Kiki Takakura-Merquise Joins AMP Agency as VP of Digital Transformation
AMP Agency is staffing up its business strategy offering to better serve clients navigating emerging technology and media, along with greater, complex shifts in business. To help lead the way, Kiki Takakura-Merquise is joining AMP as vice president of digital transformation.
Kiki has split her career between client and agency, and her life between Japan and the United States, bringing a depth of experience to AMP's clients. Some of the agency’s clients include Zillow, Maruchan, Eastern Bank, and Southwest Airlines.
“The addition of Kiki is an important step for AMP as we continue to build out our services to meet present and future needs of our clients,” said AMP Agency’s senior vice president and general manager, Michael Mish. "Our clients look to us to provide value beyond the marketing scope. Our agency acts not only as an extension of the client’s marketing team, but a strategic partner to future-state their businesses. Kiki will lead the process of formally building out our digital transformation consulting arm.”
At AMP, she will help client partners better connect with their customers by defining and managing the digital solutions that transform their businesses. Kiki's impact across CX and digital transformation overall is profound and has led the way for other women in data technology. A few career highlights include:
- Her vision has helped shape strategies at Alphabet/Google, Dell, Microsoft, T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) and Toshiba.
- While in San Francisco, earlier in her career, Kiki worked at Nokia in CX strategy and product management, leading a global, virtual team, uncommon at that time.
- At a global strategic design agency in San Francisco, she was instrumental in rethinking a luxury retailer's complicated customer segmentation strategy.
- During the last seven years in Japan, she worked at the giant data analytics company, Alliance Data Systems: Epsilon International, now a unit of Publicis Groupe.
Now back in the U.S., Kiki is planning a less-means-much-more approach for clients that is both consumer-centric and pragmatic.
"Frankly, what I have found is that a lot of clients will spend millions of dollars with some of the major, global consulting firms, for strategic plans that are not attainable," she said. "These clients basically have flushed a lot of money down the toilet. At AMP, there is a heavy focus on pragmatism. Our point of view is to help a company transform and get to the next stage in a way that is in tune with who they are and in a way that is authentic to them as an organization."
Another goal for Kiki's is to imbue transformative thinking across the agency. "It's already there at AMP, it is in the cultural DNA to find better ways for clients to reach consumers, and I plan to lean into that even more and level up."