With over 14 years of experience in the advertising and marketing field, Carolyn Mooney from The Brand Agency in Perth has worked both client and agency side across digital and traditional strategy. She has worked on brands such as Synergy, Perth Airport, Perth International Arts Festival, Department of Health, and, most recently, Kleenheat. Ahead of presenting the AdSchool Account Management for Tomorrow course in Perth, Carolyn says agencies and clients need to focus on long-term brand health.

Ensuring Brand Health

One of the biggest challenges for account managers today is being able to lead clients to consider the longer term, and really assess what short termism is going to do for their brand.

This is not a simple task. The market has tended to focus on short-term gain to achieve immediately measurable business goals, such as an increase in sales. But in the long term you’ve got to get clients thinking about their brand’s health. Building the brand and communicating a consistent brand story across all consumer touchpoints is important to the client’s business success in the long term, just ask the likes of Les Binet and Peter Field. As agencies, we have the privilege of being brand custodians; and the most successful account managers are not just taking the brief and taking orders, they question the problem and are thinking more broadly about the short and long-term impacts.

If you understand the brand, the client and the market in which they operate, it’s a lot easier to challenge or question a brief because they trust you and you’re adding value. Ultimately, with client prosperity comes agency prosperity. So, you must understand the client’s business objectives, but also have the confidence to steer them into a direction that they may not have thought or considered themselves.

Remember, we don’t do things just to be creative, campaigns also need to be effective. These two things go hand-in-hand. So, be brave and push the client to be brave as well.

On leadership

As a leader, on one side I’m strategic analytical and business focused. I’m really into trends and data and I encourage my team to look for a hidden truth that might be there to drive the strategy. But in this role, you also need to be collaborative. It’s about valuing everyone’s opinion, but also making the final call. From a business perspective, you need to understand the goals of the agency and how you can impact the growth of the agency as well as your clients.

At the same time, there’s a softer side of leadership that should not be overlooked. If you provide guidance and empathy, you will get the best out of the people that work with you. Remember, you’re leading the team, but you’re still part of the team. You’re no bigger or better than the people around you.

Overall, you have to be passionate about the job that you’re doing, and about the clients and the work that you’re delivering. Advertising is a profession you have to enjoy.

Join Carolyn at the 8-week AdSchool Account Management for Tomorrow course in Perth from May 24.