The 10th edition of exchange4media Group’s flagship conference – exchange4media Conclave, presented by NewsX, saw some of the industry’s biggest names discuss and debate on how companies respond to the heightened expectations of the evolved consumers and the challenges and opportunities ahead in today’s scenario. The Conclave was held in New Delhi on September 11, 2013.
In his keynote address, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP, highlighted the key trends in the changing media and communication landscape.
According to Sorrell, the world is facing a paradox with availability of over-capacity and constraints on human capital. He pointed out that earlier people used to stick to their jobs for a long time, but people nowadays are shifting from one opportunity to the other, which is contributing to the paradox.
The WPP Chief considers Google and Amazon as the most effective new media companies. “This is not to say that the other platforms are not important. They are, but they are different,” he said.
Elaborating on the success mantra of Google, Sorrell noted that the internet giant functions on a five-legged strategy, where Search is the most important player, followed by Display, Video, Social and Mobile Search. Of these, he believed that Search and Mobile Search are the two biggest drivers, followed by Video.
“Our biggest traditional media relationship is with NewsCorp, which accounts for nearly $2.5 billion of the spends that we make on behalf of our clients. We are already spending close to $2 billion on Google right now and it is growing at 20-25 per cent every year. The ‘new’ media company will soon surpass NewsCorp as our biggest media relationship,” said Sorrell.
He also pointed out that the changes in the consumer and media landscape will further enhance the growth of retail, with web and mobile-based payment system replacing the traditional modes. According to him, proximity retail will be the next big thing in retailing. He stressed on the growing importance of e-commerce players such as Amazon in this space, which has become a direct channel providing a convenient and easy approach to retailing. Hence, retail giants have to take advantage of this growing opportunity.
Here, Sorrell remarked, “Facebook is a branding medium, but not an advertising medium. Facebook is about how people communicate socially with one another and if you interrupt that, you do so at your own peril. In that context, search has proved to be much more effective.”
He also stated that whenever clients have pressures to meet targets, especially in times of slowdown, they cut down budgets for communication. He emphasised that the spends on communication services is not cost, but an investment.
The WPP Chief also shared his growth and expansion plans at the Conclave by saying that he is bullish on Russia, Germany, Poland and China. According to him, India is the toughest market in the BRICS, but he remains bullish on this market in the long-term.