Account handlers, managers and planners: researching and strategising ad campaigns

Account handlers, account managers and planners have nothing to do with the designing or copywriting side of advertising. Their jobs are all about research, strategy, administration and client relationships.

Without these guys, the creative department would simply be doodling on walls and writing random slogans on the back of their hands. In order to create and implement a successful advertising campaign, the agency firstly needs to understand their client’s needs.

Every client has different requirements. For each different project, the agency needs to meet with the client, have a discussion and get an insight into what they want. After this, a lot of detailed research needs to be done. Then, and only then, can a highly-detailed and thoughtful advertising plan be created.

Once this has been given to the creative team, the client will need constant updates on the progress of their campaign. This allows changes to be made throughout the creative process and ensures that the best possible advert goes into the public domain.

What are the different responsibilities of an account handler, account manager, and account planner?

Account handlers will look after various client ‘accounts’ simultaneously. They act as the client’s first point of contact with the agency, and liaise with other internal departments to coordinate the advertising activities. It’s basically a really interesting administrative position, which involves liaising with clients on a daily basis, conducting meetings, giving presentations and managing all the administrative work surrounding specific campaigns.

An account manager job is the next step up from being an account handler. These guys manage the account handlers, take responsibility for client budgets, research new business opportunities and lead new business ‘pitches’.

Advertising account planners are the strategic gurus of the advertising world. They use their research skills, market awareness and strategic minds to develop ideas that will solve their client’s problems. This intricate research and planning work will eventually be consolidated into a detailed ‘brief’, which the creative team uses as a guide when creating innovative and effective adverts.

If you’d like to get into advertising but aren’t too keen on being part of the creative department, why not try your hand at a role as an account handler, manager or planner?

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