Meet the team: James

Author - Sasha Suzdaleva

Posted By Sasha Suzdaleva Marketing, Events & Community Manager

Date posted 7th May 2020

Category Blog

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1. What is your role at 93digital?

Senior Digital Account Director, which sees me heavily involved in new business and the strategic direction of client accounts.

2. What does an average day for you look like?

Good question! The definition of what the average workday looks like at the moment is somewhat up in the air. I have spent over 60% of my time since joining 93digital working from home in isolation lockdown which I would not expect to be the norm as the year progresses.

In my experience, there is not really an average day for an Account Director as the landscape can often change depending on where the accounts are in the project lifecycle. This diversity is what makes the role interesting and challenging at the same time.

3. What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Understanding the complexities and needs of a business so you can translate that into a meaningful digital solution that meets the companies/organisation objectives. I can’t say the challenge has changed that much in near on twenty years but the tech has evolved exponentially and the embracing of user-centred design methodologies have considerably improved the end solutions.

4. Any advice for those who want to do what you do?

Buy a straitjacket!

Joking aside, put yourself in a client’s shoes and think from their perspective – it changes the way you look at expectations and needs. Empathy is critical in all facets of the role and embracing it leads to better outcomes for both the agency and the client.

With account management, it is super important you stay relevant and keep upskilling, improving upon your existing knowledge base so you can provide clients with authentic, expert, strategic direction.

Authenticity and empathy are key for the role but a bit of steel also helps. Ultimately you (the agency) are the expert and are being paid to use your expertise and experience to guide the process, so you need to ensure you can also navigate the tough terrain to get to the right outcome.

5. What future design and/or technology developments in the industry are you excited about?

I am not going to be very original here but I am really excited about VR and AR, the potential is unlimited and really exciting! You could be playing football with and against real superstars, take yoga lessons using 3D modelling to perfect form and technique, shop in virtual stores, do SAS tactical training drills, hang in international virtual meetups…

An upside of the current pandemic is that it has forced people to embrace tech and upskill which could have the potential for more investment in emerging technologies.

VR could also have the potential to minimise my least favourite TV programs and resulting news hogging caricatures by making all the wannabe celebrities indulge in their own fantasies behind their headsets where they can be a star without involving me or anyone else in the painful process!

6. What are your passions/hobbies/interests?

Outside of my work interests I really like walking/running and reading but I don’t always get time to do both so often combine the walk/run with an audiobook to free up more time. My favourite time to walk/run is early in the morning (5am), hearing and watching everything come alive with hardly anybody about is my special time.

I have a keen interest in meditation and like the idea of yoga in my head but my body is not in agreement with it in practice.

Living back in London also means I can go and watch Tottenham – a strange passion/hobby/interest considering it has caused me more stress and anguish than happiness. Despite this, the passion has not wavered since the tender age of five, COYS!

7. What’s your favourite thing to read in print/online?

I have a keen interest in Human-Centred Design and indulge this interest both on and offline. I find both Medium and LinkedIn excellent resources for new authors and inspiration. I must though admit to being old school and still like holding a book and vandalising it with scribbled notes.

I am also partial to a nordic fictional crime novel, the more depraved the better…!

8. Tell us a random fact about you…

Eating raw spinach daily would no longer be considered a random fact by the team, I think it’s moved on to a weird fact instead!

A random fact Ummm… I hitchhiked solo across Canada, not sure if that is random but I did have some very random experiences along that journey with some equally random people thrown in for good measure!

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