Agency project managers, account executives, and media planners should ask these four questions every day when working in client management.
Managers must identify methodologies and processes that are a) easy to adopt and b) hold the potential to address as many problems as possible. The basic premise is to look at a department or even an entire business and ask, "What are 10 things I can implement that will solve 85 percent of our problems?" There are no easy answers to many things, but there still are simple approaches to some complex problems.
One thing I came up with to help media and account people to ensure that all their critical bases are covered is an approach I call, "The four questions of account management." Now while I use the title of account managers in the title of this particular little nugget of management wisdom, I assure this applies to media, search, social - actually anything in business.
OK, so here are the four questions:
Let's review each question in more detail. If you look at each account or campaign you are working on and ask these four questions every day, you will be prompted to ask the other critical questions that will help you succeed.
Question No. 1: Are the Finances in Order?
Question No. 2: What Are the Open Issues?
Question No. 3: Is This Going to Work?
Question No. 4: How Can This Be Better?
So, let's recap the four questions:
Say them out loud, print them, share them, make posters, and post them to your walls. Live them!
This column was originally published Feb. 2, 2010 under the headline, "Four Questions of Client Management;" the intro has been updated.
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As founder and CEO of Overdrive, Harry Gold is the architect and conductor behind the company's ROI-driven programs. His primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real-world success and to ensure the marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites him is the knowledge that Overdrive's collaborative environment has created a company of online media, SEM, and online behavioral experts who drive success for the clients and companies they serve. Overdrive serves a diverse base of B2B and B2C clients that demand a high level of accountability and ROI from their online programs and campaigns.
Harry started his career in 1995 when he founded online marketing firm Interactive Promotions, serving such clients as Microsoft, "The Financial Times," the Hard Rock Cafe, and the City of Boston. Since then, he has been at the forefront of online branding and channel creation, developing successful Web and search engine-based marketing programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.
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