Dentsu aims to go digital

27 October 2009

TOKYO: Dentsu, the advertising holding group, is aiming to develop its operations in order to reflect the growing shift towards digital media, and to offer an increased range of "value added" services to its clients, Tatsuyoshi Takashima, its chief executive, has said.

Dentsu currently holds a market share of some 22.4% in Japan, its home market, where its total revenues are around double those of its nearest rival, Hakuhodo.

While the marketing services conglomerate employs more than 4,500 people in over 100 offices in 28 nations across the globe, its share of worldwide adspend is less than 5% at present.

As previously reported, the owner of Mcgarrybowen is aiming to expand its international activity in order to improve this position, and to offset some of the long-term negative trends which are at work in Japan.

Takashima argued the Tokyo-based firm needs to "provide added value to our clients, and to export what we do in Japan for our clients – a unique integrated suite of services – globally."

More specifically, he said that the "greatest challenge" currently facing the company, which was founded in 1901, is adapting to the digital age.

"Because of advances in digital technology, players from different business spheres interact, share information, and engage in free and direct communication, transactions and consumption," said Takashima. 

"In such an environment, Dentsu Group must continue to bring our clients and the consumers together and provide them with unique added value."

Within Dentsu itself, this will require its staff to "learn how to deal with completely new ways of thinking" and "strengthen their digital literacy."

In terms of broader structural shifts within the industry, Takashima added the role of advertising and media agencies is also changing rapidly. 

"As our business fields expand, it is becoming increasingly important for us to provide our clients with solutions not only in the marketing communications field, but also in fields ranging from business management to strategic development," he said.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff