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Ultra-organised and systematic, Sarah is a self-professed control freak, which, coupled with an upbeat personality and a good sense of humour, means she’s built great relationships both with the team at Cornerstone and her clients.
Here Sarah walks us through what it’s like to be an account manager and what she gets up to in a typical day.
Every client has a dedicated account manager who is their main point of contact. I like to think of us as an extension of their business: their own marketing department with skills and experience rather than just the products we create. We take time to understand the business and we’re always proactively thinking on the client’s behalf and asking poignant questions to make sure we are working to the client’s objectives.
I get into the office around 8:30 – 9am and start the day with a caffeine boost. I then look through the calendar and see what everyone has planned in for the day and respond to any urgent emails and scheduling changes. I make sure everyone has what they need before I start my own tasks.
I do any briefing needed before lunch, which is usually the most brain intensive task of the day! I’ll then do any proofing, such as for design and written work, and go to any meetings.
In my lunch break I tend to run errands or have a power walk for some fresh air, maybe pick up a bottle of Fanta – my go-to when my sweet-tooth kicks in! We have a lovely bridle path at the back of the office which is really nice to get some head space.
I finish the day making sure everything is wrapped up for tomorrow and plan my own time for the next day too. I also make sure I have all the info I’ve asked for from the team and my clients before I go home.
I have some internal meetings where I give or get updates from the team which is a great place for sharing ideas (particularly when Robbie is involved)!
I also have client meetings, so talking to new clients about what we do at Cornerstone and what their needs are, and also have monthly catch-ups with my retainer clients to update on the month before and talk about the strategy for the month ahead.
My meetings are always structured but I find them really enjoyable too. It’s nice to have a catch up, a good laugh and brew together as well as get down to business.
Briefing is probably what I like the most at Cornerstone. It gives me a lot of satisfaction because it’s a bit like translating from the client to our team. I love inspiring the designers, digital and web teams and influencing the direction of the project in the briefs.
The next best thing is seeing ideas come to life; seeing the outcome of a project is really rewarding. Sometimes the brief is taken in a direction I didn’t expect – but always in a good way! It’s such a good feeling when a client is just as happy and proud with the end-result as I am, and we can get excited about delivering great results together.
They’re really strong and positive. I take time to get to know my clients, have a joke and get really involved in their marketing strategy! I think that helps us understand each other and be able to communicate better down the line, as well as just enjoy our jobs and the process more.
If I said yes to every idea the client had without truly understanding their rationale, I’d be a terrible account manager. That would not add any value to them. We’re not nodding dogs who say yes to everything, it’s our job to look beyond a brief at what it’s actually trying to achieve and shape the strategy from there.
Everyone takes ownership of projects and takes care and attention to their work, which I find really reassuring as an account manager. I feel like we share common goals in that we always want to do the best job possible. Everyone has a very positive mentality. There is a diverse mix at Cornerstone, which is really valuable when it comes to thinking up ideas.
The strengths of working in a full-service agency is that we have better control over project delivery and timings – which is good if you’re a control freak like me – and you can solve problems much quicker.
Checking my emails as soon as I wake up. Can’t help it.
I would say, make the most of us! We’re here to help and make their lives easier.
Think a dedicated account manager like Sarah B, looking after your marketing and strategy is exactly what you need? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 0161 2139941.