For my informational interview within my organization, I wanted to connect with an account manager that managed some of the clients I was particularly interested in, or had a chance to work on projects for directly. For this reason, I chose to interview the manager of Lovehoney, the “adult toy” retailer, which was my primary account. In addition to Lovehoney, the account manager’s other primary accounts included CCM and Adidas Hockey, brands I could have an in-house interest in as the Rechans are die-hard hockey fans.
It was clear from the first few minutes of our one-on-one that she had always known that she wanted to work in the sports industry, having competitively swam throughout her life and studied Sports Management & Business in school. After working in media relations at Rubenstein Communications for three years, she transitioned to M&C as an account manager for a more 360 degree marketing experience. At Rubenstein, she talked about some of the stress surrounding managing so many different client accounts at once. Coming to M&C, the number of accounts she worked on dwindled down and instead she was in charge of aspects of these accounts outside of media relations, like strategy and social. My main take-away from our interview was the difference between agency and in-house marketing work, and ultimately where I would rather be.
Although the account manager said she enjoys being deeply involved in her accounts, i.e. working on everything from strategy to planning to creative to social, this can easily become overwhelming even with just a few accounts to manage. At Rubenstein, having 6-10 accounts to work on at once could be overwhelming (and confusing) even with solely focusing on media relations. At M&C having over 5 accounts to tend in all regards can be…too much, to say the least. She said she thought 3 accounts would be a perfect number. She stressed how happy she is at Saatchi, but couldn’t deny that she has thought about going in-house to hone in on a singular brand that she can be completely focused on, and give her all too.
After hearing an account manager’s perspective on working within an agency, my wandering interest in going in-house upon graduation was cemented. With that said, I’m going to move forward with full-time applications to in-house brands that I can give 100% of my time and attention to. But, I definitely want to soak up as much as I can from this experience and continue to learn to multitask and balance multiple clients before my internship is over by asking for as many projects from as many accounts as I can get.