Warc, 14 August 2013
MOUNTAIN VIEW: WPP, the global agency holding company, is to accelerate its stated strategy of generating 35-40% of its business from digital sources and fast-growth markets, its chief executive has announced.
Sir Martin Sorrell declared that the targets were being raised "to at least 40-45% each over the next five years".
In a LinkedIn post he wrote: "Our strategy is simple: new markets, new media, data investment management and last but not least 'horizontality'."
These four objectives, said Sorrell, "simply reflect the most significant recent general trends in client behaviour, and a strategic response to them".
As well as the focus on digital and growth markets, he signalled an intention to "broaden our 'horizontality' approach" which would entail adding more client leaders and country managers in order to ensure the 165,000 strong workforce in 110 countries worked together more effectively for clients.
On the fourth objective, Sorrell said that, at 25% of the business, the level of data investment management - "previously known as consumer insight or market research" - was currently correct.
WPP would, he added, remain focused on a consistent strategy, unlike others in the industry who "may take strategic leaps backwards for various odd or inconsistent or contradictory reasons".
Sorrell also remarked on Amazon's recent acquisition of the Washington Post, which he described as an "era-defining announcement".
"We'll have to wait to see how the Washington Kindle fares, both commercially and editorially, and whether an Amazon treatment can turn analog dimes into more than digital pennies," Sorrell added, "but the point is made: a new breed of media owner has very much arrived."
Sorrell's blogpost follows last month's announcement of the proposed merger of Publicis and Omnicom, which would surpass WPP as the world's largest agency holding company. Warc analysis recently revealed that the merged company could also create a dominant force in the world's advertising effectiveness competitions.
Data sourced from MediaPost, Linked In; additional content by Warc staff