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McCann Worldgroup appoints its first global chief audience architect

Nathan Brown

McCann Worldgroup has appointed Nathan Brown as global chief audience architect, a new role for the company, effective May 1.

It has also elevated Michelle Tang to global chief growth officer, McCann, effective immediately.

Brown will be responsible for building an audience planning global practice that provides deep understanding of people and their behaviour across devices, content and platforms. He will connect all the disciplines across McCann Worldgroup that have audience expertise into a global community, inspiring and further mobilizing the agency around audience planning.

The approach will benefit existing and new clients by providing a deep analysis of their current and potential future audiences, catalyzing creative and growth opportunities and evolving the McCann Worldgroup product.

“Nathan knows the power of audience understanding to unlock significant growth for brands, and he will bring this fluency in audience connection to a very receptive community here at McCann Worldgroup,” said Daryl Lee, CEO of McCann Worldgroup and McCann. “In today’s world, where brands need to move in sync with their audiences, we must bring the best of the media mindset deep into the heart of the creative process. Nathan’s empathetic style, creative sensibility, and strategic ability to discern an insight from a mere data point, will make him an invaluable accelerator of our collective creativity.”

Brown’s experience spans multiple disciplines across three continents. He moves to McCann Worldgroup from sibling IPG agency Universal McCann (UM), where he served for two years as the media company’s Global Chief Strategy Officer. His successful time at UM includes working closely with the agency’s global brands, including J&J and American Express, among others. Prior to UM, Brown spent six years as U.S. CEO of Omnicom media agency PHD. He began his career in his native Australia, working for several agencies in planning, strategy and new business roles before moving to the U.S. to lead communications planning for J3, UM’s dedicated unit for J&J.

Because audience planning drives growth, Brown will also lead strategic growth for the McCann Worldgroup network globally, guiding existing and prospective clients as well as client teams to integrate audience activation more deeply into their brand storytelling and experiences.

“Finding the sweet spot between what audiences and brands want is the key to modern growth planning,” said Brown. “I’m excited to build even more of that muscle out at McCann Worldgroup to help our clients grow.”

Brown will partner with Tang in her newly elevated global role. Since joining McCann as chief growth officer, North America from Digitas in 2022, Tang has been a driving force behind McCann’s recent wins, including Smirnoff, Prudential and Post Consumer Brands. In her expanded role, she will serve as the central point of contact for the network’s global new business pitches and lead the new business function across McCann and McCann Worldgroup globally. Tang has a 15+ year track record of helping agencies grow, with experience across top holding companies and agencies including FCB, Organic, Wunderman Thompson and more.

“Michelle Tang is on fire,” Lee added. “In just one short year, she has proven herself an incredible leader in new business, amassing an impressive track record of wins in the U.S. She is an expert at bringing teams together around powerful brand platforms and helping them shape compelling growth solutions for new clients.”

Tang said: “McCann’s ability to unlock enduring brand platforms is one of our greatest strengths. It has been the secret ingredient to our wins in North America. I look forward to partnering with Nathan and our incredible teams around the world to further build on our momentum and continue to win together.”

Marcy Q. Samet, current chief growth & development officer for McCann Worldgroup, who previously served as global CMO at MRM, will move into a new role supporting IPG with high-impact growth initiatives, with a focus on enterprise-wide commerce. During her long tenure with MRM, Samet led the agency through a period of explosive growth and industry recognition and is uniquely suited for the IPG role given her deep relationships and track record across the holding company.

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