Babita Baruah
Mar 09, 2011

Babita's Blog: The Lost Art

Babita Baruah, vice president and client services director, JWT Delhi, continues her introspection on the discipline of account management

Babita's Blog: The Lost Art

My last blog on "Where have all the Young Men (and Women) gone" questioned whether we are doing enough for retaining and motivating the suits.

This one is a reverse take on the same issue. After all, there are two sides to every story.

Are  most of the Young Men (and Women) today even aware of what being a good Account Management person means?

Have we in a way not written our own obituary by settling into the comfortable "middle"?

Some of the oft heard comments in the servicing silo.

The  brief?? It's the planner's job to write it.

Point of view on the creative.... (there is none)

Point of view on the brand... ( nothing here either)

Status report??? In today's day and age? SULK.

Minutes of the meeting??? SULKKKKKK.

Brand shares this month... the brand manager  hasn't yet shared

The latest competitive ad... have no idea.... is it on YouTube?

The price... Ummmm.....

Why should we write the activation ppt?

How do we switch on the proxima?

He was supposed to get the printouts... she was supposed to make that list..... etc etc etc etc etc and more etcs.

(Mumbles and rumbles... these old school bosses are really so uncool.)

We slouch.

We dress more casually than a Friday night out.

We do not talk. We do not make a point.

We have, in fact, no point of view, most of the time.

We look at the planner whenever a strategic question is asked, and stare at the creative when we need to recommend a creative route.

We lack relationship skills - internal as well as external.

Most of us have mastered the art of delegation.

There was a time when accounts moved with the account person.

Today we are lucky if we are even missed.

Do we have enough fire? Enough passion?

Aren’t the creative hotshops lead by the creative personalities more aggressive when it comes to believing and selling work?

Do we give our clients the reassurance and the confidence that we are their partners, we are equal stakeholders and we are there to build the brand and the business?

Maybe not.

Maybe we have grown comfortable in our roles.

Actually, is there a role? Or have we happily relegated it to the other disciplines?

While the reality is that the Account Management role and recognition calls for a redefinition, reality also is that we have somewhere, just let go. It’s a chicken and egg story.

No change in policies and rewards can make that critical change unless we change ourselves and are clear on what we want out of our roles.

It's not easy to  win back lost ground. And, at the risk of quoting an oft repeated quote - The change begins with us.

The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

Campaign India

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