Navigating the Ad Agency Jungle

My Journey as an Account Manager with a Project Management Twist

Working as an Account Manager at an advertising agency can feel like taming a wild beast. The fast-paced, ever-changing world of advertising demands a unique blend of creativity, client relations, and, to my surprise, project management skills. I have been in the industry for many years, from creating Facebook posts for local businesses as a freelancer to working on in-house marketing teams and eventually finding myself in account management at multiple ad agencies. I’ve seen all sides of the marketing Rubix cube, but they’ve all had core elements in common, leading me down a rabbit hole and introducing me to the wonderland that is project management. In this blog post, I’ll share my personal experience and insights on how project management has become my secret weapon as an Account Manager at JP.

Marketing rubix cube

My Role as an Account Manager

As an Account Manager, I’m the link between our clients and the talented creative minds behind our campaigns. My day-to-day tends to be a whirlwind of client meetings, project coordination, and adapting to any and all problems thrown my way. It requires a careful balance of diplomacy, organization, creative thinking, and can most succinctly be described as “herding cats.” Now, how does project management relate to this all? Project management works on a set of principles and methodologies that can be applied directly to account management with great results.

A person knelt down attempting to gather eleven kittens under it's feet as the kittens continuously break free and crawl away from the group.

Applying Project Management Principles

  • Defining Clear Objectives and Scope

My journey as an Account Manager starts with understanding our client’s goals. I work closely with clients to define the project’s objectives, create detailed briefs, and set realistic expectations. It’s all about ensuring everyone is on the same page from the get-go.

  • Developing Project Plans

In essence, plans are my compass, my roadmap leading me through the advertising wilderness. They are a dynamic tool that ensures projects stay on course, remain on budget, and, most importantly, deliver results that exceed our clients’ expectations. With meticulously outlined tasks, timelines, and dependencies, plans become the backbone of the journey through the dynamic world of advertising, ensuring that every project reaches its destination.

  • Communication and Collaboration

The heart of any successful project is effective communication and collaboration. I set up regular status meetings, send progress updates, and organize feedback sessions to keep all stakeholders aligned. By nurturing strong client relationships, fostering teamwork, and creating an environment of open dialogue, we ensure that our projects resonate with our client’s visions.

  • Risk Management

The advertising jungle is fraught with risks, but I’ve learned to be the guide through the thicket. Identifying potential pitfalls, assessing their impact, and devising mitigation strategies are all part of the job. Proactive risk management helps prevent disasters and keeps our clients happy.

Navigating through the ad agency jungle


My journey as an Account Manager in the advertising world has been a thrilling adventure, one that I’ve found increasingly rewarding by embracing project management principles and methodologies. They’ve not only made me a better Account Manager but also a more effective leader, guiding our clients and our team through the jungle of creativity and deadlines. In this role, I see firsthand how project management skills contribute to our team’s overall success, ultimately shaping the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of agency life.

Douglas MadarisAccount Manager