comes naturally. As does extra effort to do something in a way that will make our client’s life easier. There’s always a way to do the job — and a way to do it better. The account team always chooses the latter.

Why We Always Focus on Strategic Account Management

From the day-to-day of providing direction to internal teams, to keeping a pulse on clients’ timelines, to anticipating client feedback and providing strategic guidance, Red Thinking’s account services team always puts strategic account management first. That’s why we can count so many return, and/or retained clients on our roster. It’s why we can count so many return clients on our roster. It’s why our projects expand time and time again. And it’s why our level of client service surpasses all other agencies. There. We said it.

Want to learn how a collaborative, strategic approach to account management could change the game for your business? Reach out today and let’s connect!