Meet Group Account Director, Steve Depuys!
Tell us about a typical day in the life of Steve Depuys.
I am blessed with an awesome team that is highly collaborative yet provides one another the space they need to do their job. It always seems there is a meeting of some sort on most days. These could cover anything from New Business to determining the best way forward in meeting the goals of our clients’. While meetings do take up a fair amount of time, it seems digital media and its supporting strategies are probably number two in terms of what our team focuses on most. No two days are ever the same and that’s a good thing. Believe me!
What do you do in your role at Elevation?
I like to work in a manner that serves the needs of our clients and those of our team. Realizing that each of us uniquely gifted, I try to make sure our talents are best aligned with the goals, challenges and objectives of our client.
One thing you’ll never hear from an Elevation employee is “That’s not my job.” For that reason, I, like the rest of the account services team, wear lots of hats and remain open to doing anything to help the team and ultimately, our clients. I do, however, find myself focusing on strategy more than anything. This could include developing the strategies myself, but more often than not, this entails a collaborative approach by our team which could expand to include any number of Elevation team members based on the size of the opportunity and the full scope of the solution put in place to address it.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was extremely fortunate to be hired by Doner in Detroit. This was actually my second job after college (first job was selling copiers; I was good at it, but hated it!) My first choice was always marketing however and was lucky enough to start at one of larger agencies in the country as an Assistant Account Executive. Doner is now a billion/yr. in sales, but in those days, young account people were thrown into a sink or swim scenario with little or no formalized training. I had the chance to work on lots of great regional/national accounts (Meijer, Ames, F&M, Kroger and other retailers) and learned so much in my three years there. We worked like dogs (often to accommodate the creative’s preferred working hours of 10:00 AM to around 8:00 PM- even though we had to be there at 8:30!) Here, I learned so much about production, creative theory and process, and what it took to successfully navigate the world of advertising and knowing the true meaning of account service and all that it could possibly entail. Like I said, it was tough sledding, but I made life-long friends and professional contacts while there and would never trade this experience for anything else.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Seriously? It would have to be that I have maintained the curiosity and interest in our clients’ business that I had when I first started in the business. Once you lose this (along with empathy for your client contacts) I think you’re done.
What are some things you’ve learned while working at Elevation?
That if you are not careful, the “Freshman Fifteen” can happen here too! However, it is probably how the importance of having good research up front makes for the best possible outcomes as projects mature and actually do what we expected them to do. I always knew this, but having seen this first hand, and the efforts we go to get the required inputs from quite literally across the globe in some instances, I would never recommend any undertaking without the benefit of accurate, current data.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Buy a summer home in Petoskey, MI (Michigan’s Wine Country, some of the best golf in the world nearby, and of course Lake Michigan and countless inland lakes with fantastic fishing.) Then take care of my mom. She made so many sacrifices for me and my little sister after my Dad died and I would love to pay her back somehow…my sister is on her own, though!
If you could live in a TV show, book, or movie, which one would you pick?
This is a tough one! How about “Field of Dreams?” If you are a dude, and have fond memories of your childhood, baseball and time playing catch with your dad and don’t get a bit misty at least once during this movie then you need to check your pulse.