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MullenLowe brings onboard chief strategy officer to spearhead APAC duties

MullenLowe Group Asia Pacific has appointed Jonny Stark (pictured left) as chief strategy officer to spearhead a new consultative offering for enterprises across Asia Pacific.

In the newly formed role, Stark will also be responsible for leading the group’s regional strategy and driving the hyperbundling approach, in order to combine capabilities and skill sets. He will report into Vincent Digonnet (pictured right), CEO, MullenLowe Group APAC.

Stark brings with him extensive experience, spanning across business transformation, digital strategy, content creation, public relations, communications and brand building. Prior to his new role, he was a partner at business advisory firm Brunswick Group, in Hong Kong. His responsibilities included leading the firm’s digital offering across Asia. Previously he was also the senior vice president at SapientRazorfish for over six years, during which he led the region’s financial services team, supporting business transformation initiatives.

Digonnet said that over the past ten years, traditional consultancy organisations have been steadily investing in creative and delivery capabilities to unlock new revenue opportunities and deliver down the chain. However, he added that advertising groups have failed to move up the chain from creative production and delivery services to consultancy.

“For those ad networks that have tried, it too often seems to be just a remix of existing senior client servicing talent. Meanwhile, the acquisition of creative agencies requires integration into a consultancy organisation to be effective,” he explained.

According to Digonnet, the team at Mullenlowe sees an “addressable gap” between the wide-ranging strategic recommendations from traditional consultancies and the delivery from creative organisations supposed to implement them. As such, the company created a ‘Middleware’ offering, providing consultative services which can help prioritise key workstreams and address discrete challenges with solutions that aim to be easily implementable thereafter by different partners and suppliers, across technology, media, CRM, creative and analytics.

“Everyone is talking about transformation in various guises, but actually making it happen is an enterprise-wide challenge. Peter Drucker talked about marketing as a critical function, as without customers there is no business – so marketing is an important strategic focus point, but that means acquiring truly deep insights into customers, understanding how to re-align the business to become customer centric and ensuring that technology is embedded, additive and not bolted on,” Stark said.

“This is not about channels, advertising creative and messaging. This offer is about bringing together people who have experience in doing, not just saying, and blending skill sets across data science, experience design and technology that generate competitive advantage for our clients,” he added.

Mullenlowe recently brought on board Jonathan Hart, head of data science and analytics, Zélia Sakhi, head of experience and Kanika Mathur, executive vice president, client partnerships.

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