Martin Sorrell on the Changing Media Landscape

April 28, 2013

Buy less print, more TV, more radio and a dollop of digital/social says WPP CEO. Some interesting quotes on where Sir Martin Sorrell sees the future of media. Even more interesting that he was talking at a Financial Times conference, a newspaper with a strong online presence conference and I was reading it on the Guardian’s website.

On WWP spending vs. consumer trends:

“TV viewing is about 43% of consumers’ time, [ad] investment is 43%, outdoor [advertising] and radio are about right…The two big [anomalies] are newspapers and magazines. We are still investing 20% [of client ad budgets] but consumers are only spending 7-10% of time. That has to change”.

On where digital plays into this:

The second anomaly is [the] internet and mobile where in the US it counts for about a third of time spent by consumers, but that the ad spend level is about 20%.

On technology companies really being media companies:

“I do regard Google as a media owner, yes. These are media owners masquerading as technology companies. Google sells Google, Facebook sells Facebook. Twitter sells Twitter.”

On who he sees as the winners in this seismic change:

“If I was going to invest money in all these stocks where would invest my money? I would in Google and Amazon. If buying for my grandkids that is where I would put it.”

I was also interested in seeing where budgets from WPP were spent. Google gets $2bn,  AOL/Yahoo got $500m, Facebook got $200m and the amount Twitter got was “very much smaller”. In context, he said that WPP spends $72bn.

Disclosure: Martin Sorrell is CEO of WPP, the primary competitor to Omnicom, the company that I ultimately work for.


Observations on Digital Media Spending

April 7, 2011

Some great thoughts from Rick Webb (Barbarian Group) on the tension between Silicon Valley and the marketing/advertising industry.

On the proliferation of digital media channels:

Brands don’t actually want or need any more media channels. As far as they’re concerned, the internet can stop now. We have enough channels. We were happy when we had like seven (TV, print, outdoor, radio, in-store, direct and theater), got a little interested in the first few new ones. Urinals? Uh, okay. Banners? Interesting. Google? Yes. Groupon, Farmville, GroupMe? OKAY I AM GETTING TIRED NOW. Silicon Valley seems to think that advertising’s appetite for new media channels is unending. It is not. Marketers are changing. They are not the daft old man who doesn’t understand the new thing but knows he needs it and spends money on it. It’s a woman and she is getting smarter. Even she knows there’s a point where they’re reached their customers enough. They have fixed budgets. I could tell you EXACTLY how much they will spend, because I spend that money. It is not bottomless.

On precise targeting and data options:

The endless quest for advertisers to know everything about their customers may never end, but its budgets will not increase forever. We will pick the best 3-10 data sources and stick with them. And in the meantime, the VCs will have effectively funded a massive R&D effort to radically improve those sources (THANK YOU) but in the end, we’ll still be paying about the same amount a year for the same 3-10 (say 100 if you’re P&G or WPP).

When the Valley says it wants advertising dollars, what does it *really* mean?

Though the valley can’t usually articulate it, this [media dollars or working dollars] is the other big batch of money they’re going for, because it’s what Google and Yahoo! did. They got big brands to spend some of their giant media money on them instead of yellow pages or newspaper ads. Despite the Valley’s obsession with advertising, they still massively misunderstand it. They think it can be solved with algorithms, and not people. They also thought this about lawyers at one point. LegalZoom is doing great I hear, but so are lawyers. Not every penny of advertising will ever go to computers.

Really great thoughts – online and digital may change advertising even more, but not until the media truly understands its ultimate customer.

via rickwebb’s tumblrmajig (On The Bubble).

Related reading:

Noah Brier (through whom I found Rick’s post)

Chris Dixon’s thoughts on the “bubble” (which ignited Rick’s own thinking)


Planning in the Digital Age. Keep It Simple

February 9, 2011

Great graphic from the Planning Lab:

Media Planning from the Planning Lab: Keep it Simple

Click to enlarge

Based on this, I’m excited to update my slides on the four types of media with this new overlay of how they could and should work together.


More social media statistics and what they mean

February 9, 2010

There are some amazing stats which show how important social media is to the end user – this link is a great example which shows not only the raw numbers but also the velocity of the data vs. six months ago.

However, more important than raw numbers is a need to demonstrate the true role of social media in the marketing mix. Behaviours, trends, ethnographic studies and true analysis is needed before we can confidently start to show how important social media is for marketers. Intuitively we know that a better, deeper, longer lasting relationship with customers and consumers is a good thing and we see plenty of success stories in social media from brands who have (over?) invested or had great success in using the medium with a small budget. But how can you justify how the client’s dollar or your bosses budget be allocated?

The irony is that all these lenses can and should be applied to traditional marketing disciplines as well! TV, direct, search, experiential, PR, cataloguing, in-store, print, radio etc etc. As the media we consume starts to fragment, so does its influence on our buying decisions – let’s not let the big flashy numbers we see in social media get ahead of ourselves.

20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited | Blog | Econsultancy.

  • Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours… A considerable increase from the previous 120m.
  • Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis. It’s still a fair increase from the estimated 6-10m global users from a few months ago.
  • LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide. This means an increase of around 1m members month-on-month since July/August last year.
  • Facebook currently has in excess of 350 million active users on global basis. Six months ago, this was 250m… meaning around a 40% increase of users in less than half a year.
  • Flickr now hosts more than 4bn images. A massive jump from the previous 3.6bn I wrote about [six months ago]
  • More than 35m Facebook users update their status each day. This is 5m more than towards the end of July, 2009.
  • Wikipedia currently has in excess of 14m articles, meaning that it’s 85,000 contributors have written nearly a million new posts in six months.
  • Photo uploads to Facebook have increased by more than 100%. Currently, there are around 2.5bn uploads to the site each month – this was around a billion last time I covered this.
  • There are more than 70 translations available on Facebook. Last time around, this was only 50.
  • Back in 2009, the average user had 120 friends within Facebook. This is now around 130.
  • Mobile is even bigger than before for Facebook, with more than 65m users accessing the site through mobile-based devices. In six months, this is over 100% increase. (Previously 30m). As before, it’s no secret that users who access Facebook through mobile devices are almost 50% more active than those who don’t.

Television Advertising is Evolving; Marketing is Evolving With It

February 8, 2010

Respondents to an Association of National Advertisers/Forrester study of national advertisers said their TV ad spending will remain flat this year. Some of the other findings include:

  • A lack of confidence in TV ad effectiveness. Sixty-two percent of respondents think that TV ads have become less effective in the past two years driven largely by ad clutter
  • Renewed faith in the 30-second commercial. Only 19 percent of respondents believe that the 30-second spot will be dead in 10 years, down from 28 percent a year ago.
  • A desire for more targeted TV ads but reluctance to pay for them. Seventy-eight percent of respondents say they would be interested in the ability to target consumers more precisely, but only 59 percent would be willing to pay a premium for it.
  • Dissatisfaction with measurement. Nearly all advertisers who responded think that the TV industry needs new audience metrics beyond reach and frequency, and 82% of respondents would be interested in ratings for individual commercials.
  • High interest in branded entertainment and interactive media. Eighty percent of advertisers agree that branded entertainment will play much more of a role in TV advertising, and 38 percent plan to spend more on branded entertainment in 2010 as an alternative to the 30-second spot. Social media, web advertising and search are stealing budgets from TV and other media.

So what does this mean? Well, my amateur analysis says that TV as a standalone marketing channel is either faltering or is dead. However TV, and by extension all mass communications, is evolving into something new – a catalyst for conversations.

You just have to look at the Superbowl last night to see that the value of the conversations spawned by the very expensive 30 second spots, likely exceeds the value of the spot itself and, indeed, the traditional measurement associate with that spot will not account for this.

At com.motion I’ve seen, first hand, how social and traditional media can live with each other in perfect harmony, each media feeding the other. How advertising can spark conversation online. How an online community can earn traditional media coverage – and vice versa.

I used to be very bullish on social media. Now I’m bullish on integration and the people who can integrate marketing efforts in a smart, cohesive and measurable way, will win. That’s what I’m interested in right now.

via The Forrester Blog For Marketing Leadership Professionals by David Cooperstein


The copyright issue

January 25, 2010

From the UK, Sally Whittle has this cautionary tale of an Irish air traffic controller blogger who had a post lifted (almost wholesale), it’s words taken out of context and reprinted as an expose on her industry.

This blog was supposed to be an account of my life, what I do, and how I got here. Today it has been transformed into a weapon to be used by an unscrupulous, nasty person against some of the people I care most about.

Pretty damming stuff but based on the TSA incident a few months back, I do wonder if there are two sides to the story and I’d be interested to hear the journalist’s point of view on why this happened.

Apart from the human element, I can see a couple of major learnings from this:

1. Ensure you have copyright over everything you write and post online. From Sally’s post:

One of the things I tend to do with any blog I write per myself or a client is pop a copyright statement on the site.

Good idea – this blog also has a disclaimer which means any comments to the blog are forever licensed to me:

By posting a comment to this blog, you are granting its author (me) full and irrevocable license to your comment and acknowledge that the authors do not have a duty to modify or withdraw posts, but that we may do so if we choose, for any reason.

2. More prescient for our industry as a whole is just how time-strapped journalists are and how desperate they are for good, compelling content. If a journalist at a (relatively) prominent national newspaper is prepared to do this, what else is going on that isn’t being reported? Journalists are under huge pressures and many don’t know exactly how to deal with a new world which requires them to write their features, do daily blog entries, record multimedia, interact with readers and maintain the same standard of quality throughout.

As I have been saying for years, the future of marketing is content. If you are marketing, one of your KPIs should be how your content is shared. If you are in PR, you should be considering how easy it is for the media (and I would include bloggers in this) to share and repurpose/reprint your content – with recognition of the source and ideally in the proper context.

I can’t begin to think how Melanie feels after something of this magnitude.


Defining Media and Marketing

November 20, 2009

Over on Dave Jones’s blog sits a good definition of what marketing disciplines control what media:

Advertising – paid media

Public Relations – earned media

Digital Communications – owned media

and I’d like to add:

Social Media – shared media

So brands pay for advertising, earn public relations, own digital assets online but share their social media spaces with the community they create.

That seems to me to be a nice way to wrap these things up.


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