| 14th June 2016
Account handlers are the glue holding client-agency relationships together. They’re the face of the agency’s work to the client, and the voice of the client within project teams. Effective, talented account handlers are instrumental to ensuring that client work exceeds expectations and delights the customer. But they’re also often unsung heroes, working incredibly hard behind the scenes but missing out on industry awards and recognition.
Not at Blue Latitude Health. Here, we’re incredibly proud of the work our account handlers do, and we wanted to shine a spotlight on what they do. And who better to explain what account handlers do at Blue Latitude Health than the people who do the work?
Marketing Assistant Eva Van der Borght interviewed the team across all levels to give us the word straight from the horse’s mouth.
“I’ve always had a strong interest in healthcare and science, and that’s why I studied a BSc in Immunobiology and Physiology at university. But looking down microscopes long-term wasn’t quite in the game plan and so I interviewed at Blue Latitude Health looking to apply some of my scientific knowledge to the commercial environment. During the interview process I was exposed to the type of people who work at BLH and their projects, and that’s when I decided that’s where I want to be.” – Stuart Goodman
“My career started in Spain as an account executive for consumer brands, shortly after that, I moved to Dubai to an online market research agency focused on healthcare, looking after Spain and LATAM projects. When I moved to London, I worked as an account executive and got the opportunity to work on some CRM and online projects for healthcare brands. I was a freelance Account Manager at Blue Latitude Health for 4 weeks before becoming a permanent member.” – Begoña Sánchez
“I started my career more than 10 years ago as a project manager at a digital communications agency. A couple of years later, I got the chance to start as an account handler; there are some similarities between the two positions. As an Account Director at Blue Latitude Health, I’m the main support in strategical creation, brand value proposition, and the development of the engagement plan. I’m here to make sure that the strategic goals are reached as smoothly as possible as a team, and to keep the financial targets on track on both sides. I’ve been working in the healthcare/pharma industry for almost 6 years now.” – Corinna Liebana
“No matter what level or position you are, you get exposed to so many strategic aspects of the business. From day one, you immediately become responsible for projects. There’s a good level of freedom within the account handling activities, with the knowledge that you have and the support from senior team members when needed.
Blue Latitude Health is still a relatively small company, but it’s a great asset to have a team here that guides you through every step of the strategic and creative process.” – Victoria Morton
“What makes this such a successful business and an enjoyable work place is the people working here. Everyone is incredibly intelligent and ambitious, and yet there’s always time for a chat. It’s a highly collaborative and supportive environment, which means the complex problems you face can be broken down by leveraging the knowledge that already exists in the building. You’re out of you comfort zone, but with back-up should you need it!” – Stuart
“For me, Blue Latitude Health is ‘entrepreneurial’; it’s still a relatively small company, but it has amazing career progression. This entrepreneurial spirit and the nature of our clients give you the opportunity to get involved on very different projects that make your job more diverse and helps you grow as a professional.”– Begoña
“I really like the fact that I can use my scientific background and knowledge creatively. The Account Executive role is so varied; you get to work closely with the creative team and consultant teams, whilst at the same time keeping the client’s perspective in mind. As an account handler, you’re the client’s contact and you get involved with every aspect of the account, from finance to the execution of projects.” – Victoria
“What I love about account handling is that you end up being an extension of the client at the agency and the agency representative for the client. Therefore you need to develop a deep understanding about the client and the industry, but also keep expanding your knowledge of the advertising and communications industry. In the end an account handler needs to understand their client’s business as good as they do, if not better, in order to keep helping them reach their objectives and identify opportunities, so at the end of the day they see you more as a partner rather than just a supplier.”– Begoña
“What I like about working as an Account Manager is being the connection between all stakeholders; clients, consultants and creatives. The challenge of the job is to understand people, so that you can balance and represent the viewpoints of the key stakeholders, in order to optimise the final result. It’s a diplomatic role, and you need to be patient as you’re working with different personalities. In the end, the team and the client rely on you to maintain a clear vision for the project and to resolve any issues along the way.” – Lisa Wu-Holmes
“I can’t say that I have a typical day, every day varies and you’re continuously being reactive. There are always different things to tackle, never solving the same problem. This variability means that you’re exposed to different client situations, and quickly develop your professional skills. Even if you’re not sure how to handle a situation, there are always senior team members there to support you in finding the right solutions.” – Victoria
“There is no such thing as a typical day as an Account Director at BLH. The majority of the day is filled with internal meetings, preparation, strategy discussions and client meetings. On top of that, you have a lot of deliverables and a team to support, so you never have the same day.” – Corinna
“My day usually consists of planning and coordinating projects, troubleshooting, reviewing creative work, and talking to clients. As an account manager, you take on many roles and you need to be an adaptable – sometimes you’re a taskmaster, sometimes an analyst, sometimes a counsellor, sometimes a warrior.” – Lisa
“It’s a thriving hub of knowledge. BLH is constantly seeking to do things differently, to try new things, to bounce ideas around. What could we have done better? Would that approach have worked in this instance? Have you heard about this? And so on. We’re not scared to challenge each other or our clients.
What I also love about the company is the transparency – the regular updates from the senior management team about progress made to date, and also where they see the company going in the future. And it’s definitely a two-way street. As employees we play a big role in providing the feedback which helps shape the direction of the company.”– Stuart
“There is a certain company culture here at BLH, and everyone does stick to it. There’s a familiarity between work, culture, and the values while at the same time BLH is growing – which is often very challenging in other companies. At BLH, you’re a team; there is no real competition between employees.
Training and development is viewed highly here. We have the opportunity to follow BLH Academy courses in addition to external training. It’s not just about the budget to pay for training, you also get given the time to go and do your courses.” – Corinna
“The culture at Blue Latitude Health is great; the work life balance is valued, and that’s rare in this business. Partly this is due to the great relationships we have with our clients, partly this is down to the solid support from the management at BLH. There’s a real openness here, and willingness to listen to and respond to feedback.” – Lisa
“Yes, absolutely. As an account handler, you get the opportunity to work with European clients in a creative and open environment. These partnerships shape Blue Latitude Health as a business. Your voice will be heard, and you’ll become an expert in all different areas. You gain a much greater experience than at other agencies, developing a well-rounded view of the industry.
We’re involved in every step of the way; working as an account handler really is strategy through execution.” – Victoria
“Of course, I would recommend BLH. However it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re just after quick growth, titles, or just want to achieve numbers without really knowing anything about your clients or projects, this might not be the right place for you. But if you’re searching for career and personal growth, looking to gain more strategical skills and this all in a collaborative environment, then BLH is a great company to be at.” – Corinna
“Everyone is nice and the culture is great. The challenge is the same at other agencies; clients will be clients, and deadlines will be deadlines, but it’s the people around you that make you happy at your job.” – Lisa
Hopefully, we’ve shed a bit more light on what it’s like to work as an account handler at Blue Latitude Health. If you’d like to have a more in-depth chat about our accounts team and where you might fit, get in touch with Senior Talent Manager Deborah at: email@example.com.
You can also check out our open roles here: http://bluelatitude.com/join-us
| 17th April 2018
David Wood reveals a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of an Account Manager at the BLH London office.
| 10th April 2018
A day in the life of Jenna Earl, Head of Brand Strategy at Blue Latitude Health.