When it comes to client service, few in our industry are as highly regarded as BMF General Manager Paul Coles. Paul was the first presenter in TCC’s major webinar program The Foundation Series where he enthralled his audience of young people in our industry with his insights into how great client relationships are made. AdSchool is delighted that Paul has joined AdSchool as a Lecturer for the upcoming Account Management for Tomorrow course.
TCC: What do you love most about the client service side of the business?
Paul: I was recently introduced to the thought that a great client service person is the second best at everything, which I think sums up perfectly why I love this side of the business.
I am proudly a jack of all trades, and lucky enough to be involved in every part of the creative process – from the marketing strategy, to the creative development and everything in-between. No two days are the same, and the opportunities to add value as a client service person are endless.
TCC: Anything you definitely don’t love about it?
Paul: I definitely don’t love when the role of client service is marginalised. A great suit can add incredible value to a client’s business and to the creative process. I also don’t love the extraordinary amount of emails I have to process daily – I never really learnt to touch type, so think I am getting occupational overuse syndrome (also known as RSI) in the 4 fingers I use to write those emails!
TCC: How has the account management discipline changed/evolved during your time in the industry?
Paul: My first job/agency was at Ogilvy New Zealand almost 17 years ago, where there was no strategy department, so suits wrote the briefs and all creative work was presented by account management.
This goes to highlight a view that, in many ways, the role of account management has diminished. However, being a glass half full kind of person, I think that it has actually been liberated to be more focussed on being a strategic partner to our clients, brilliant leaders of teams and champions of the creative process.
TCC: In your opinion, what is the most important skill for any successful account manager to possess?
Paul: People skills. Creativity is a people business, one that relies on building great relationships, effective communication and creative collaboration.
TCC: What key learnings would you like Account Management for Tomorrow participants to take away from this course?
Paul: Simple: what great account management looks like!
AdSchool Account Management for Tomorrow offers the ultimate toolkit for an ambitious account person, brand manager or anyone who wants to master the process of commercial creativity. The course begins online on 16 July and limited places are still available.