What do I mean?
The people with titles like Account Executive, Account Manager, Account Director etc who co-ordinate, liaise and manage the various agency resources and relationships to deliver the advertisers outcomes, be that in traditional advertising agencies, digital agencies, media agencies, public relations firms or any one of the many diversified marketing services companies.
So what is the difference?
Well with one you are wanting / delivering service and the other requiring / providing management.
Well dictionary.com defines:
1. the act or manner of managing; handling, direction, or control.
2. skill in managing; executive ability: great management and tact.
3. the person or persons controlling and directing the affairs of a business, institution, etc.: The store is under new management.
4. executives collectively, considered as a class ( distinguished from labor).
1. an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service.
2. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.
3. the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.: The manufacturer guarantees service and parts.
4. the organized system of apparatus, appliances, employees, etc., for supplying some accommodation required by the public: a television repair service.
5. the supplying or a supplier of public communication and transportation: telephone service; bus service.
6. the performance of duties or the duties performed as or by a waiter or servant; occupation or employment as a waiter or servant.
7. employment in any duties or work for a person, organization, government, etc.
8. a department of public employment, an administrative division of a government, or the body of public servants in it: the diplomatic service.
9. the duty or work of public servants.
10. the serving of a sovereign, state, or government in some official capacity.
a. the armed forces: in the service.
b. a branch of the armed forces, as the army or navy: Which service were you in during the war?
12. Ordnance . the actions required in loading and firing a cannon: service of the piece.
13. Often, services. the performance of any duties or work for another; helpful or professional activity: medical services.
14. something made or done by a commercial organization for the public benefit and without regard to direct profit: Certain books are published at a loss as a public service.
15. Also called divine service. public religious worship according to prescribed form and order.
16. a ritual or form prescribed for public worship or for some particular occasion: the marriage service.
17. the serving of god by obedience, piety, etc.: voluntary service.
18. a musical setting of the sung portions of a liturgy.
19. a set of dishes, utensils, etc., for general table use or for particular use: a tea service; service for eight.
20. answering service.
21. Law . the serving of a process or writ upon a person.
22. Nautical . tarred spun yarn or other small stuff for covering the exterior of a rope.
23. (in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.)
a. the act or manner of putting the ball or shuttlecock into play; serve.
b. the ball or shuttlecock as put into play.
24. the mating of a female animal with the male.
As an advertiser do you want and agency that provides “an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service” or provides “the act or manner of managing; handling, direction, or control?”?
I know some advertisers that pay their agencies like it is “something made or done by a commercial organization for the public benefit and without regard to direct profit” and a couple that want the agency to perform a “public religious worship according to prescribed form and order” in their presence.
But likewise, agencies who call their Account Management teams Account Service probably want them to work like they are “serving of god by obedience, piety, etc” or perhaps working at the agency is like being in the “military, the armed forces: in the service”?
Words and titles make a difference.
The question is in defining the roles of the Account team in your agency or on your business what do you want:
Service: where the team gives you what ever you ask for?
Management: Where the team manages the process and resources to deliver the outcomes you desire?
It could all start with what you call them.