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Beyond the Desk Featuring James Chung, dentsu X Global


Director, strategy and insights, reveals the skill that wasn't taught in school that he uses every day in his job

Beyond the Desk Featuring James Chung, dentsu X Global

We’re back with another ‘Beyond the Desk by dentsu X’ feature, diving into the people, passions, and talents that make the agency so special.

In this Q&A interview, James Chung, strategy and insights director at dentsu X, reveals the skill that wasn't taught in school that he uses every day in his job - the ability to uncover the story behind numbers. He also discusses his proudest accomplishment, leading the development of motivations on CCS, which enables dentsu X to provide clients with insights into their audiences' motivations and guide their creative, media, and branding strategies. 

Q> What is one skill they do not teach you in school that you use every day in your job?

James> Out of all the lessons I've learned, the one that resonates with me the most is that numbers have a story to tell. In school, we're taught to use the left brain for some subjects and the right brain for others. I chose social studies because I didn't enjoy math and working with numbers. However, as I've progressed in my career, I've come to realize that analyzing and understanding numbers is crucial to comprehending consumer behavior and building effective strategies. I spend hours sifting through thousands of numbers every day to gain insight into what consumers are thinking, feeling, and doing. If only someone had told me earlier that numbers could tell a captivating story, I would have appreciated the value of math beyond its calculations.

Q> Tell us about an accomplishment you're most proud of during your time at Dentsu X.

James> One of my proudest accomplishments is leading the development of motivations on CCS in 2022. Essentially, we created 25 new motivational statements within CCS that reflect the inner drivers that influence people's behavior. For instance, if two people purchase the same MacBook Pro from Apple, their behavior may appear identical online, but their motivations behind the purchase could be vastly different. One person may have bought it on the day of its release because they value having the latest and greatest technology, while another may have conducted thorough research before purchasing to avoid potential failures and ensure they're investing in a proven product. With CCS motivations, we can provide our clients with insights into their audiences' motivations and use this information to guide their creative, media, and branding strategies. This approach goes beyond traditional personas as it predicts consumer behavior and desires based on their motivations. This is unique to dentsu X as we are the only partner capable of providing this level of analysis. I find it fascinating how motivations shape consumer behavior and how we can leverage this understanding to help our clients achieve their marketing goals.

Q> What was your first job? What was the most important skill that you learned?

James> My first job was at a promotion agency back in 2013, and I had no prior knowledge of the advertising industry. I was unaware of the existence of media agencies and only thought that everyone worked at a creative agency. This lack of understanding led me to take on different roles within the industry, including an internal communications job and another position at Dentsu, before discovering what I was truly passionate about and excelled at. Through these experiences, I learned that it's just as important to recognize jobs or roles that are not suited to you as it is to find the right fit. It's okay to try out new jobs and even be promoted to a position that may not meet your expectations or align with your interests. However, it's essential to conduct your due diligence, gain enough experience, and determine whether a job is the right fit for you. Don't be afraid to explore different roles until you find the one that suits you best.


Q> Dentsu X is powered by ___?

James> I know it's cliché, but I believe the X factor of dentsu X is people. The experience we provide is powered by the people in our organization who have a strong desire to help one another and our clients. During my time at dentsu X, I've never encountered anyone who was too busy or unwilling to help. Everyone is always willing to share their time and expertise, with the focus of bettering one another and delivering value to our clients. This culture of collaboration and continuous improvement is what sets us apart and drives our success.

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dentsu X, Mon, 27 Mar 2023 14:28:35 GMT