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Beyond the Desk with Kathryn Jankowski
Media Agency
London, UK
dentsu X US director of planning on the X factor of dentsu X, media trends in 2023 and the jargon the industry needs to leave behind

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 interview, we hear from Kathryn Jankowski, director, planning, who shares insights about her career journey and experiences at dentsu X. 

In this interview, Kathryn discusses the evolution of her career since joining the company, and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way. Join us as we explore Kathryn’s insights and experiences at dentsu X.

Q> How has your career evolved since you first joined Dentsu X?

Kathryn> I've learned the benefit of thinking media-first. In school, as an advertising major, we often focused on big and flashy ideas, like Superbowl commercials. However, since joining Dentsu X, I've gained valuable experience in being nimble and efficient in the media space. It's not always about the grand gestures but the impactful strategies that make a difference for our clients' brands and their business. This shift in perspective has allowed me to form a strong bond with my team and clients, as I can now see how I directly drive their business growth, even if we're not part of Superbowl campaigns.

Q> Has anyone or have any early working experience shaped your career path?

Kathryn> A few years ago, I attended the Fast Forward workshop organized by Dentsu, in partnership with Meta. One key takeaway that stuck with me was the mantra 'run your own race.' This mindset has been transformative for me, as I surround myself with high achievers and often find myself comparing my progress with theirs. Now, I focus on my growth and learning journey rather than comparing myself to others. This has led me to embrace lateral experiences and sideways projects, which have opened up new opportunities and expanded my skillset beyond my expectations.

Q> How would you describe the X Factor of dentsu X?

Kathryn> Collaboration defines the dentsu X experience. Our team culture encourages open communication and knowledge sharing. There's a genuine willingness among colleagues to reach out, share insights, and brainstorm ideas together. It's refreshing to have a CEO like Leah, who fosters this collaborative spirit and is hands-on even with minor details. This shared approach has not only strengthened our work but also fostered a strong sense of camaraderie and unity within the agency.

Q> What media trend do you believe is impacting 2023?

Kathryn> AI is definitely the buzzword of the year. While it can initially spark anxiety about job security, I hope it will follow a path similar to programmatic. AI has the potential to enhance our abilities rather than replace us. As professionals, we can leverage AI to work smarter and be more creative in reaching our target audiences effectively. With AI's capabilities, we can analyse data, understand consumer behaviour, and make data-driven decisions, ultimately leading to better campaign outcomes. I recently used AI to update my headshot. It was a cost-effective and time-saving solution that produced a legitimate photograph. AI has made it easier for professionals like me to access resources that enhance our personal and work-related needs.

Q> Are there any buzzwords or industry jargon you would prefer to leave behind?

Kathryn> I’m not a fan of the phrase 'take it offline.' In this highly connected world, we're never truly offline, even during weekends. My clients appreciate our efforts to eliminate media jargon and communicate directly and clearly. It enhances our understanding of their needs and helps us streamline our work to achieve meaningful results.

We are a team of Thinkers, Makers and Doers – committed to defying convention and creating unparalleled experiences for brands. Interested in learning more? Check out the denstu X LinkedIn page here.

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