by Aaron Kurz
Take a moment to think about all the characteristics that make a stellar Account Executive. Someone who thinks big-picture? Someone who advocates for growth of the client and the agency? Someone who responds to emails quickly and thoroughly, with a natural intuition for scheduling meetings at just the right time and with just the right briefing?
Someone who looks like this guy?
Patrick Talley is, indeed, a stellar Account Executive. With only a year at o2 under his belt, he’s been an outstanding liaison between our Honda clients and o2, not to mention other clients like Louisiana-Pacific and Protective Life. You see the phrase “detail-oriented” used a lot in marketing, but Patrick brings it to life in the level of care he puts into all his client relationships.
Patrick is a Birmingham native and a graduate of the University of Montevallo, and he landed at o2 with seven years of marketing experience. He’s a crucial member of the o2 crew, and we’re proud to share this recent conversation with him.
The variety of projects that I get to work on. I can work with lots of different people at multiple companies and learn something new from each person and be able to practice various marketing skill sets with a wide range of clients. I may be on a video shoot today, working on websites tomorrow, doing photography the next day. It just gives me a lot of variety with what I can actually do, so it’s pretty cool.
I think clients need to think long term about the relationship with the agency. They should look at where the agency’s business is going. If an agency is technical or digitally focused, that’s really important as well. So you want to know if your agency is able to sustain the work. Not just if they can do it today, but what’s the track record in the past and are they moving forward? You also want to make sure that the client’s business is important to the agency. You don’t want an agency that has so many other clients that they can’t really focus on you and your business. You want the sort of agency that you can call and be able to get what you need. Even if it’s last minute or a rushed timeline, they can provide the services to you and actually be partners to your business.
Well, I’m currently getting my MBA. I’m in my third semester of the Executive MBA program at The University of Alabama, so that’s pretty much my free time these days! I just rolled off of my board position at Rotaract Club of Birmingham, where I served as Vice President of Public Relations in the last Rotary year.
I think that being connected to networking opportunities is really important. I mentioned being involved with Rotaract, a professional organization that cultivates service and leadership development. As far as the industry, it’s really good to read about different news that may affect your industry. For instance, I work a lot in automotive manufacturing, so tariffs and other industry news will affect our client’s bottom line, and being up to date with current events is important and having a strategic mindset of what may be coming down the line. I work a lot in new business as well – what industries are good to look into or what industries are growing or expanding or have an area that o2ideas can be a part of or add value to. So it’s a matter of staying connected in the community and also reading to know what’s going on in the industries that you work with or industries that are new opportunities for o2.
I’m not horribly picky with food. I like the new Mile End, which is by Railroad Park, it’s pretty cool. I like Southern Kitchen, it’s a good one, and I would probably say Surin West … but I’m very diversified when it comes to my taste in eating … and I can’t cook, so pretty much whatever someone’s cooking is probably a better option than what I can do myself.
I have a pretty diverse taste in music and will listen to everything from classical to ‘90s hip-hop. I was listening to Mob Deep actually the other day before work. I have a record player, so I usually listen to music at home. I don’t listen to music in the car or at work generally. I’m weird in that way.
Bill’s great. He’s very generous in giving his knowledge to young talent. He’s someone who’s very involved and someone who prioritizes the client. If you were to have a model of client relationships, I think Bill would be that person, someone who really exemplifies how to treat clients and how to definitely have a sense of urgency toward their problems and their concerns.