Blog Post By: Laura Caccavo

How to Account Direct Like a Badass


In the history of the clichéd question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I’m willing to bet three vacation days that no child has ever responded: “account director!” So in an effort to drive awareness as efficiently and effectively as possible, here I am to explain how it’s done and done well.

We account directors in social media advertising manage client relationships and collaborate with internal resources in pursuit of planning, running, and reporting on the most impactful, outcome-driven campaigns possible. All in 24 hours’ — err, a day’s — work. Like a badass.

On the Daily

We communicate with clients.

Depending on the day, this can mean answering questions about Facebook’s dynamic local awareness objective, seeking approval on new interest targeting groups to be implemented in an active campaign, or delivering a proposal for an international multi-platform campaign (coming soon to a newsfeed near you!).

We develop campaign strategies, tactics, and media plans.

When confronted with a new campaign or the maintenance of current initiatives, we consider the following questions: How do we best set this campaign up to drive business outcomes? Which platforms, objectives, and ad units are most closely aligned with driving these business outcomes? What can be done to continue to increase efficiency and scale success?

We track budgets and allocations.

In other words, updating planning documents to reflect total budgets and media spends. It’s not glamorous, but it must be done. #AccountingFun

We collaborate with ad operations on day-to-day campaign execution.

We depend on a smart team of supervisors and traffickers to validate and execute our plans. They devise bidding and budgeting strategies, build campaigns, publish ads, monitor performance, make adjustments, share insights, and more. Account directors cannot do what we do without them, so let this be my standing thank-you note.

We make recommendations for campaign optimization.

We’re never satisfied with the status quo, which is a blessing (professionally) and a curse (personally). Whether it’s requesting third party audiences from Acxiom to use for new targeting groups, or requesting additional creative based on current top performing ads to implement into a campaign, we’re always working hard to cultivate the best performance possible.

We work with analytics to prepare ad-hoc, weekly, and wrap reports.

It’s our job to arm our clients with reporting, insights, and analysis so they can better understand the whats, the whys, and the what-should-we-do-nexts behind campaign performance, and, in turn, convey outcomes internally and externally. And if they impress their bosses in the process, that’s a pretty nice win, too.

We coordinate with platform partners.

An exciting part of our job is getting insider information on the latest and greatest developments directly from the source: platform partners. From Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, and so on, we’re constantly in communication about updates that impact our campaigns, oftentimes using partners as sounding boards to validate plans.

A.B.L. (Always Be Learning)

We’re here to give a damn and, taking this a step further, to care enough and be curious enough to keep learning about advertising and the broader world that exists around it.

We’re students of social media: busy observing the good, bad, and gnarly of advertising as a user.

Inspiration — and cautionary tales — are everywhere. When we see a big brand continuing to promote a Mother’s Day tweet when it is very much past the holiday, this is a reminder that timeliness is everything.

We ask questions and seek multiple opinions.

Much of what we do is subjective, so it’s important to tap into the expert resources around us whether it be for use cases on a new ad product, or an opinion on follower versus keyword targeting on Twitter. Healthy debate is encouraged. In fact, it’s necessary.

We’re continuously learning from the multi-platform campaigns we manage.

There are always best practices to be learned, objectives to delve further into, and knowledge to be gained from owning our campaigns and sharing learnings with each other. Never run a Facebook lead generation campaign before? There’s definitely someone on the team who has and can show you the ropes.

We stay up to date on industry publications and analysis.

We skim the daily newsletters and keep an eye on trades. Amongst the fluff is actionable news and information, such as the latest finding on platform demographics or an interesting brand campaign case study.

We get the inside scoop on new products and features from platform partners.

It’s beneficial for us to be able to offer clients opportunities and tools they wouldn’t have access to otherwise, such as Twitter emoji targeting in HYFN8, that make campaigns increasingly effective. 🙌

Study Up

Every brand and campaign comes with its own unique opportunities and challenges. Honestly, that’s what makes this job fun. We work to find out as much as we possibly can about each unique situation and definitely aren’t afraid to nerd out a little.

We discover what the brand is all about.

Everyone cares about something, so we get to the core of what is most important to clients and other stakeholders. Sure, the campaign objective for this telecom company may be website clicks, but where are we sending users and what actions do we want them to take once they get there?

We educate ourselves on campaign objectives and desired business outcomes.

To be an account director is to become an expert in the businesses of clients and advocate internally to ensure the success of their campaigns. We’re after real outcomes and truly internalize client goals. Their sales are our sales.

We build relationships with clients.

We’re on the same team and, oftentimes, are working the same long hours, so why not collaborate in service of a common goal? When we spot an opportunity to provide extra insight into why one creative may be performing better than another, we’re on it.

Get it Done

At the end of the day — and at the beginning and middle, too, for that matter — it’s our job to make our clients’ lives easier by empowering them with information and generally kicking ass and taking names on their behalf.

We have a perspective on everything.

This is essential to making campaign decisions and advising clients every day. We’re the experts and use our perspective to lead campaigns to their due glory. Whether or not to run Facebook and Instagram together as an optimized placement campaign? We’ve got opinions on that.

We develop an overall strategy connecting campaign objectives to business outcomes with tactics that ladder up.

Strategy and tactical planning are arguably the most important phases when it comes to putting together a campaign. Nothing about a campaign is random, and this process produces a shared road map that is instructive and adaptable.

We seek internal and external buy-in and alignment.

We set expectations on deadlines, timelines, and performance. All parties need to be on the same page from day one on everything from when final ad assets are due to the date the wrap report will be delivered. No surprises.

That’s all for now. As for me, I’ve got a proposal to deliver by end of day and social media waits for no woman

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