TBWA Melbourne has revealed it has re-engineered its account management structure to provide staff with clearer career planning, whilst also providing an optimised service model for clients.
The move, which has the buy-in of all TBWA Melbourne’s major clients, including ANZ, Medibank, Nissan, Origin and Schweppes, sees account management dismantled into two distinct areas.
One is business management, comprising of strategic client partners (much like you would expect to find in management consultancy), and the other is a centralised project management team, which oversees all executional aspects of ‘making’ the work for clients across the agency.
TBWA managing director Mike Napolitano said the current career trajectory in agencies is one-dimensional – “prove you can execute in your early years and think strategically in your later years”.
“But for some people those skills, or areas of interest, are mutually exclusive,” he said.
“And, as such, they struggle to work in a space they consistently enjoy or get the recognition they deserve.
“As an industry, we need to identify better ways to set our people up for success. This structure enables us to foster both those who want to develop more business strategy skills, whilst also developing the careers of those who want to focus on the creation of great work. Both are equally as important in our success.”
Napolitano said that while the move primarily aims to attract and retain the best talent, it also enables TBWA Melbourne to set a remuneration model that offers consistent strategic counsel and executional scalability.
“Clients work invariably moves in cycles. In key periods, we want to be able to add resource to ensure there’s more hands involved in the doing,” he said.
“It also makes good commercial sense that when there’s a lull we can redeploy our people.”
“Another benefit of our new model is more variety in industry experience. We know the best talent will relish the chance to work on a variety of briefs.
“Because we have moved to a centralised pool of resource in our project management team, those staff now have the same opportunity for client diversity more typically afforded to creatives and planners.”
Napolitano said TBWA Melbourne’s approach centres around wholly subscribing to holding company Omnicom’s service profit chain model.
“Firstly, we want our staff (people) to be highly-engaged, which creates an environment for making great work (product) possible,” he said.
“The financial rewards (profit) is the end result of good management of both.
“We’ve got a reputation for being a great place to work, so it’s a natural extension for us to lead the way on positive career planning for the next generation of advertisers.”
The transition of TBWA Melbourne’s account management structure began in January this year and is now complete.