What is innovation? What does great collaboration look like? Min Chang is posing these questions to top clients of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services group to shape how those shops service marketers.
She said her interviews with senior clients at PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Unilever, Volkswagen and others revealed that "there's a real need for an integrated approach. It's moving away from the disciplines of PR, digital, branding and [becoming] more, sort of, 'Help me put together a team of really smart people who understand my challenge.'"
In January, Ms. Chang became Asia Pacific president at DAS, the umbrella organization bringing together Omnicom shops with specialties ranging from advertising to telemarketing. Based in Shanghai, she oversees 15 markets from Pakistan to New Zealand and more than 60 individual agency brands.
She's relatively new to marketing, but Ms. Chang is a career problem-solver. She was at companies as varied as American Express and Otis Elevator before joining DAS in 2007 as VP Operations. She worked with 170 Omnicom agencies globally before turning her attention to business development and client relations two years ago.
"Her unique perspective comes from working on three different continents, management consulting early in her career, leadership positions at Fortune 100 companies and, of course, her time here at DAS," president and CEO Dale Adams said. "Clients value working with her because she understands their needs."
Her personal background is eclectic. Ethnically Chinese and born in Taiwan, Ms. Chang, 47, grew up in the central African country then known as Zaire as the child of a diplomat. French is her first language, Chinese her second, English her third, though she added, "I'm probably more American than anything else."
She's challenging DAS agencies with a scorecard for metrics like revenue growth, client satisfaction and training initiatives. Other goals include diversifying revenue sources beyond the current handful of major clients, working with more local marketers in China and India, and developing capabilities in key disciplines.
"I would love to say in every single one of those 15 markets that we have full capabilities ... but that's just not the case," she said. "We need to step up and either bring better capabilities from other regions quicker or we need to look at ways to acquire them here in the region.
"There's a bit of catch-up, but on the flip side I almost see it as a good opportunity for us because there's been a lot of lessons learned in the key markets. So perhaps we can be a little more thoughtful about how we enter and deliver."