Beyond Point of Contact: Insights from Bracken’s Account Managers


At Bracken, our clients are the center of our ecosystem. We take pride in our integrated approach—prioritizing each client’s individual needs and complex journey. The life sciences sector is diverse. Bracken's values, rooted in client-centric and data-driven principles, are crafted to reflect that variability. At the center of each client relationship is an account manager: the point person, a touchpoint for both client relationship and internal Bracken team members liaise with to ensure all work gets completed to the highest possible standards and both meets and exceeds expectations.

Our version of an account manager goes beyond someone who serves as primary point of contact for clients—but someone who also builds and maintains relationships. Bracken account managers work closely with clients to understand their specific needs, challenges, and goals. They run weekly (or bi-weekly) calls, manage regular check-ins through email, communicate with internal team members and external client teams, adeptly problem-solve for any obstacles that may arise, and provide ongoing support for their clients to address current and evolving needs. The life sciences industry is always growing. Our team members adapt, too.

To learn more about the process—and Bracken’s unique and holistic client-first approach to engaging with clients, we sat down with two members of Bracken’s Marketing Services team: Ansley Coombes and Ashlyn Maurer, both Account Managers here at Bracken.

CoombesAnsley-final (1) MaurerAshlyn-final

      Ansley Coombes                                                                                                                                                                   Ashlyn Maurer

Q: Could you walk me through what a day in your life in account management looks like?

Ansley Coombes (AC): The simple answer: Being in communication with the clients. Whether that be through email or taking calls with them; my day is always communication based. The other part of a typical day is preparation: making agendas, call recaps, Asana [Bracken’s go-to project management software] status updates. There are two sides: client-facing and project management, and every day is a combination of both.

Ashlyn Maurer (AM): I open Asana first and foremost—that’s always how I start my day. It’s helpful to get a big picture overview of what I need to do for all clients that day. Secondarily, I’ll check my email to catch up on any updates or messages. I prioritize both Asana and email to ensure I get clients and colleagues what’s needed for the day. To echo Ansley’s point—it’s both client-facing and project management. Internal team meetings, especially in relation to client calls—whether that’s to prep for an upcoming meeting or to debrief after a prior meeting—also happen throughout the day. And when we have downtime, I fill that time with observation and research: looking through LinkedIn, looking at our clients’ socials, researching trends, etc..

Q: Is there a standard process for what client calls look like? And do you adapt that process and make it your own? Or does that change from client to client?

AC: The general process is the same: an introduction, then major updates, the content we’re developing, the current project, general thoughts or updates, wrap-up, and action items to prioritize before our next call. So, there is a standardized process—that’s the Bracken way! But it is different for each client because each client has individual priorities.

AM: The foundation of each call is the same, but it’s important to treat each client on an individual basis because their needs and working styles are different. Managing the “soft skills” of personability and personality are just as essential as going over a checklist. And while communication is always a priority, sometimes the weekly/bi-weekly call is the only face-to-face opportunity you’ll have to get specific questions answered, so managing that time effectively on both ends is essential to our process.

Q: With that in mind, what do you find prepares you for a client call on an individual basis? Is there a specific way that you organize your thoughts for the meeting? Or a way you prepare that gives you a running start?

AC: Having internal huddles before calls with team members on the account is a game-changer. Teamwork is put into practice every day. We [each client team] prepare an agenda and a talk track for every client call. Obviously, preparation can’t predict everything—but alignment and structure is key. Reviewing previous client calls is also something I practice: both my recap notes and the recordings themselves.

AM: On top of recaps and review, what I find productive is opening the Zoom meeting link 15 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to begin. Often, team members will jump in, and we can do a collective refresher on the prior meeting. As a remote team, having that collective “face time” together before and after speaking with our clients is essential.

Q: What has been the most valuable or interesting thing that you've learned working on the client side of things? And is that related to life science specifically, or is it largely applicable to business in general?

AM: Well, there's two elements to that, right? From an industry perspective, I certainly learn every single time I'm on a call. In every meeting with clients, we have an opportunity to interact with companies that are doing fascinating, hands-on work in biotech or healthcare. In that sense, every day is an opportunity to learn. In terms of larger knowledge—one element is confidence in owning my role. Leading calls and reinforcing the true value in marketing campaigns: branding, advertising, website lifts, outreach—it’s all part of promoting their company, product, and service. We’re interacting with CEOs and doctors (oftentimes, they’re both!) and high-ranking officials, doing vital, important jobs. Their work matters. It’s changing lives. And we want to instill confidence in Bracken’s expertise—because the work we’re doing for them matters, too—it’s connecting that work to the correct audience. So, learning how to manage that relationship with each person in every account I’m on—that’s extremely valuable to me.

AC: This is a completely different direction, but I’ve found a lot of value in the role communication plays in collaborative problem-solving. We’re lucky to have truly wonderful clients at Bracken, and we encourage that relationship to be an open dialogue. So, while visions may change throughout the creative process or over the course of a campaign, learning how to navigate those situations has been so rewarding. We want to ensure the client feels heard and want the work we put in to amount to marketable results and ROI—so it’s all important.

And to build on Ashlyn’s point: it can be challenging, sometimes, when you see so much potential for clients with the proper marketing, and they’ve been unable to take that leap yet. But that’s what I find valuable about being an account manager. At the heart of communication, back-and-forth, and calls lies the success at the end of the day when a project launches, which is such a rewarding experience, especially when seeing a client’s response to the work Bracken does. Having an opportunity to speak regularly with subject matter experts in these specific scientific fields and seeing their company or product grow—that is something special.

Q: What do you think sets Bracken apart?

AM: Outside of the range of services we’re able to offer as a company—having a full team of consultants who are industry subject matter experts and having a boutique life sciences marketing agency—as an employee, what I would identify is our team itself. Everyone, from the leadership team, to directors, to the creative team, to the consultants, to the internal members, is genuinely here to help. We advertise ourselves as an ecosystem, and we really are. It’s true teamwork. It’s a collaborative process that has been built from the ground up, and everyone is equally dedicated to continually making that work.

AC: It’s such a privilege to be a part of a team like this. The environment is wholeheartedly supportive. And I think that’s what sets us apart—especially in our work for our clients. In terms of Marketing Services, but also on projects in collaboration with our consultants. They are so wholly dedicated to the work they’re doing. You can tell—we all love being here! That’s rare. I think that makes a difference. And I hope that reflects through to our clients, because it certainly reflects to all of us.

Bracken’s marketing team believes in an integrated approach—from campaign work to our relationships with our clients. Need an expert’s eye—or hands—on your life science marketing strategies? We’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more about our scalable marketing support.


New call-to-action


Subscribe to receive more content