McCann Connected, McCann Manchester’s digital centre of excellence, has strengthened its senior management team with two new appointments.

Claire Richardson-Critcher joins the team as digital business development director, bringing with her a wealth of experience. Having spent her former years in media, Claire has spent the past seven years at Creative Spark leading as a director and partner across business development and client services.

She arrives with a remit to bring an increased level of clarity and definition to McCann Connected’s proposition and to drive new opportunities within the digital space for the 140 strong team.

Claire said: “It’s a unique offering as we have the weight of the McCann powerhouse behind us, but also the agility of a boutique service agency that can offer a hypertargeted and personal approach to digital marketing strategies. My attraction to the role was absolutely driven by its reputation and for the obvious growth potential across particular sectors and disciplines.

“After the acquisition of Lakestar Media in 2012, McCann Connected has gone from strength to strength, and it’s clear they are investing back into the business to ensure they continue to do so. I’m looking forward to leading this growth from the front.”

Paul Goonoo joins the McCann Connected team as digital director, a new role that was created on the back of increasing growth. Paul started in paid search marketing in 2005 and worked his way up the ladder through independent and network agency roles. He established Search as a product suite for digital agency Rippleffect before moving to a client leadership role at digital marketing agency iProspect.

Most recently he has led agency-wide operations at Cheshire-based digital marketing agency Venn Digital.

Paul said: “The combination of great clients, particularly in retail, and the scope to further develop the Manchester offering of McCann Connected is a fantastic opportunity. The appointment of Claire and I shows that this key area of the agency is in the ascendency and it’s a great place to further my career.”

Sharon Palmer, managing partner, also commented: “It’s an extremely exciting time for this area of the business as we are experiencing rapid growth, and we were really keen to bolster our senior management team to support this. Claire and Paul are both extremely qualified to take McCann Connected to the next level, and I look forward to leading this with them.”