4 things an account director needs to be good at

10 Mar 09:00 by Adam Pyle


There’s no such thing as a typical day for an account director, but anyone in that role will need to excel at four core things. When you enter that interview, you need to portray exactly why you will do the job so well. Take on board these skills in order to get the job and then master them early on, and you will be on the path to a successful career…

If you’re an account director in a creative field like digital marketing and branding, it’s impossible to describe a typical day. Because there’s no such thing. It’s one of those roles that changes day to day, which is a big part of its appeal. One thing you will need every day is a strong coffee to go with your morning emails. Beyond that, any given day might see you having to deliver on one – or more – of the job’s four core aspects


Looking after clients

On any day of any week, you might be jumping between managing existing client relationships and looking for opportunities to build new ones. These aspects of the job are about so much more than being available on the phone or present in meetings. Every time you’re in contact with a client, you need to deliver a high level of service. Each client represents a valued partnership that you can help your company to maintain. To do this, you have to make sure existing clients are getting the right marketing opportunities. At the same time, at every turn, you'll be uncovering opportunities to build new relationships and work with new people. As well as generating and recognising these leads, you will also have to close potential clients.


Managing people

As a director, you are likely to have team members reporting into you. They will need to be mentored properly. For example, senior account managers and other management team members will be relying on you to delegate tasks, help them learn the skills they need to advance in the business, and give them the right opportunities to succeed for themselves. Being an exceptional leader is part of the puzzle as an account director. Exceptional leaders tend to work closely with their team on generating new accounts and completing all projects on time and to budget. Team growth is vital for your success as a director: the stronger your team, the more your clients will benefit – that’s the definition of win-win.


Communicating confidently

Excellent communication skills are a must for any account director. They will need to be applied every day, if you are to take key client calls and have a full say in the full creative process for each account. Delivering on both of these things is crucial to keeping clients happy. Communication is also an important part of maintaining awareness of what you’re doing across your target audience.


Strategising cleverly

The challenges you encounter as an account director vary from role to role, but you should take a consistent approach to them. After all, the end goal remains fundamentally the same: it's your job to guide your clients to the branding and marketing strategies that work best for their business. Change can be hard to take for some clients – that’s when you need to show them you’re offering. Your management skills will be important here and communication will once again be crucial.


Ultimately, as an account director, some days will be quieter than others, as meetings become less frequent depending on the position of a project in the process. These will be the days when you can catch up on the admin and emails that got pushed back from busier days. If you can find the right balance to keep on top of this as well as everything else mentioned above, you will go a long way towards making a success of your role.


Are you ready to put these skills in to action? Find your next role now.