Sir Martin Sorrell, founding CEO of the WPP Group, was in conversation with Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, where the veterans discussed everything from TAM ratings to conventional media, ending with questions from the audience.
Responding to an earlier statement by Sir Martin on the importance of the digital medium, Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD of Madison Communications wondered if the strategy made sense in India where traditional media – TV, radio, print – accounted for 88 per cent of ad spends.
Sir Martin agreed. “By stressing on digital, you are in danger of devaluing your traditional media,” he said, pointing out that one needed to be ready for 2020. “Consumption behaviour is changing. The way people spend their time today compared to how they used to spend it five to 10 years ago has changed dramatically,” he said, talking about how he had never imagined he'd be able to watch the World Cup on a smartphone or an iPad. “Yet, now we can,” he added, urging the audience to keep in mind that one is already addressing a generation that has been exposed to the internet right from the womb. And that, no one can predict what the successive generations would be like.
Sir Martin ended the discussion by bringing the spotlight back on what he believes is the medium of the future. “It is churlish to overplay digital, but the odds are in favour of it. I am willing to bet, qualitatively, not quantitatively, that we will see this change. You and I might not be around to see this. But it will come.”