Deloitte global CMO Diana O’Brien talks of strategic tilt toward Asia

29 October 2019 3 min. read
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Deloitte’s global CMO Diana O’Brien has told Marketing magazine that a tilt toward Asia is embedded in the Big Four firm’s future strategy.

In an interview with Marketing magazine – a leading regional industry publication covering the advertising, marketing and media landscape of Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and beyond – Deloitte’s US-based global Chief Marketing Officer Diana O’Brien has stated that a tilt toward Asia is embedded in the Big Four professional services giant’s future strategy.

“We are deploying lots of resources, lots of investment dollars, thinking about ways in which we can bring more technology opportunity to Asia. It’s one of our most important pillars in our strategy going forward,” O’Brien told Marketing, while according to the magazine declining to put a dollar-figure on the total value of the firm’s investment into the Asia Pacific.

Previously, when Deloitte announced the merger of its Asia Pacific operations into a single entity (carried out in September of last year), the firm stated that it would invest a massive $321 million into its combined geographies over the following three years, to provide, “immense career development opportunities” in helping it "attract, develop and retain the very best talent the region has to offer.”

Deloitte global CMO Diana O’Brien talks of strategic tilt toward Asia

It is unclear however if this huge sum included a war-chest set aside for acquisitions – with the firm last week making its largest regional purchase since the merger, that of human capital firm Presence of IT, adding approximately 300 professionals across offices in Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan, and 600 in total including Australia, India, the US and New Zealand.

As reported by Marketing, O’Brien explained that Deloitte expected its Asian growth to come via aiding companies with their inbound investment strategies as well as supporting local clients to expand in the region, driven by capabilities in emergent technologies such as data analytics while optimising solutions through specialist alliances (Oracle and Splunk being among a number of recent tie-ups).

Perhaps as an insight into Deloitte’s growth strategy, O’Brien – who describes the contemporary CMO role as being the voice of the customer – states customer-centricity as the first priority. “I see a lot of strategies where the customer isn’t front and centre. An organisation may have decided to do a lot of things, but if they haven’t embedded their customer in the centre of the strategy, they won’t be successful.”

Deloitte’s tilt toward the Asia Pacific – whether as a response to recent growth or with results already reflecting the firm’s manoeuvring – appears well underway. Posting a mammoth $46.2 billion in combined global revenues for 2019, Deloitte’s Asia Pacific geography was the firm’s leading growth market (bringing in $7.1 billion in total), backing up the 13.3 percent rise in 2018 to be again up by double-digit figures.