Product / ServiceCONCUR EXPENSE
CategoryB10. Sponsorship & Partnerships


Name Company Position
Masamune Mimura Concur Japan, Ltd. President & CEO
Taku Kakino Concur Japan, Ltd. Marketing Director
Hiroaki Funakoshi Concur Japan, Ltd. Director, Strategic Initiatives
Takashi Inoue Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Chairman & CEO
Takanori Suzuki Inoue Public Relations, Inc. President & COO
Reona Onoue Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Operating Officer, Client Relations
Kazuaki Yokota Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Director, Strategic Planning Group
Stuart Baker Inoue Public Relations, Inc. SVP, Client Services
Fukutaro Senoo Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Account Executive
Kenta Ogasawara Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Assistant Account Executive
Jeanett Thomsen Inoue Public Relations, Inc. International Account Coordinator
Nanami Shimura Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Ass't Account Executive
Hiromi Taga Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Ass't Account Executive
Toshiaki Matsumura Inoue Public Relations, Inc. Designer
Chika Ando Concur Japan, Ltd. PR Manager

The Campaign

Deregulation campaigns in Japan can normally take 5~10 years, but Concur quickly established the need for immediate action and a relaxation of existing laws through interviews with leading companies and industry associations across Japan, and a joint survey project conducted with the Japan Association of Chief Financial Officers (JACFO). We realized that the quickest way to move the government would be to build a broad coalition of companies, associations, political parties, competitors, and other stakeholders who could benefit from deregulation. We reached out to the Japan Image and Information Management Association (JIIMA) for example, who were concerned that deregulation would negatively impact demand for paper stocks used in receipts. We worked with them to understand their concerns, pitching the mutual benefits of cloud-based expense management solutions and, by building partnerships with competitors, focused attention on the wider economic and work style benefits of deregulation, not the potential rewards for Concur.


•Created a comprehensive information kit, shared with all stakeholders; Associations, Economic Groups, Competitors, Government Officials, and Media. •Interviewed and collected case studies from companies interested in deregulation, including household names such as Nomura, LIXIL and Credit Saison. •Partnered with the Japan CFO Association (JACFO), and worked together to launch a country wide survey of CFO’s. •Built relationships with companies, associations, competitors and media through information sharing, press events, speaking opportunities and face to face meetings; unifying these diverse stakeholders to collaborate and lobby the government for deregulation. •Organized speaking opportunities for Concur Japan’s CEO, at the Japan Image and Information Management Associations (JIIMA) new year business party for example; and interviews for partners including the Chairs of JIMA and JACFO. •Regularly briefed government officials, MOF, National Tax Agency, METI and met with the Deputy Chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, a key figure on the Tax Research Panel.

•December 2015: The administration in effect authorizes deregulation with the announcement of its Outline of Tax Reform Proposals, which includes granting mobile snapshots of receipts the same validity as originals. In September 2016, revision of the eDocumentation Law brings about deregulation. •Exposure in print and broadcast media more than quintupled compared to before the launch of our program pitching deregulation •The market and customers both welcome deregulation, with Concur Japan receiving 2.5 times more inquiries from interested prospects. This leads Concur Japan’s 2016 sales to grow by 150% YoY •Competitors also released products taking advantages of the loosened rules, sparking new activity and growing the whole segment. According to ITR, by 2019 the market will be 48.5% bigger than it was in 2015. •The work of Concur Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of a foreign company (with only 80 employees) to effect deregulation became itself the focus of intense media interest, resulting in publication of the story in a book on PR professionals. •The program, by associating deregulation and better expense management processes, also fostered a new awareness that expense management should be a strategic management priority. •The cloud-based expense management solutions market is forecast to grow 80-fold by 2025. Concur’s share is estimated at more than 55% by 2020. •Within government, these changes are considered one of the best recent examples of successful deregulation, supporting its growth strategies; and as such, it is having a positive effect on other policy and deregulatory efforts.

The Situation

“Karoshi”, literally “death from overwork”, is a serious social problem in Japan; not helped by rigid government regulations that required companies to keep copies of paper receipts for 7 years. Concur Japan launched a deregulation campaign to relax these laws, and quickly achieved its goal through a concerted public relations program based on association, customer, media, and competitor relations; with special collaboration between the Japanese Government, economic groups, and Concur. Japanese companies can now save $9 billion in annual storage costs; increasing competitiveness and individual productivity by enabling mobile app users to manage their receipts anywhere, at any time.

The Strategy

To build the broadest possible coalition we approached senior officials in the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), and the National Tax Agency. We worked with industry and business associations including the Japan Association of New Economy (JANE), the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the Japan CFO Association (JACFO), and JIIMA. We leveraged the support of existing customers, household names, such as Nomura, LIXIL and Credit Saison; and collaborated with competitors including Rakus and FREEE. We targeted each group, and leading media including ‘The Nikkei’, Japan’s most influential business daily, and key TV broadcasters as moulders of public opinion, through a listening and information sharing based communications programme; supported by our comprehensive fact and figure-based information kit. Through press events, speaking opportunities and face to face meetings, we succeeded in unifying these diverse stakeholders to collaborate and lobby the government for deregulation.


Video URL