MullenLowe Group Asia Pacific has today appointed Jonny Stark 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.
With the recent arrival of new skillsets to the Group - including Jonathan Hart, head of data science and analytics, Zélia Sakhi, head of experience and Kanika Mathur, executive vice president, client partnerships, a team that blends former in-house and consulting talents - the new offer is about bringing their skillsets to the fore, rather than simply repackaging pre-existing talent.
Describing the new offer as a type of ‘Middleware’ for clients to solve business problems, Vincent Digonnet, CEO, MullenLowe Group APAC said: “In 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, while in the meantime 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.
“At present, we see an addressable gap between the ambitious, wide-ranging strategic recommendations from traditional consultancies and the delivery from creative organizations supposed to implement them. This creates the need for 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. We are excited at the possibilities,” he added.
Stark brings extensive experience across a variety of disciplines to his new role at MullenLowe Group, which spans business transformation, digital strategy, content creation, public relations, comms and brand building. Most recently, Stark was a partner at business advisory firm Brunswick Group, in Hong Kong, where his responsibilities included leading the firm’s digital offering across Asia. Prior to this he was senior vice president at SapientRazorfish for over six years, during which he led the region’s financial services team, supporting business transformation initiatives.
Commenting on the new role and offering, Stark noted the need to deliver meaningful business value: “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.
“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.”
Having relocated to Singapore, Stark will report into Vincent Digonnet, CEO, MullenLowe Group APAC. The role is effective immediately.