The Difference Between Account Managers & Project Managers

Walter is an established and highly experienced Project Management Expert with broad experience in establishing and standardizing global project management practices for multiple streams of projects. A PMP and ScrumMaster Certified Professional, Walter helps establish governance process to strategic and tactical IT and digital projects for all enterprises, and guiding all aspects of PMO initiatives and implementations.

Topics: Marketing and Sales, Stakeholder Management

It’s not uncommon that organizations with a wide spectrum of service offerings and functional roles have blurred lines between the distinction of account and project management. The reality is that the two roles are quite different. They require different skill sets and different focuses—and there is even a natural tension between the two functions in providing good service to clients. 

Marketing organizations are opening their eyes to the tangible benefits that a PM discipline can provide if positioned correctly within the organization. We have seen organizations in other industries leveraging the benefits of PMs for decades. Marketing organizations are also in the business of selling their time in addition to selling their creativity and compelling content. Profits and stability are going by the wayside and being replaced by negative impacts to culture due to the mismanagement of time. The solution is not always to hire some PMs and buy some PM software. Integrating this kind of discipline into an organization has been tough, namely because:

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"Impartial observers from other planets would consider ours an utterly bizarre enclave if it were populated by birds, defined as flying animals, that nevertheless rarely or never actually flew. They would also be perplexed if they encountered in our seas, lakes, rivers and ponds, creatures defined as swimmers that never did any swimming. But they would be even more surprised to encounter a species defined as a thinking animal if, in fact, the creature very rarely indulged in actual thinking."

- Steve Allen