Account College Recap: 5 Ways to Stay Fresh with Clients and More

Work moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. A variation of Ferris Bueller’s words of course, and only-fitting given our (myself and Maggie Jennett) recent graduation from Second Wind Account College in Chicago! The Account College experience featured two days of information-packed sessions covering the account service process, changing technologies and how to promote more efficient production to keep the customer and/or client happy.


Other than delicious memories from Lou Malnati’s, a token photo at the Bean and a trip to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, we’d like to share a few key takeaways from the experience to keep in mind for your day-to-day.


  1. Know your competition. Staying current on what the competition is doing is almost as crucial as knowing your own brand. Use your competitor and industry insights to generate ideas on how to combat or outdo the competition. Don’t just understand your brand, understand the industry.


  1. Be the expert consultant. Take a consultative approach to how you communicate both internally and externally.  Remember, you are in your role because of a unique skill-set and experience, not just the capability of getting the work done.


  1. Don’t shy away from big ideas. Don’t avoid big ideas because of budget constraints or lack of experience with the concept. Even if the time may not be right for the biggest of ideas, there are often components of the idea that can be extracted to help current processes or repurposed for the future.


  1. Stay current with industry-leading lead generation techniques. Be informed on how your business is generating leads. What is the communication and sales process? Where are the leads being driven to? When focusing on the leads, it’s important to ensure what you are driving them to is as strong as the driver. For example, don’t develop a killer set of digital ads leading to a web page that could use some love.


  1. Don’t underestimate the power of a good surprise. In the fast-paced world of marketing, it’s easy to get into a sprint routine. Take a step back every once in a while to see where you can catch someone off-guard with an unexpected and welcomed surprise.


So there you have it. Stay current with the competition, be a consultant in your craft, don’t dismiss the big idea and take the time to surprise. Oh, and Portillo’s chocolate cake. Make sure you get a piece the next time you’re in Chicago.

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