Being an account executive for the last three years I think some of the most basic skill sets that every account executive possess are the qualities of leadership, effective communication, ability to meet deadlines, emotional intelligence and loyalty. Just like every other account executive, these have been some of the most basic skills that I have developed over time.
Nevertheless, when I look at the above question and think about my contribution to the role of an account executive, I believe that my contributions should not just consist of typical account managerial skills but rather should demonstrate factors that can distinguish me from other account executives. With that in mind, the traits highlighted below suggest the ways in which I add value to the role of an account executive.
The ability to reason: To me, account management goes beyond merely undertaking client assigned tasks. My ability to reason and place myself in the client’s point of view enables me to identify business problems and thereby find effective and creative solutions. In addition to viewing the problem as an opportunity, my approach of viewing it with curiosity enables me to ask the right set of questions which later helps me discover innovative solutions that lie on the other side of the problem. Willingness to explore and learn: Being a media enthusiast the passion I possess towards learning and understanding new mediums and technology gives me the upper hand to suggest suitable platforms that can enable clients to reach new and potential marketplaces. Being a highly inquisitive individual I consider myself to be an account executive who enjoys getting my hands dirty by constantly staying on top of advertising trends, learning new softwares, participating in creative brainstorming sessions which enables me to understand how my team works, what are their challenges and in what ways can I contribute to improve the efficiency of the agency I work for. Ability to take calculated risks: Risks are about pushing yourself and operating outside of your comfort zone. Clients don’t just look for tasks undertakers but rather strategic partners. Without undertaking calculative risks you simple remain stagnant, predictable and ultimately replaceable.
Advertising is all about venturing out of one’s comfort zone thereby creating something innovative. Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ campaign as well as Harvey Nichols ‘Sorry I spent it on myself’ campaign demonstrates how taking risks can prove to be extremely beneficial. This being said I do not consider myself to be a person who goes with my gut feeling but rather my ability lies in studying the brand and the market in depth which enable me to take calculated risks based on good judgment. Ability to strike a balance between the needs of the customer with the goals of the organization: Being a goal oriented and result driven individual I strongly believe that in a world where people are constantly bombarded with ads, there is a need for every brand to find values that not only surpasses mere product features but also become uniquely associated to the brand. This, in turn, enables the agency to create ads that enhance loyalty, relevance and sales.
My ability to identify these values within a client’s business and create a strategy to keep these values alive in the minds of their customers through effective advertising enable me to add value to the role of an account executive. Ability to identify and understand user behavior: Apart from all the above skills one of the key distinguishing factors that enable me to be a good account executive is the skill set that I developed during the last few months of my Digital Communication & Media Arts -DCMA program. And that is the ability to understand user behavior, identify potential target groups and undertake research to recognize what influences users thoughts and behaviors. This, in my opinion, sets me apart from other account executives. The Uber campaign discussed during our last class clearly stresses the need to understand who your message is targeted towards. Simply targeting a message towards two different set of audiences not only ends up making your brand less credible but wastes crucial resources on solutions that ends up being futile.