(By Bob McCurdy) I was speaking with the president of an agency last week who was attempting to hire for a position which he referred to as a hybrid between an Account Planner and an Account Manager. As he described the responsibilities of this role, the functional similarities between it and today’s effective radio salesperson were uncanny.
I have long maintained that it would be beneficial for those of us in radio sales to view ourselves as “marketers who sell,” not simply as salespeople. Last week’s discussion further solidified this point of view.
As explained, this hybrid agency Account Manager/Account Planner would
initiate periodic strategic discussions and serve as the lead “voice” in any meeting between agency and advertiser. Need to thoroughly understand the client’s business/marketing problem to be solved? Work with the client to establish ad campaign goals. Awareness? Increased traffic? Sales?
Determine how campaign progress would be monitored.
Be responsible for making sure the agency’s clients were satisfied, which requires this executive to possess diplomatic skills when straddling the fence between client needs and agency, and agency needs.
Be intimately familiar with the client’s previous marketing efforts. What was being communicated? Was it successful? Providing suggestions for how might it have been improved/refined? Work with the client to establish the correct time frame for the campaign. Is it realistic?
Guide the budget. Is it enough to accomplish the client’s objectives?
Understand what the “market” currently feels, thinks, or does when it comes to the client’s product or service. Is it understood why they feel that way? Do they feel that way about the competition or just about the client? How can this knowledge be used to the client’s advantage?
Understand what the client wants the consumer to feel, think, or do as a result of their messaging/communications and assist the client in creating that messaging.
Be intimately familiar with not only the competition’s marketing, past and present, but their product as well. Identifying ways in which this knowledge could be used to the client’s benefit.
After this discussion, it sure appeared to me as if the role of this agency’s hybrid Account Manager/Account Planner and the radio AE are remarkably similar. One could easily have substituted “radio AE” for “Account Manager/Account Planner” in the description above and be describing the role of the effective radio AE in 2018.
The bottom line is that the more we view ourselves as “marketers who sell” and interact with our clients the way that this agency president wants the executive who fills this hybrid role at his agency to interact with his clients, the more successful we and our own clients will become.
Bob McCurdy is The Vice President of Sales for The Beasley Media Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org