Mukerji brings DM knowledge to Nexient

Sachi Mukerji's expertise in direct response marketing brings a critical element to the holistic mix of brand development tools being developed at Nexient, a firm that describes itself as a 'next-generation' brand architecture and consulting company....

Sachi Mukerji’s expertise in direct response marketing brings a critical element to the holistic mix of brand development tools being developed at Nexient, a firm that describes itself as a ‘next-generation’ brand architecture and consulting company.

So says Ira Teich, chairman and CEO of Toronto-based Nexient, who hired Mukerji – the former president of Grey Direct – to be the executive vice-president and chief of the firm’s brand response practice.

Teich, previously CEO and managing director of the Watt Design Group, says the goal of his new firm – which was launched in June after the acquisition of design and brand consultancy Russell Inc. – is to deliver a higher level of branding and marketing authority to clients in both the physical and virtual worlds than can be offered by traditional advertising or interactive marketing agencies.

Disparaging the abundance of ‘long-haired ponytails’ who have managed to convince innumerable businesses to commit vast resources to developing an online presence for themselves, Teich says such moves are often being made without either the client or the agency having any idea what kind of payback awaits.

That, he says, is the unfortunate product of the hype that has surrounded the growth of the Internet over the past few years.

‘What we’re saying,’ he explains, ‘is that there isn’t really a ‘new economy’, as such. There’s still only one economy, and still only one consumer, it’s just that they behave very differently, according to the channel they find themselves in.’

Thus, he says, there is great potential value for businesses of all kinds to develop a cohesive multi-channel branding strategy. And that, he says, is where Mukerji comes into the picture.

As a veteran of the international direct marketing industry, Teich says, Mukerji brings a wealth of practical knowledge about the front-line intricacies of direct response marketing, combined with a high degree of respect for the branding imperatives that ultimately dictate the outcome of any series of individual efforts.

Mukerji, whose roots in the direct marketing world are as a writer and art director, believes stepping into such an unconventional environment as Nexient is the perfect move for him, especially now that the marketing communications industry as a whole is focusing more on individual customers than ever before.

Over the past 20 years, he says, attitudes in the marketing business have evolved from a pure focus on the product to one that acknowledges the importance of the customer.

‘I think it is to the pride and joy of all direct marketers that we have suddenly been able to focus on the customer,’ he says.

Mukerji, who joined Grey Direct in 1995 as senior vice-president and managing director, had previously held senior management positions at BBDO Direct and SMW Direct, both based in Toronto. Prior to moving to Canada in 1991, Mukerji was executive director at Grey Direct and DMB&B Direct in London.