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The Art of Account Management: How Curiosity Bursts into Life with Jessica Kositthanakorn


GREYnJ United's group account director on maximising ideas, throwing ideas out as much as possible and finding your calling

The Art of Account Management: How Curiosity Bursts into Life with Jessica Kositthanakorn

Jessica Kositthanakorn is group account director for GREYnJ United, Bangkok. Jessica is currently responsible for and working with regional clients such as P&G, Sanofi and Lazada, to name a few.

LBB> How did you first get involved in account management, and what appealed to you about it?

Jessica> By coincidence, right after I graduated with a BBA in strategic marketing, I met a business development director, and he introduced me to one particular advertising agency. I had several interviews with my supervisor and management team. We discussed the roles and challenges, which I found made sense. I felt confident that it was my calling and a career path for me.

LBB> What is it about your personality, skills and experience that has made account management such a great fit?

Jessica> It would be my curiosity and flexibility. In my opinion, we all have different thoughts with unique approaches, which I value. All the ideas and creative nuances involved can make each campaign more appealing. Once you're into it, your curiosity bursts into life. You want to hear and dig deeper to find out more, understand your teammates' rationale, and then guide the direction we are heading towards - maximising each teammate's potential ideas.

LBB> What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting their career in account management?

Jessica> Be courageous and ask more questions. I find the younger generation tends to speak out in other environments, but surprisingly, not in the workplace. I noticed that it could be fear of being judged by seniors. So, I always encourage them and tell them there is nothing wrong with asking many questions. Throw ideas out as much as possible -nothing can go wrong when you are a junior! In other words, if you are new, you are bound to make mistakes; if you do, you can learn from them, which is how you grow. Once you're a senior, you've already learned a lot from your mistakes, and hopefully, you make less of them!

LBB> Thinking back to some of your most challenging experiences you've had in your career, what do you think tends to lie at the heart of the more tense or difficult client-agency relationships?

Jessica> Gaining client trust and seeing us as their partner. If we can become real business partners, it would be like an authentic friend with reciprocal communication. It would not be just taking client notes but also listening to our inputs. For example, discussing the best solutions, seeking alternative approaches that save resources, or brainstorming for the best ideas within a tight deadline.

LBB> And what are the keys to building a productive and healthy relationship?

Jessica> There are many ways to do it, but for me, it would be transparent, enjoyable, and systematically organised as we are the operational process designers for each campaign.

LBB> What's your view on disagreement and emotion - is there a place for it and if not, why not? If so, why - and what does productive disagreement look like?

Jessica> Disagreements and emotions are unavoidable and exist in every workplace. But, if we are already being systematic and rational in justifying and clarifying our actions for better work, I strongly believe it can be very productive and lead to remarkable results beyond our expectations. 

LBB> Historically, account management has been characterised as the mediator in an adversarial client and creative relationship - what do you make of that characterisation, is there any nugget of truth in that or is it wildly inaccurate? 

Jessica> Nowadays, I feel the statement and characterisation are inaccurate because it depends on how you perceive yourself and present things to the world. Account management can be at many levels, as a service provider, a business partner, or even an honest companion.

LBB> These days, agencies do so much beyond traditional campaigns and as account management you're pulling together creative, experience, data, e-commerce, social and more - and that complexity can often be mirrored on the client stakeholder side too? What's the key to navigating (and helping the client navigate) that complexity?

Jessica> It is all about working as a team with different experts. Each campaign has a working timeline that sets a clear milestone for the agency and client to share ideas and work in the same direction. This helps us guide the client throughout the journey, complete all the tasks, and reassure them.

LBB> What recent projects are you proudest of and why? What was challenging about these projects from an account management perspective, and how did you address those challenges? What was so satisfying about working on these projects?

Jessica> We launched a freeware app called 'LINE' for a multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare company. The challenges are the technical setup, understanding the cybersecurity system, recruiting tactics and the communications approach needed with paediatricians and doctors through various means such as medical representatives, seminars, and the LINE platform itself. 

As part of account management, I had to come out of my comfort zone and understand, although broadly, seasonal diseases, doctors' practice routines, and media consumption. We needed to set up interviews, workshops and work closely with partners. The start was quite challenging and tough. But eventually, my team and I got back more than we expected; a deeper understanding of the medical industry, an expansion of our professional network of application developers and a better understanding of working with people from different industries.

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Grey Thailand, Mon, 27 Mar 2023 11:30:00 GMT