Interview: Megumi Okazaki
Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
What word or phrase do you overuse at work
Sorry to interrupt.
Recommended industry reading
The Art of Client Service: 58 Things Every Advertising & Marketing Professional Should Know, by Robert Solomon
Favorite Hangout in Tokyo/Japan
I love eating, visiting music/art sites, and exploring new places (especially cozy cafes) in Tokyo!
Can you tell us something about your background?
I’m from Sendai Prefecture. I studied Liberal Arts and North American Studies at Akita International University (AIU), a liberal arts school where I spent three years.
I was also an exchange student for one year at the Washington & Jefferson College near Pittsburg. During that time, I took a one-month study trip to Senegal and Gambia.
When I returned to Japan, I completed a two-year Masters degree in Global Communications at AIU. During that time, I did summer internships for two years in Toronto.
Can you tell us more about your work in Custom Media?
I came to CM as an intern in March 2012, and that lasted for three months.
Following that, I became a marketing assistant. I’m now marketing manager.
My main role is to manage projects. I am a project coordinator, working with clients and our creative team, which includes editors and designers.
This means I oversee the project from kick off to delivery, and communicate with all sides to keep it on track. I make sure all the processes and procedures are followed correctly.
I also coordinate projects that require outsourcing, such as events where we need to work with photographers, catering companies, model agencies and so on.
The other side of my job is working with the business development team: from invoicing to finding new business opportunities to managing client services. And, as we are looking to expand, my job involves recruiting, training, and coordinating new staff in the team.
What are some of the key considerations for companies when proposing a project?
In order for us to provide services that exceed our clients’ expectations, we need to fully understand the scope of work required as well as the nature of, and trends in, clients’ respective industries.
This process requires cooperation—and patience—on the clients’ side as we ask them to identify the purpose and goal of their projects. It is key for us to know their specific needs, target audiences, and key messages.
For many projects, our project management and creative teams join brainstorming sessions to help identify those key areas and build the best strategy.
It is also important to ensure that clients have enough time and resources to carry out a project. Delivering a project requires a lot of commitments from clients, too.
What are you looking forward to in terms of new projects in 2016?
We used to work project-by-project. Now, we provide a comprehensive media package for clients: we not only provide public relations materials, but also create video packages and hold events. We do much more than ever before.
I’m looking forward to learning more about industry trends: from the latest trends in digital marketing and social media to how we can meet ever-changing client needs.
And now that I’m in my fourth year at CM, I look forward not just to further learning, but to thinking ahead and creating more value for clients based on my solid experience.