Day in the Life: Ashley Wentz, Account Director
Jul 27, 2016
Account Director is her actual title, but Ashley Wentz really considers herself a relationship architect. As the conduit between the client and the account team at Centerline, that revised title is definitely accurate.
What led Wentz to Centerline?
“Before joining Centerline I was a Brand Supervisor at J.Crew. I focused on creating dynamic customer experiences by creatively positioning and showcasing various apparel lines. While this work was in the fashion industry – allowing me to shamelessly indulge in my shoe obsession – I actually find myself using very similar methodologies — conducting need assessments, understanding target audiences, and telling powerful stories — with my B2B enterprise clients today.”
Once she made the switch to Centerline, she used her previous work experience to work her way up to the account director position.
“My previous roles at Centerline were in marketing and strategy. In marketing, I worked to promote Centerline and our offerings, and I learned an incredible amount about the clients we work with here. As a content strategist, I worked with our account and creative teams to help solve clients complex business challenges as they relate to branding and marketing. In that role, I really enjoyed connecting the dots between client’s business goals and their customers expectations.”
This background in marketing and content strategy prepared her for her current position, through exposure to the clients and the solutions Centerline was able to provide.
“My experiences in these previous roles helped pave the way to Account Director. I am now fortunate enough to marry my passion for strategic problem solving with building long-term partnerships – which is awesome.”
So, why does she consider herself a relationship architect?
“I’m responsible for the long-term growth and development of a set of key accounts, identifying new account opportunities, and maintaining a high level of performance by the account teams who manage our client’s projects on a day-to-day basis.”
She helps maintain great relationships with her clients with the help of a kick-ass account team…
“I lead a team of enthusiastic and smart account managers and project managers, guiding them on best practices and developing their strengths. Our team is always working to deliver the utmost level of customer service, while ensuring the most strategic, creative work is delivered to our clients on time and on budget.
…and a focus on communication.
“Effective communication is CRUCIAL. Staying sufficiently informed and being able to clearly communicate across teams is what ensures sound planning, top level service, and building solid relationship between Centerline and our clients.”
Communication and strategic thinking and planning help maintain relationships, but it’s not always smooth sailing.
“As anyone in an agency will tell you, the stars don’t always magically align from a budget and timeline perspective to foster the innovative ideas your team and client dream of. That doesn’t mean you can’t produce amazing things, just that sometimes you have to find a way to do more with less.”
When the stars do align – what does a typical day look like?
“A typical day? Ha! No, seriously, each day is different, which I like – I can be running an onsite workshop with a client one day and then traveling to a conference to meet with execs the next. While each day’s activities might be different, how I approach them is the same – I’m always thinking client-first.”
So, say someone’s interested in becoming an AD. What should they know in order to be successful in this position?
“I’ve already said SO much, so I’ll give you some bullet points”
- Be comfortable with ambiguity. My entire wardrobe consists of my two favorite colors: black and white. But for this job you have be comfortable living in the grey area. I have a structured mind, but encounter a steady stream of ambiguity every day. Ambiguity can create complexity, but if you are a person who can embrace it, it actually tends to open the door to innovation.
- Think strategically. We have a full strategy department, but a key part of being an Account Director is being a STRATEGIC thinker/planner/doer. To be successful in this role, you have to actively research and understand your client so you can be strategic in their development and growth, and serve as an account expert to your internal teams.”
Want to learn more about being an account director? Check out the job opening here!