Have you been told you need to be 'more strategic'?

Have you been told you need to be more strategic? I often hear people give that feedback in reviews I attend for AM’s and AD’s. What does it actually mean and how do you develop that skill?

Meghan McDonnell wrote in an article for AdAge;

“Strategy for account management means looking at a client's business with a broader view of its industry and competition, and then marrying that analysis with communications principle…..

…It's about bringing your communications expertise to the specific objectives of the business. It's about bringing new thinking that works within the realities of your client's brand and budget."

So, how do you do that? You need to be curious – ask ‘why’, a lot. When presented with information dig a bit deeper to get a richer understanding of its context. Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own. That desire to learn and understand is the foundation of a ‘strategic thinker’.

Spend time with your clients and ask them questions that will provide you with a broader view of their business. Spend time researching the category, know exactly what their competitors are doing and not just in this market. Read industry magazines, follow companies on twitter, read the FT, use your network (if you are part of a global agency) and ask them to send you information from their market. As you build up industry knowledge you will be able to identify pro-active opportunities, and by sharing this knowledge with internal stakeholders, you will earn the respect and confidence of your colleagues. You will find it easier to collaborate with creative on pro-active briefs and ideas. This all creates a fantastic foundation for a long lasting, fruitful client/agency relationship.

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