August 26, 2020

In Managing Accounts, Why Multiple Specialists Beat One Generalist

To be clear, there’s no perfect organizational structure that works for each and every ad agency.

Depending on who your clients are, what kind of marketing methods you utilize, your headcount, and other critical factors, one agency can operate quite differently from the next. And both can be massively successful.

For example, at Advertise Purple, as an agency specializing in affiliate marketing management, we like to think our experience has helped to mold the perfect formula for how we manage accounts over time. Perfect for us. Not necessarily for everyone else.

We’re often asked, “how many other clients will my account manager be tending to?”  A great question, and one that was a thorn in our side in the earlier days of our existence (e.g. 2012-2015).

During that time, we maintained the typical agency approach: one pair of eyes per account. I mean, in theory it makes sense, right? One person in control means one person is accountable. Easy to communicate with when things go wrong….like my dad used to say ‘I only want one neck to choke!’

But, sorry to break the news to our aging digital agencies (and to my dad), the two-eyed approach is a complete disaster. Why? Simple: unless that employee is omniscient and omnipresent, there is bound to be a fairly low glass ceiling for strategy and error mitigation.

Now, that is not to say we haven’t had omniscient and omnipresent employees. *Cough cough*… personally, I work alone. But of course I never make mistakes, nor do I require oversight by anyone other than our President Kyle. Essentially, I’m perfect.

But no, I kid, I kid. So what has worked?  What has allowed AdPurp to scale and show unparalleled customer success in affiliate management?  Easy – division of labor.

Since the conveyor belt concept was revolutionized by Henry Ford, there has been quite a bit of merit in one’s ability to master a small subset of labor, as opposed to mastering a wide array of it.

Generalists can be really good at a lot of things. Specialists are great at less things but can do them more quickly and efficiently. Of course there’s a tradeoff, but Ideally, they can handle multiple different accounts by doing what they do best for a large array of customers.

Let’s take a look at managers in the fields of technology, analytics, account management, and strategic partnerships to get a better idea of how these duties are broken out and why.

Rowland, Director of Technology

“Advertise Purple compartmentalizes our workflow into a number of distinct teams that work collectively but operate independently. Knowing that my colleagues and their respective teams are both self reliant and highly productive allows me to focus on building technology for the benefit of the entire company.”

Sydney, Senior Analyst

“Having multiple resources on every given account is just one of the many reasons why Advertise Purple excels in the affiliate marketing field. We are constantly collaborating with different teams on a daily basis. This not only provides additional and noteworthy perspective but allows for each team member’s individualized strengths to shine through to maximize the efficiency and success of our brand’s programs.”

Caroline, Account Director

“The account management team is a group of excellent communicators who are responsible for knowing the ins-and-outs of each client’s KPIs, wants, and needs. As a result, our team is regularly in touch with our clients to ensure that we are exploring all avenues necessary to enhance their affiliate presence. From there, our team works with the specialists on other teams to deploy strategies necessary for maximum growth.”

RJ, Director of Partnerships

“Advertise Purple’s ecosystem allows each department to play their role in program growth simultaneously. Having specialists for each aspect of affiliate management ensures our clients that they are receiving the best possible service when using our agency.”

I hope this helped paint a bit of a picture of our operational structure and why we feel breaking out the labor required to manage an account to multiple self-sufficient teams is the best way to operate. We find it to be working quite well.

Please feel free to reach out at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to request more information.

Are you getting started in affiliate marketing or looking to improve your current program?

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