Is Your AE Showing You the Love? 6 Surefire Ways to Tell

Is Your AE Showing You the Love? 6 Surefire Ways to Tell

Actually, sometimes it’s tough love.

As an account director at an award-winning healthcare marketing agency, I dish out plenty of it. I’m the one who tells creative that the edgy campaign they’ve just developed is still a little off target. When the art director and copywriter do get it dialed in, I’m the one who talks the client down off the ledge with the reassurance that “Yes, it’s edgy, but is it going to drive some ROI!”

There Will Be No Enabling Behaviors Here

Tough love is well … done in love. A great AE isn’t a yes man or an order taker. He or she is the go-between for two equally strong and demanding forces — the agency and the client. He or she advocates for their client, but is not afraid to play devil’s advocate.

So, ask yourself, is your AE really showing you the love? The best ones have these attributes:

A smarty-pant’s know-how — Great AEs learn everything there is to know about their client’s entire business. Not just their industry and product, but also their long-term and short-term goals — and how top-flight marketing will help them reach those goals. The idea is to become so knowledgeable about a client’s business that you could be employed there.

A diplomat’s nature — A great AE exhibits an ambassador’s diplomacy in managing demanding clients and creative minds at the same time. The AE has to be the consummate statesman, able to navigate personalities and be comfortable in both friendly and hostile situations.

A traffic cop’s nerve — A great AE is also a great traffic cop. He or she gives the creative team the green light on a great idea, turns on the caution sign when deadlines are looming and is not afraid to red flag a creative approach that has gone off the rails. Ultimately, he or she is responsible for ensuring that the work is completed on time, on spec and on budget. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, so he or she needs to be on top of it all the time to ensure that all the elements fall into place.

An insider’s expertise — At a boutique agency like Wax, you have to know a little about everything. Not just what’s coming around the corner in healthcare, but what’s happening with new technology and marketing tactics. That means knowing how Pokeman Go can help clients promote their business. It means having the latest guerrilla marketing tactics in your playbook, such as using projected lighting and pop-up events.

An emcee’s communication skills — A great AE should be able to speak the client’s language. He or she is the client’s thinking partner. He or she understands their client’s communication style — whether they respond better to emails or would prefer daily phone calls. More than anything, they are the liaison between the creative brains at the agency and the client’s needs.

Plenty of passion — You’ll know it if your AE is just phoning it in. Great AE’s have a passion for the marketing industry and they have a passion for their client’s success. They’re going to need every ounce of that passion to get through the down days when deadlines loom and budgets are strained. That’s when a great AE is able to dig deep and say, “I still love you!”

Nothing says love like a phone call. Give us one at (305) 350-5700, or visit — and let’s get the relationship started.

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