This week, in Conversations@BLS, we speak with Ananya, to learn her secrets to keeping her longstanding financial services client happy.
1. Can you tell us about yourself and what you do at BLS?
I’m an Account Director at BLS and I manage one of our key financial services client’s account, among others, having grown the account exponentially over the last 8 years.
2. Was account management at a digital agency something you saw yourself getting into?
I was always passionate about Marketing and was seeking a role that provided me with a steep learning curve to get on top of the ever evolving tech environment, which has been changing the face of marketing. When I chanced upon this role, I thought what better way than to dive into this fast paced agency life where you have no choice but to get thrown at the deep end and if you’re successful, you’ll make big waves, or should I say a big Splash! No pun intended!
3. What attracted you to take up the position at BLS?
The fact that I was going to lead a team to manage and grow the biggest financial services client’s account that BLS had at the time.
4. What has your career trajectory been?
After I graduated from SMU, I joined The Asian Banker to do Business Development and Marketing for their publication, research and conferences’ business. I worked closely with the Sales Director and then the GM and eventually the CEO directly. I loved every changing landscape and solving the challenges that came with it especially since the Marketing Manager had resigned 6 months after I joined and I had to step into her role.
Subsequently, I moved to Chandler Foundation’s Marcom team to amplify the work of artists who use the power of the arts to inspire creativity and build social harmony in developing countries. It was so refreshing to witness all the meaningful work these wonderful artists were doing to fight against social injustice and create social awareness on real issues such as child trafficking, child soldiers being exploited in war torn regions in Africa, sexual assault, acid attacks, to name a few.
When the non-profit organisation temporarily ceased operations, I chanced upon the role at BLS and the rest is history!
5. You’ve led one of our longest standing financial services client in the agency for almost 8 years now. What would you say are the most important factors that have contributed to keeping the client happy?
I’d say one of the most important things is to put ourselves in our client’s shoes. I ask myself if I’d be happy to sign off on a piece of communication/creative that I know is going out to thousands of customers that the bank has across the region. If I’m not happy with it, and I’d like to think I set the bar pretty high, I’m certain that our clients won’t be either. So I then take it back to the drawing board and brainstorm with our Creative team on how we can enhance the creative to make it work harder, before we’re ready to share it with our client. The other point I always tell my team is that we should look at ourselves as an extension of our client’s team so we’re all aligned and looking out for each other’s best interest. Our clients know we’ve got their backs and they can count on us – the trust element is extremely crucial and an important differentiator!
6. What advice do you have for those who are looking to account management in a digital agency as a career path?
In order to succeed in an account management role in a digital agency, make sure you have solid multi-tasking to the hilt abilities or at the very least, you’re ready to go the extra mile to hone those skills. Make every client feel like they’re the only client you have and they’re your main priority. 😊 The balancing act can happen behind the scenes. Take a proactive approach and be a real partner/ trusted advisor to your client. Assure them that you’re really listening so that you can identify needs that Clients may not recognize yet and ensure that the approaches and solutions you’re proposing are linked to business objectives and future needs. You’ll then be able to consistently manage and exceed Clients’ expectations, ensure delivery of the best quality work, and last but not the least, solicit as well as act on client’s feedback.