Posts Tagged ‘Martin Sorrell’

  • A Sorrell tale of decline – Andy McCourt

    Print21‘s Andy McCourt highlights why printers need to think seriously about digital, after Sir Martin Sorrell, head of the largest advertising media buyer in the world, spoke at an event in Sydney, suggesting that the biggest shift from traditional print media to digital is yet to come.

    As I was delivering my address to the PANPA faithful in Sydney a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had noticed the worldwide head of WPP – the largest advertising media buyer in the world ($72 billion) – was delivering a speech in the same convention centre on the topic of marketing in the digital and mobile age.

    Sir Martin Sorrell is a media ‘Madman’ through-and-through. Think Saatchi & Saatchi, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, Grey and clients Unilever, Kellog’s and IBM to name but three.

    3,000 offices in 110 countries employ 162,000 people and generate over $10 billion in revenues.

    And, I was almost on the same bill as him…well a stone’s throw away at least.

    He was addressing media and marketing types at a Global Leadership conflab-endorsed by the Media Federation of Australia. You can see him in action below, courtesy of AdNews.

    So, here’s the message…Sorrell openly stated that the biggest shift from legacy press to digital (and mobile) media is yet to come. Still to come? Tell that to any magazine or newspaper space sales manager and they might tell you it’s already happening. In his wonderfully logical and analytical way, Sir Martin painted a gloomy picture for advertising spends in mainstream print media.

    “There are two major shifts still to come. The two big disconnects are internet and mobile where we know people spend around a third of their time, but our client’s budgets are only 19 per cent,” is what he said, adding that, “Legacy press – newspapers and magazines – are 19 per cent of our budgets worldwide, but consumers spend only nine per cent of their time on them. Those are the two big changes that have to take place.”

    Where did these figures come from? I have no idea but I think we should take heed of Sorrell’s message, and plan accordingly; he’s a big cheese in the media ad-spend world, maybe the biggest.

    I never like to present a problem without at least trying to put forward solutions. The solution to the world’s largest media buyers actively looking for ways to reduce their print media spend is to fragment, mutate and blend in with the digital economy.

    Static media is literally a sitting duck. It can’t measure accurately; it can’t vary the message with pinpoint accuracy, it can’t change on the spot and its attempts to integrate into the digital economy, while laudable and, in some cases superb, have all been based on print being the senior player. It’s time to change that.

    Digital on-demand printing of everything that claims to be media is a must for the survival of newspapers and magazines. Not exclusively – there will be markets for long-runs of both for some time but in order to reinforce the ‘brand’ and stay relevant in a growing digital economy, you need:

    Web-based digital media

    Mobile-based digital media

    Tablet-based digital media

    Print-based digital media


    …in that order.

    Last year, WPP’s biggest single spend was with a ‘traditional’ media group. Next year it will be with Google.

    Think about Sir Martin Sorrell’s main message…and then think whether you can afford to ignore it, follow it or actively change your business to adapt and evolve with it.

    In media, the answer is digital, no matter what the question is.