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Best Job Ever: Account Executive

June 5, 2018  |   Caitlin Reiff

More than a few members of the TDR team believe that they’ve landed the “best job ever.” While some wee children dream of becoming superheroes, astronauts, rockstars, etc., our crew nurtured loftier childhood fantasies: to become Account Executives, Directors of Paid Digital Advertising, or even… Content Strategists (gasp). Yes, it’s true – our tastes have always leaned more sophisticated.

Earlier this week, I sat down with the four lovely members of the Account Executive team – Karen, McKenna, Jenna, and Nicole – who so kindly offered insight into their life at TDR. Below, they describe what makes their job the Best. Job. Ever.

C: Hey guys, thanks for taking some time to chat with me today! So, do tell: what exactly is an Account Executive? How would you describe your typical day?

K: Well, we’re essentially the first face of the company – the bridge between our clients and our internal team. We’re in constant communication with our clients, making sure they’re happy with the work TDR is providing.

N: I think a typical day is that there is no typical day. That’s what I like about this job. No two days are ever the same.

K: Agreed. It’s all about providing creative, innovative solutions for our clients. It’s pretty empowering to be able to solve problems and create real impact for their organizations.

C: So, how did you come to work at TDR?

M: During my senior year in college (psych major / Spanish minor at Denison University in Ohio), I was looking for marketing jobs in Madison. I didn’t have many connections here, so I literally Googled “marketing agencies in Madison, Wisconsin” and TDR was on page one of search results (SEO game strong). I sent in my resume and proceeded to heckle the partners for months until they gave me an interview. Not the most conventional route, but hey – here I am.

J: I studied Communication Arts / Digital Studies at UW-Madison. After college, I worked in social media / PR at a different agency in the area before I tapped into connections in my ad group (Ad 2 Madison) that led me to TDR.

N: I was also a Communication Arts major at Madison and had a few different jobs before coming to TDR. Most recently, I was working in traditional media in Madison and one of my clients was also one of TDR’s clients. One day, I stopped by TDR to drop something off and ended up chatting with Matt (a partner) for about an hour in the conference room. I left and called my husband – “… I think I just got interviewed…?” And that’s how I ended up at TDR.

K: I went to UW as well and majored in Consumer Affairs. I also got a certificate (UW’s fancy way of saying “minored”) in Business. Throughout college, I had a couple of marketing internships but actually went into retail management after I graduated. I quickly realized that wasn’t the path I wanted to take and, like McKenna, googled “marketing agencies in Madison” and The Digital Ring was the first result. After a few interviews, I was the newest member of the TDR crew.

J: So… essentially, they really only took their sweet time when it came to hiring McKenna.

M: Correct. I mean, in reality, it was because the company was so new, and I was still in college in Ohio when I reached out. But they like to say it was because they didn’t like me.     

C: What is your favorite part about your job?

J: I like the variety – getting to work on different projects every day. I also like that being an AE calls for a combination of creative and analytical skills.

K: Agreed – I like that we get to take advantage of our entire skillset instead of being boxed into one thing.

M: Karen is so talented that this is the only job she has found that allows her to use all of her skills.

(Laughter, sidetracked)

M: In all seriousness, I like the variety of clients I get to work with. I feel like other agencies might silo you into working with clients from a single industry. But here, for example, I work with clients in the quick service food and retail industries, as well as a few nonprofits.  

N: I think what’s special about working at TDR is that everyone is really willing to help each other out, to help each other grow. There are no big egos here, which is rare to find, especially in an agency environment. There’s no bullsh*t.

C: Alright – what is the most challenging part of your job?

M: Well, I think for me, while variety is the most enjoyable part, it’s also the most challenging. You constantly have a million balls in the air.

J: Agreed – each client is so different and it can be challenging to adapt to their unique needs.

K: Along with that – because each client has a different target audience, we need to really master marketing to many different groups of people. Adaptability and the ability to anticipate are key.

N: I think the fast pace and the constant need to adapt and evolve are challenging, but the process is really rewarding, too. We’re always moving, we’re always a step ahead, we never let ourselves get too comfortable. It’s hard, but it’s also great.

J: Agreed. I think another challenge, too, is keeping one eye on the bigger picture. It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. You have to work to keep the overarching strategy top of mind.

C: What is the coolest project you’ve worked on, or what project are you most proud of?

J: Coming in, many of my clients struggled with maintaining a consistent voice across all of their marketing channels. Their website, email communication, and social posts felt really disconnected. I’m really proud of developing a strong voice for them and creating consistent, quality content that appeals to and engages their audience.

N: The coolest project that I’ve worked on here is TDR Cards Against Business – a promotional card game we created last year. It was fun to brainstorm the initial idea and see the entire TDR crew come together to make the game a reality. Winning a bunch of awards for the game was the cherry on top.

M: I think what I’m most proud of, outside of convincing Mason to let me bring my dog to work (yes, we have an office dog), was helping to coordinate and promote a huge event, just one month out, that ended up being an enormous success, raising close to $500k. This happened not long after I started, and the experience really forced me to lean on – and in the process, learn how to work with – all the members of the crew. I’ve also recently started working with a client that owns and operates a local retail store, and it’s been so cool to gain insight into the inner workings of a small business, and to really witness how important “shopping local” has become to the Madison community.

C: Awesome. Well, that’s all I’ve got – thanks guys!

Interested in joining the TDR fam as a member of the Account Executive team? Check out our
Careers page for open positions.

image of Caitlin Reiff

Caitlin Reiff

 | Content Strategist