David Blecken
May 23, 2016

Upcoming sporting events will spur digital catch-up in Japan: new McCann digital chief

TOKYO - McCann Worldgroup Japan has hired Michel Mommejat as managing director of digital, data and technology as it looks to unify digital operations across disciplines.

Michel Mommejat
Michel Mommejat

Having talked about the need for integration for years, traditional agencies continue to struggle with their stated goal of putting “digital at the centre” of their activities. Mommejat will oversee McCann’s “business transformation and digitisation”, according to a statement.

What does it actually mean? Mommejat said that in simple terms it would involve integrating digital, social media and data into the planning process. He denied that the agency’s disciplines were disjointed, but said he would help “accelerate” digital adoption to develop the most relevant solutions for clients.

That will involve helping brands connect with consumers better on the digital channels they use on a regular basis, he said. He pointed to healthcare and B2B marketing as areas with lots of room for development.

Mommejat recently had a similar role on the PR side at Fleishman Hillard as regional managing director of digital engagement. At McCann, he will concentrate on the domestic market but also be responsible for helping Japanese companies that are looking to grow internationally.

Mommejat said he saw Japan gathering speed in its use of digital platforms and predicted that events like the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be a catalyst for brands to develop more robust digital strategies to engage with people and drive digital commerce.

He described Japan as a market with “two extremes” in terms of marketing, one very traditional, the other very innovative. He said he expected companies that were lagging behind to “leapfrog” to catch up over the next two to four years. “You need a few companies to accelerate change, and others will follow,” he said.

Mommejat has relocated to Tokyo from Singapore. He spent six years living in Tokyo between 2001 and 2007 as a founding member of Tequila Japan.


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