Are you fed up in your creative agency account management role?

How are your motivation levels right now?

Are you fed up?

I mean really fed up in your job right now?

Maybe it’s your boss that you’re not getting along with?

Maybe it’s your client that you can’t seem to please?

Or perhaps it’s something to do with how many hours you’re putting in and you feel like you’re always working or are not getting recognised for the effort you’re putting in?

Whatever the reason you’re struggling, don’t forget your line manager’s responsibility is to understand what’s causing your discontent and help put things right.

So even if you don’t think anyone really cares, there are a few things you can do to help your line manager help you and in the process position yourself as pro-active, someone who can analyse a situation objectively and someone who is solutions-oriented.

Review your situation objectively

A strategic account review is usually used at the end of a project to evaluate what went well, what the challenges were, what can be changed for next time and what actions need to be taken.

But why not use this evaluation process to look more closely at your own situation too?

Here’s a 4 step process for carrying out a strategic review that you can present to your manager:

How to start the strategic review process

Take an A4 piece of paper and turn it landscape. Draw a line vertically down the middle of the page. Then draw another line horizontally along the centre of the page from left to write. Essentially a giant cross that’ll divide the page into four quadrants.

Write the following headings at the top of each of the quadrants; Projects, internal processes, staff performance and client relationship.

You’ll need 3 of these identical sheets.

Then at the top of the first sheet write ‘Account successes’, the second ‘Account challenges’ and thirdly ‘Account changes’.

You’re now ready to begin.

Step 1: What are the account successes?

Take the sheet ‘Account successes’ and for each of the four quadrants, list what’s genuinely going well. For example you could write in the ‘staff performance’ quadrant something like “Team received a 9/10 rating overall on the 6 monthly client feedback review for pro-activity”.

Or in the ‘Projects’ section, you could write “Rounds of client amends to designs kept to two major rounds”.

Step 2: What are the account challenges?

Then take sheet two; ‘Account challenges’ and for each of the four areas, list what challenges you are experiencing. For example you could write in the ‘staff performance’ quadrant something like “Two team members left during a busy launch period which meant the remaining team members had excessive workload” (this could be the source of your discontent currently and therefore you are highlighting the issue in an objective way as a factual statement rather than a personal complaint).

Step 3: Account changes?

Then take the third sheet and in the same four boxes detail what changes you would like to make to improve the situation e.g. in the ‘staff performance’ quadrant you could write “support needed for the team in the form of an additional account admin assistant or account executive.

Again, you’re proactively suggesting the team (including you!) need additional support.

Step 4: Talk your line manager through the review

The final step is to talk your line manager through this analysis and discuss possible solutions in each area. This opens the dialogue with your line manager and demonstrates you’re thinking like a leader.

And that’s it!

Recently I delivered my Client Services For Creative Agency Account Managers training course for the Pharmaceutical Marketing Society and one of the attendees explained she was experiencing various issues with her current role.

We discussed using the strategic review process to objectively analyse the situation so she could go to her line manager with solutions rather than just bringing the problems.

So what do you think?

Would this process help you in your role?

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