What Does an Account Manager Do?
A Q&A with Graphcom’s Account Management Maven Jenny Yingling
You hear the term “account manager” all the time (and, if you’re a Graphcom client, maybe you’ve even worked with one), but what does an account manager actually do for their clients? At Graphcom, we work to make sure that we put our account managers in the best possible position to create success for our clients. To learn the role of an account manager, we talked to one of our favorite account managers, Jenny Yingling.
If you had to describe your job to someone, what would you say?
My job is to be a representative of the clients inside of Graphcom. I accomplish that by doing a whole host of things, but if I had to boil it down to something at the end of the day, that’s what I’d say. Growth is not a product of chance; it’s a product of strategic, shared understanding. That happens in a relationship where trust exists. My role is to build that trust so it facilitates all of those things, which can’t be done without trust, which isn’t built if you don’t have someone actively driving it.
Account management is new to Graphcom but common at larger marketing agencies. What does it mean to be an account manager, and why did Graphcom make this change?
We recognized that there were certain clients that needed more than someone to execute a project, which is what the role of a project manager would be. They needed subject matter experts in marketing who have a thorough understanding of their business, their audience, their goals, and can bring that perspective to the table. We didn’t have an internal role that was really dedicated to that. It’s something that I know the business development team was trying to do, but nobody was solely tasked with being that person.
What steps have you taken to make sure that you’re truly meeting your clients’ needs?
Our clients are really looking for partners. In the end, what that looks like is giving an account manager fewer clients so that more time can be dedicated to truly having an understanding of not just the client and their business but of the entire world their business revolves around. This allows us to thoughtfully make strategic recommendations that would benefit the client as far as marketing and analytics services go.
How do our clients benefit from this approach?
Our clients benefit in so many ways. The biggest advantage is having someone with strong marketing experience drawn from working with multiple audience segments and multiple lines of business. They can take everything we learn as a firm and all of the historic knowledge that we’ve gained as an organization and focus it through the lenses of our account managed clients. When you’re the marketing director or the person in charge of marketing at a single business, you may bring with you experience in previous roles or in other industries, but what we’re able to bring is that times 20. The data and the experience that we bring are multiplied not just by our clients but also by the number of people on our team and their experience.
What do we have to offer our clients that other agencies don’t?
We want to come to the table as experts on data-driven marketing, and we want our clients to come to the table as the experts of their audience and their business segment. We pull all of that knowledge into a room and come out on the other side with the most optimal plan for strategic outreach possible.
What do you do to make sure that you’re connecting with your clients on a personal level?
I’m really open and honest with my clients. I want them to see me as a person and not as a marketing robot. I open up with them and in turn, they open up to me. That’s why I love working with the clients I work with. We connect on that level, and it lets us do better work together.
What makes Graphcom such a special place to work?
The mindset here is that the sum is greater than any one of its parts. When you’re taking all your energy and focusing it toward doing good for a client, the individual benefits in the end and I think everyone sees that.