Account Director Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Account Director serves as a liaison between clients and a company that provides services, manages the accounts team and will also supervise creatives and other staff to ensure projects meet client expectations and are delivered on time, and within budget. The Account Director pitches ideas to clients, develops strategies for new products and coordinates events.

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Account Director Duties and Responsibilities

An Account Director oversees the day-to-day requirements needed to complete tasks for advertising and public relations accounts. This position pitches new clients, drives sales and manages a team of people dedicated to the accounts, working with both internal employees and internal or external clients to meet goals.

Examples of tasks an Account Director may need to perform include: 

  • Pitch concepts and summarize results during multiple client meetings
  • Generate sales for client accounts
  • Create account strategies, leading projects from conception to final execution
  • Establish goals and objectives for internal teams to follow
  • Meet deadlines and project budgets
  • Work with teams to develop materials, coordinate events and provide support and direction 
  • Supervise staff and projects, motivating and mentoring staff to hit goals and produce successful materials for clients, as well as providing feedback
  • Maintain relationships and serve as the point of contact and liaison for customers

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What Does an Account Director Do?

Account Director Skills and Qualifications

A successful Account Director will have worked in the industry for a number of years. The right candidate may have a past as an experienced Account Director or be ready to take on the additional workload and responsibilities in a first-time promotion to the position from a junior account director or account representative role. There are several skills and qualifications an Account Director should have, including:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism or English
  • 5+ years working at an advertising, public relations or in-house agency
  • Exceptional storytelling and writing skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and thrive under pressure
  • A creative mindset and ability to think outside of the box
  • Exceptional presentation skills
  • Proven skills or experience in sales can be helpful
  • Time-management, organization and leadership skills
  • Strong communication and negotiation skills

Account Director Salary Expectations

The average salary for an Account Director is $109,517 per year. Additionally, all types of Account Director salaries vary depending on where the employee lives and how much experience they have and can increase as they gain skills and experience.

Account Director Education and Training Requirements

A college degree is needed for the position of an Account Director. Professionals train in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism or English and are creative storytellers and well-spoken. Other areas of study may include business administration with courses in marketing and advertising.

Account Director Experience Requirements

An Account Director must have years of experience managing multiple teams and projects. Traditionally, 5 to 7 years of experience is required for applicants, although internships and programs may be counted as experience. Basic computer skills are necessary to perform this position. Previous experience in sales and client management is also a helpful skill for an Account Director.

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Frequently asked questions about Account Directors

What makes a good Account Director?

Good Account Directors have strong soft skills that allow them to provide exceptional, personalized customer service to high-level clients. They are highly detail-oriented and are perceptive about client needs and how to accomplish them. To be effective, Account Directors need to have a keen industry knowledge including the methods and platforms they can use to help their clients. They usually have experience managing a team and coaching them on how to implement high-level strategies.

What is the difference between an Account Director, an Account Manager and an Account Executive?

Account Directors are usually top-level employees who oversee Account Managers and Account Executives. Account Executives have a sales role and are in charge of acquiring new clients by pursuing leads and helping them sign a contract. Account Executives report to Account Managers, who ensure that day-to-day client needs are handled according to schedule. They carry out the vision determined by the Account Director.

What are the daily duties of an Account Executive?

Account Executives spend some of their time with clients and some of their time in-office with their team. They analyze data reports to adjust strategies for customer acquisition and retention. They present their ideas to clients and run tests to prove their concepts before implementing them on a wider scale. They then communicate with their team to assign responsibilities and determine a plan for meeting client expectations. Account Executives may travel and attend conferences to network with potential business partners or secure important accounts.

Do Account Directors have different responsibilities in different industries?

Account Directors generally have similar responsibilities regardless of what kind of account they manager. Account Directors for design firms and Account Directors for public relations both meet with clients, develop strategies and delegate tasks. They need to have industry-specific knowledge and skills to intelligently discuss strategies with clients and be able to mentor their team.

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