What’s On

Real time marketing is a big focus for GroupM: Mark Patterson, CEO, GroupM Asia

Mark Patterson, CEO, GroupM Asia

GroupM is one of the few media holding companies at present that take the digital mandate forward to a level where a significant portion of the agency revenues come on the back of its digital offer. Needless to say, Asia operations of the company are a major contributor towards this achievement. For Mark Patterson, CEO, GroupM Asia, the agency’s digital practice is only growing. In a chat with DMA, Patterson gives insights into how the leading media investment management network is looking at technology, digital media and the future of media planning.

On serving the CMOs…
“CMO tenure is fluctuating. Market studies show that it can be anywhere between 40 to 50 months in an organisation. With that, there is always a need to adjust your understanding of your client. In Asia you have to work across huge spectrum of client needs and cultures. This can be quite challenging for brands and media owners. However in India, the relationship between client and agency feels more balanced.”

On taking up technology…
“Digital and technology is now an important discussion at GroupM — on how the combination can be used to reach consumers and how technology can be used within the company to become more relevant in today’s context. We are evangelists in technology in media planning. We are trying to automate this. In fact, we are investing a significant amount in technology to make this possible. Another area where we are focussing on, is real time marketing. It is a key phrase in our strategy, which is focussed on tomorrow. We are working on building technology in-house. Real Time marketing is part of that.”

On being the specialist…
“To improve the service offering, and to give our clients the best technology and solution, GroupM is focussing on building the specialist talent. Being a generalist will not work anymore because the consumer as we knew, and the media we knew, is changing fast. So specialist services are needed. We are getting there by acquiring specialist expertise in not just technology but also in talent. The challenge is to orchestrate a seamless integration of the specialists with the existing set up. There is a need for that because clients prefer an integrated approach. So we are also trying to create partnerships to meet that need.”

On India vs China…
“There is a significant difference in digital adoption in China and in India. It depends on how much time the consumer is spending on the mobile device. The clients and consumers are driving that in both countries. But in China, digital and digital marketing are in acceleration. There is growth in digital media and digital investments in China. India has a great opportunity to accelerate digital growth. But when you compare the two in terms of digital marketing investment, China is well into its mid-teens in maturity.”

On the digital medium…
“Digital is biggest media in the UK today, 20 percent in Australia, and one third in Japan. This is because it answers the ROI (return on investment) needs of brands and marketers. It is multi-dimensional. So it is wrong to pigeonhole any tool – be it Facebook or Twitter. Digital creates a future and a realm of opportunity that we haven’t thought before. I say to brand marketers and media owners, be brave and take the risk and do something new. Embrace technology and opportunity that digital allows us.”

Search