Do you want to land a job in comms but are unsure where to start? Whether you’re a fresh graduate or looking to make a career move, we understand how daunting it can be to start out. There’s no better place to get advice from an insider.
Today we’re getting the skinny from on all things Accounts, or Client Services. We sat down with Diah Andrini Dewi, Account Director, Indonesia, and Suwanya Tungpanya, VP of Client Journey, to talk about their day-to-day lives at work, career progressions, and why they both love working in communications.
Can you describe what the Accounts team does?
Diah: Think of the Accounts Team as the go-between agency and client. We develop communication plan based on the client briefs, organize, manage campaign activities and ensure the quality of the output, while at the same time we are assisting clients by providing them with strategic counsel that can support them in achieving their objectives. Account teams include Account Executives, Senior Account Executives, and Account Managers, all the way up to an Executive Account Director – so if this is your chosen career, there’s a clear progression!
To give a little more detail, we’re the team in charge of managing timelines, understanding and responding to client’s needs, and we look after this process’s financial and reporting aspects.
Dew: An Account Service team is also called a Client Service team in many agencies. We are basically project managers who look client project works from the beginning to end. From project briefing to project completion. One of our most significant responsibilities is to manage budget and income for the business. With that, the Accounts team is the team that works with all stakeholders of the project, and overseeing the whole campaign to make sure we deliver top standard quality of work within an appropriate margin.
Where did you work before you joined Vero?
Diah: My degree was in PR, but I took another direction when I entered the workforce. I worked in HR and financial services before joining Vero in 2020 as Account Manager. Through this experience I have learned many lessons that can support my current role as a leader and PR professional.
Dew: Before I joined Vero, I worked in a PR and event agency in an account management role. I also worked in marketing and communication roles in brand and corporate fields, and managed a global business, which meant I used to be the client! I started at Vero in late 2020 with an Account Director role, then got promoted to Group Account Director, and recently became VP of Client Journey.
Tell me a little about your role now.
Diah: I’m an Executive Account Director based in Indonesia, which means I oversee the Account Team’s work and coordinate with them daily. Besides this, I also communicate with clients, support new business leads through brainstorming activities and proposal development, coordinate with third parties for project purposes and oversee financial processes.
We work across various verticals at Vero, so I’m constantly learning about different industries and audiences.
Dew: I’m VP of Client Journey, a team leader of 2 Account service teams at Vero. My day is mainly made up of emails, and lots of creative or administrative meetings with my team or with clients, suppliers and candidates. I also do a lot of research work or documentation work like putting together decks or evaluating and updating our budget.
What sort of skills do you need to be good in this role?
Diah: Accounts are actually a great place to develop a vast array of skills! One of the most essential skills that needs to be honed is mastering the art of presentation. Account teams pitch a lot! If you’re confident to stand up in front of a room, purposefully pitch an idea, and convince clients of its success, that’s a big win.
At Vero, we’re also specifically looking for creative types, those who enjoy innovatively solving problems and coming up with unique ideas.
Other skills include strategic thinking to meet client objectives and leadership skills; at Vero, we have an all-leaders mentality, which means everyone has the chance to step and take on responsibility. It’s also good to be able to multi-task and manage your time well, as you’ll often work on several accounts simultaneously.
Dew: Apart from the hard skills, the top skills that will help you in this role are project management, communications, customer service and interpersonal skills.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Diah: The thing that I love the most about my work is account management. I love to consult and support clients to help them achieve their goals and objectives.
I also love meeting different people from different backgrounds. Working in an agency requires us to explore new things every day. Our clients come from various markets and industries, which means we can learn about subcultures and societal changes through consumer behavior.
One of the most exciting aspects of my work is when a project has a direct positive impact on society. For example, we recently assisted with expanding the Truecaller app in Indonesia. This app helps to identify scammers and block their calls. According to consumer research done by Truecaller in a global spam report, Indonesia is the sixth-most spammed country worldwide.
Dew: In my role as a leader, I really love to see people grow and be successful on their career path, especially those who have a good mindset and attitude. I love that being good at work can help individuals to have a better life in general. It’s wonderful to support these people and see them propel forward.
What is the campaign you are most proud of?
Diah: The #SaveRalph campaign. We worked with the Humane Society International to help amplify and localize a story highlighting the cruelty of testing on animals in nine SEA countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei.
#SaveRalph follows the story of a rabbit named Ralph, whose job is to have human cosmetics tested on him in a laboratory. His sad story is told through a stop-motion animation short, which highlights the cruelty of testing on animals and positions Ralph’s suffering as representing thousands of animals.
We helped kick off the campaign by publishing the main ‘Save Ralph’ video on social media, followed by local and regional media pitches and KOL amplifications.
Dew: The TikTok Save Small Business campaign because the campaign was a great example of a big company supporting local communities in time of hardship. It was a challenging campaign though, as we only had one month to prepare the proposal, implement the production work and connect with all stakeholders to make it happen. This campaign brought Vero a Gold Award and was a great case study for both campaign performance and internal teamwork.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their career in the account team?
Diah: Be confident in following your passion. Keep learning and play to your strengths.
Our industry is constantly changing, so we need to motivate ourselves to keep learning with a positive heart and mentality to overcome the challenges that might come along the way.
Having a can-do team spirit will go a very long way. Even if you’re unsure how to do something, you should try anyway! At Vero, you’ll be fully supported by teammates who will help you along the way.
Developing a new skill or achieving a goal is a great way to boost mental wellness! And wellness is something we prioritize at Vero. We want to make sure that you’re hitting your targets and developing, which is why we regularly put on regular training sessions in soft and hard skills. This can help boost our sense of self and worth and move us forward in our careers. As well as offering extra training sessions, Vero understands how important it is to take a break, so we developed our unlimited leave policy alongside other wellness initiatives.
Dew: Some people say account services team members are like a duck that can both fly and swim, individually not amazing at either, but all together a great duck! This skill can be added value in your career path and help you to adapt to anything in life.
Could you sum up your work in three words?
- Multi-tasking, means I can utilize my time to accomplish a different task at the same time and ensure everything is on track.
- Exciting – meeting new people and getting involved in various projects
- Life-long learning – always learning about new trends, behaviors, and industries, as well as learning about people and how to understand them better.
Dew: I think:
Being in an Account Service or Client Service team is delicate balance of delivering excellent work for clients and being a great team leader who can help to boost company profit margins.
Thank you so much for sitting down with us today, and sharing your inspiring and valuable insights, Diah and Dew.
If you’re interested in joining Vero in Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam or the Philippines, head to our career page to see what roles are open.