Market research becomes data investment management in Sorrell’s post-PubliCom world view

Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP fame (left) is obviously anticipating a rewarding life in retirement, by flexing his blogging muscles now.

He’s started to appear on LinkedIn, as one of its ‘influencers’ – scribes who produce mostly self-serving stuff.

And, as retirement is still some way away we all hope (what would we do without him?) his musings give us a clue about ehat he will say about WPP when he delivers the company’s rather belated half-year results at the end of this monrh,

As we’ve suggested before, in a post-PubliCom world (assuming the merger goes through, there are currently rumbles from some states in the US about its share of the media market) his emphasis will be on WPP being a leaner, meaner, more focussed entity than PubliCom (the whole article is here and it includes, inevitably, a few side swipes).

It also includes one interesting example of redrawing the WPP map in the following phrase: data investment management (previously known as consumer insight or market research).

This, I think, is a new one. WPP has been calling boring old market research consumer insight for a few years now, presumably to try to make it sound sexier. Sorrell also likes the word ‘investment,’ which sounds much better to clients than ‘spending.’

So, hey presto, market research morphs into data investment management – which means what, exactly?

Not entirely sure. Presumably it’s a way of showing that DIM is actually an integral bit of the whole WPP offer (it also offers ‘media investment’ instead of media planning and buying) rather than the (relatively) unprofitable Kantar bit tacked on the end.

Maybe SMS will tell us more with the half-year numbers.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.