Account Services in Advertising
Account services professionals manage the relationship between the agency and the client. They are the first line of contact with the client - and the first line of defense. Essentially, they are the project managers for advertising client accounts. The account services hierarchy ranges from account coordinator at the entry level, to account directors (also called management supervisors) who oversee one or more client relationships in their entirety. Account services people are marketing and communications consultants; they must know as much about the brand as the client, and more about how to advertise it.
Successful account services pros must be all of the following.
One downside of account services: it can be a thankless job to try to get results from people who don't report to you but from whom you need important information, often very quickly. For example, let's say you are an assistant account executive and your manager, the account executive, has a client meeting. Your manager would like to show the client the latest media plan and creative revisions for a specific brand. She asks you to get them for her. You run to the media department and ask for the latest media plan. They tell you that creative hasn't given them the final specs for the ad (is it a half-page magazine ad or a full-page ad?) That affects the media plan, because it might be more efficient to run a half-page ad in some publications but a full-page ad in others. So you run over to creative. They have mocked up both ad sizes but don't know which the client will prefer, so they've left a message for the account executive! You need cooperation and results from several different departments in order to get your own job done, and sometimes that's tough to get.
Salaries and hours
Depending on the size of the agency, its geographic location, and a professional's experience level, salaries will range from $25,000 per year for an account coordinator, up several hundred thousand dollars per year for a management supervisor. Although client accounts may be seasonal, the agency business is not. Depending on the account you're assigned to, the workweek can range from 40 to 60 hours. Typical salaries are as follows: director of client services ($300K+), account director ($100K-$300K), account supervisor ($75K-$100K), account executive ($45K-$60K), assistant account executive ($25K-$35K), and account coordinator ($20K-$25K).