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Client Servicing

– Gyaan by an Client Servicing

Divya Nailwal
Age 26,
Account Group Manager
TBWA, Mumbai

My name is Divya Nailwal. I’m 26 years old. Currently working in TBWA India Pvt Ltd as Account Group Manager.

Currently I am handling brands like Nivea, Samsonite, PGI and Etihad Airlines. A BA (Hons) English Graduate from Delhi University, I started my career with Pioneer as a freelance writer. I went on to join Saatchi & Saatchi as a copywriter where I worked for a year and a half on brands like Santro, Taj Group of Hotels, Wagon R and BPCL. Being a restless person, it wasn’t long before I realized, that I needed to do something more active and enrolled for a post graduate course in marketing management. And since Marketing Communications is a field where both your left and right sides of the brain get utilized, I changed my stream and joined Apeejay Surrendra Group as Marketing Executive. There, I got a varied and rich experience of working on diverse categories like hotels, bookstores, media gallery and tea.

As my career took off, I decided to join the Zee Network’s pioneering enterprise, dishTV as Assistant Manager Marketing. Being India’s first DTH service, dishTV was a budding ground for me where all my skills were sharpened as we toiled day in an out towards making it a nation-wide success.

Since my career had started with an agency, I guess my heart was always on one day returning back to one. Moreover with a whole lot of corporate experience I thought it was a good time to specialize into communications and brand management. Thus I made a decision (which many people find hard to believe) of moving from the client to the agency side.

What is client servicing?
Account management, or client servicing as it is popularly known, is a key job in any advertising agency. As you are practically like the out-of-office marketing department of your client. It entails a whole lot of hard work from your end. One has to know your client’s business inside out, be aware of the competitive scene and have a very good knack of understanding the consumers and their needs. Once you are clear on these basic fundamentals, you have to work together in conjunction with your client (unusually the marketing department) to evolve a unique communication and marketing strategy for your brand. Once the strategy is researched and approved, you have to develop a brief for the creative team in the agency and ensure that the creative delivers on it, on time. The last and the most important part of the process is to finally sell the creative idea to the client.

Skills needed to be in client servicing?
Smart worker, as time is always critical. Creative, or else all your briefs would be boring. Queen (or king) of multi-tasking, as you’ll be doing that most of the time. A great presenter, as presentation is key in advertising. And of course, patience. As you have to deal with steaming clients, fuming creatives and yet meet yesterday’s deadlines!

How do you start? Which courses do you recommend and which colleges?
It’s good to do a specialization in Marketing or Advertising before you start your career. You not only get a hang of the industry, but also understand that advertising is much more than glamorous models, awards and parties. Most top B Schools offer these specialisations.

Which are the big agencies and how to contact them?
TBWA, Lowe, JWT, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi to name a few, are some of the top agencies across the globe today. You can log onto the internet or call the yellow pages and search for these agencies’ contact numbers. As most of these agencies have their branches in most Indian cities. You may ask for the HR department, else request to speak to somebody in the Account Management team.

How long is the training period?
Depends upon the agency to agency. Mostly it lasts from 6 months to a year.

What is the money like?
It pays as you grow up in the industry.

What about working hours?
What working hours?

Some good websites and books you’d suggest.
Beyond Disruption: Changing the Rules in the Marketplace Jean-Marie Dru is like the Bible of new age advertising and a must read. Besides, it might be a good idea to visit websites like agencyfaqs.com for constant update on the local advertising scene.

And of course, patience. As you have to deal with steaming clients, fuming creatives and yet meet yesterday’s deadlines!

Besides an advertising agency, where can you go?
Why would you want to go anywhere? But in case you do, there are options like shifting to the corporate world and sit on the other side of the table.

Mostly advertising is not considered a career by parents. Why and why not?
I think that’s no longer true, as recently the world has started accepting the huge role that advertising plays in everyone’s lives. And parents are no exception. If at all, there are initial hang-ups because of erratic work hours, but then again, it’s the same everywhere nowadays.

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