When it comes to creative service, there are 2 common approaches to client relationships: project-based and accounts-based. Neither approach is more right or wrong than the other, but they both come with their own sets of benefits for individual projects, and for clients as a whole.
Project-based client relationships
Project-based client relationships are focused on producing individual pieces of creative collateral that serve to meet one specific goal. These projects are completed on an ad hoc basis, meaning that a creative team — led by a project manager — gets to know the purpose and goals of a piece of content, but may not know how it fits into the overall strategy and marketing goals of the client. This is because the contact between project manager and client is not constant, but rather only active during a particular project. In fact, a client may have a different project manager on each project.
Focusing on one project at a time still results in high-quality work that meets a specific goal, but what if the client relationship went outside of just that single project? This is where an accounts-based approach comes in.
Accounts-based client relationships
An accounts-based client relationship is formed by gaining a more intimate understanding of a client and their goals. Rather than a project management team taking on projects one at a time, an account manager serves to stay in touch with the client — learning about their company, each team member’s role, their marketing strategy, and what makes them tick. The account manager is then able to work with the client to strategically guide them toward the right deliverables that will help them meet their goals in both expected and unexpected ways.
Killer has provided account management services for a number of clients since 2010, and in 2019 we aim to implement this approach for every client, shifting away from a per-project mindset to focusing on how we can help every client long-term. Killer has developed a full accounts team whose members are able to provide the level of service and attention our clients need in order to succeed over many years, rather than just over the course of individual projects. Our accounts team is focused on helping clients build lasting visual communication strategies that solve the challenges of today while also anticipating the needs of tomorrow.
What does that mean for our projects with return clients moving forward?
- Return clients of Killer Infographics will be introduced to a dedicated account manager. The account manager will work closely with the director of client success and the account coordinator to gain a big-picture understanding of the client’s goals and needs, and to seek out opportunities for improvement within the agency–client partnership.
- The integration of our new accounts team into projects and communications will result in a better understanding of budget constraints, motivations, and ongoing strategic initiatives driving client requests. It will also offer more insight into the client’s day-to-day stressors.
- This information will help to provide a new level of quality assurance, as the account manager can keep project teams up to speed on the overarching wants and needs of the client. This will result in deliverables that tell a story that is cohesive with the original client ask, and that drive success within the client’s marketing strategy as a whole.
- This constant support from the accounts team will be driven by keeping client success top of mind in a more holistic way.
We are looking forward to seeing the impact of more tight-knit client relationships, gaining a deeper understanding of overarching goals outside of a single project, and opening the door even wider to more integrated collaboration across teams, creating deliverables that have more success across the map.