In their own Words - Bryce McKenzie, Account Director
Meet William Joseph’s Calgary Account Director, Bryce McKenzie. As WJ’s resident farm boy, Bryce is no stranger to hard work, and is always ready to roll up his sleeves to get his hands dirty when needed. When this cool-as-a-cucumber guy isn’t working hard to complete the most difficult of marketing challenges for his clients, Bryce enjoys playing hockey or having a cold one with the boys. Read on to find out more about our quick-witted Account Director, including why he thinks WJ does it best, and why he’s known as “Captain Pun”.
1) How did you end up in your current role?
I was working at WJ for about 2 years, and then was promoted to Account Director last year.
2) What is your favorite part about your job?
Getting to work with a fun group of people on the WJ side, and then working with all different kinds of clients and learning about their businesses on the client side.
3) You have worked on both the client and agency sides of the coin. What would you say is the overarching difference between the two?
When I worked on the client side, I would go to bed at night thinking about one marketing plan. At an agency, you go to bed thinking and worrying about 20 different plans.
4) And on the flip side, what do both sides have in common?
Both have a team aspect. Whether you are working on the client side or the agency side, both sides are working together to achieve the same goal.
5) What is the one challenge you have found yourself facing time and time again managing your accounts, and how do solve the issue?
Budget is always going to be the biggest challenge. It’s always hard trying to match the client’s goals and expectations with their budget. It’s difficult though because I think a lot of the time, people don’t know or realize what things cost, not just in terms of the agency costs, but in terms of buying ad space and things like that. I think the best way to avoid problems is to just be transparent, in general. Try to give as much education to the client as possible about all the costs that will be associated throughout the entire project, from start to finish.
6) What do you think is different about the WJ account managing process as opposed to other agencies?
I think other agencies have separate people doing individual things that we as account managers at WJ do all ourselves. This is beneficial because this way, nothing gets lost in communication, we always know exactly what is going on, where projects are at and all that. We have all the information at all times, so there are less hold-ups and less confusion.
7) Which part of the WJ process do you believe provides the most value?
No matter what the project is, how big or small, we always take the time to get to know everything we can about that company or business. For example, if we get a contract in to do a brochure, our goal isn’t just to make that brochure look cool or pretty or whatever, without doing research. We take the time to look into the business, figure out their values, goals and finish with a product that not lonely looks great, but is also of substance.
8) When you consider the WJ brand identity, which aspect do you relate to the most personally?
Hmm.. probably collaboration. I’ve always liked working on a team, and worked better with a team. With a group, you are able to get different ideas from different minds, that you might not have thought of if you were just working on your own. I’m also able to learn from clients, figuring out what their pain points are, and then apply that down the road for different projects. Collaboration can be a really good learning technique in a lot of ways.
9) Describe your most prolific attribute in terms of your job.
My temperament. No matter what happens, crisis or not, I try to just stay calm and cool no matter what, and just try and find a solution to the problem.
10) What values do you find most important in running a business?
Honesty and integrity, just because I think when it comes to business, people are attracted to people who share the same values as they do. If you start to run your business doing shady things, you will attract shady people. You want to put out what you are looking to bring in.
11) If you had to guess what word your co-workers would use to describe you, what would it be?
Oh man, I don’t know. In-control?
Interviewers note: When asking around the office, the following descriptions of Bryce were expressed by his colleagues: Reliable, professional, “snickers” (a reference to Bryce’s trademark laugh), flexible, committed, “Captain Pun” (due to his constant wisecracks), laconic, funny but monotone.
12) Everyone at the WJ office is well aware by now that you are able to quote even the most obscure movie lines. What movie do you think best describes the culture at WJ?
Something with a lot of personalities, with a lot of strong characters all in one place. Because we have such an assortment of people, the off-the-wall creative people, the web people who speak their own language, then strategy and accounts who speak a whole other language and come from a more business background…. Maybe X-Men?
Connect with Bryce on LinkedIn.