MRM brings on Ogilvy’s Ed Kim to head up commerce division

Ed Kim, EVP of total commerce experiences, MRM
Ed Kim, EVP of total commerce experiences, MRM

The agency’s commerce practice grew more than 20% year over year in 2020.

MRM said Thursday it has tapped Ogilvy vet Ed Kim to lead its commerce division. 

Kim will join the agency as EVP of total commerce experiences and commerce practice lead, heading up all of the agency’s existing commerce offerings globally. 

He previously was at Ogilvy where he established and led the agency’s commerce practice, and prior to that spent four years at Publicis Sapient. 

Over the past year commerce has been a growth area for MRM, which has its roots in CRM and creative. MRM’s commerce practice grew more than 20% year over year in 2020 as businesses shifted online and needed help navigating an explosion of commerce touchpoints.

MRM’s “total commerce experience” philosophy views commerce as a brand experience as opposed to a one-time transaction, said MRM global chairwoman and CEO Kate MacNevin. 

“We are focusing on human behavior and emotional connections,” she said. “Commerce today is an opportunity to build a brand. It’s much more holistic.”

That involves creating a “bricks-to-clicks” solution for clients that meets their consumers wherever they’re shopping with a consistent brand experience. 

“It includes retail marketplaces, social, direct-to-consumer, gaming,” MacNevin said. “It’s how you orchestrate all of those touchpoints to ensure consumers have a total experience with a brand through commerce, not just a transaction.”

Kim, who will work closely with MRM global chief technology officer Jayna Kothary in his new role, has worked with clients including Unilever, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Philips and Roche.

“I am beyond thrilled to be joining an amazing leadership team recognized across the industry at MRM and McCann Worldgroup,” Kim said in a statement. “We have a shared focus to help businesses build amazing and lasting relationships with their customers. It’s core to the success of any brand’s commerce growth. Being at the forefront of that is an exciting place to be.”

Kim is the latest executive to leave Oglivy, which has had turnover at the top under new global CEO Andy Main

While Ogilvy has brought on new global leadership including North America CEO and global advertising chair Devika Bulchandani, global chief creative officer Liz Taylor and Global PR CEO Julianna Richter, it’s lost longtime executives including strategy chief Ben Richards, NY president Lauren Crampsie, Ogilvy Health global CEO Kate Cronin and Ogilvy U.K. CEO Michael Frohlich.

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