NEW YORK: Marina Maher Communications has brought on Joydeep Dey as its first chief strategy officer.
Dey has joined MMC from J. Walter Thompson. He is tasked with bringing together the digital, creative, and business sides of the agency to work on behalf of clients. He is also overseeing MMC’s data and analytics, strategic planning, and communications planning teams.
"The combination of access to these blue-chip clients, the data and the digital innovation and the rigor we have from an analytics perspective, and the creativity, my job is to piece all of those together to add a more rigorous strategy approach," Dey said.
Previously, Dey spent about three years at J. Walter Thompson in various strategy roles. Prior to that, he worked in strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi, Google, and Digitas. He started at MMC in March and reports to CEO Marina Maher.
Dey’s appointment and the creation of the strategy chief position comes after the agency put new leaders at the head of digital and creative, two areas Dey is tasked with bringing together. At the end of last year, MMC hired Ted Sabarese as executive creative director and promoted David Richeson to chief of digital innovation and influence.
Richeson is focusing on trends in digital and influence, including the ways brands can influence the perceptions and buying habits of consumers and helping the agency embrace new technologies like chatbots and AI. Richeson has worked at the agency for three years and was previously MD of digital.
"In the last several years, everything has changed, but traditional agencies tend to do things the same way," Richeson said. "We consider ourselves an influence agency, so we’re no longer just a PR agency. We have our roots in earned, which is still the most important thing, but it’s a part of a larger conversation versus just one lever that we can pull."
Sabarese has a similar goal for creative. He started at MMC in October after working at Porter Novelli and Chobani. Sabarese is heading up the creative function and is focused on building out its team and taking creative approaches to clients.
"[The goal is] Taking brands that traditionally haven't done this kind of creative work and pushing them to do fun, engaging, highly shareable content people want to see with an experiential side," he said.
Maher said the agency is evolving to keep up with the changing industry, and part of that is bringing on the right people to expand the "creative, strategy, analytics, influence, and digital" business.
"I want to use our model, the tools, the proprietary things we’re building and evolve the industry," Dey said. "People have a perception of PR that is maybe right in their minds, but the world is changing and we want to be at the forefront of that and lead that change."