"Our account managers are assigned to accounts, not agencies. So they are strongly encouraged to have "client equity" which we define as "the ability to demonstrate a productive relationship with a key buying influence within the client organization." We have a written policy to that effect; when an account switches agencies, the account manager must provide proof outlining their relationship with the key buying influence at the client level to continue working the account in a new agency environment. The proof is written correspondence, meeting notes and other empirical evidence.It is never our intention to circumvent or to disparage any ad agency. We have intricate systems to superserve the agency community as well. Our purpose in maintaining client relationships is to evaluate the clients’ needs and challenges firsthand, unfiltered by an intermediary. We will then take the proper recommendations to the proper source at the agency."
Updated commentary: When written, there were fewer national retail chains in Birmingham, and more local retail advertisers for us to call on. Many local retailers at the time of this article changed ad agencies very frequently. However today since there are fewer and fewer local retailers, there is a lesser need for the type of account management style listed above. At WRRS, we have a smaller staff, and have only one manager of local accounts calling on each agency, which most ad agencies prefer.