Martin Sorrell Is Paranoid About The Future Of WPP

Martin Sorrell has a healthy outlook regarding marketing's continuous shifts toward digital. In fact, his outlook is so healthy that he's paranoid about his future and the future of WPP and the future of the ad agency business in general. That's what he told Suthichai Yoon, chairman of Thailand publication Nation Multimedia Group. Sorrell's travels to Thailand -- part of an Asia-Pacific tour that included stops in Jakarta and Singapore -- are an effort to further familiarize himself with global trends. Of the ever-changing digital landscape, Sorrell said, "I stay paranoid and insecure every night about digital disruption in new technology." And of that disruption, he adds: "To deal with the rapid change and uncertainties, we have to move fast, take risks, and be paranoid."

This former ad agency managing partner thinks he has the answer to Kansas' $279 million budget shortfall. As part of a group of businesspeople the state reached out to, retired Sullivan Higdon & Sink managing director Sam Williams said: “It requires patience. I believe in the direction we are going, and if I apply that to my business background, I’m always looking for efficiencies. Even in private business you can make a 20 percent reduction in cost if you have to. We run our business much tighter than government does, so if I can find those efficiencies in my business, then I believe you can do that in government."

Ad agency as software developer? That's one direction in which Boston-based Hill Holliday is headed. The agency's 20-person digital product innovation group, Project Beacon, is out with a software-as-a-service product which aims to improve the way people share on Facebook. Of the endeavor, Hill Holliday EVP of Innovation John Running said: “It’s different from our typical model -- ‘We have an idea, you buy the idea.’ We’ve turned that on its head. We’re just going to bring you stuff, show you prototypes. Because you can’t get to a great experience without iterating your way through that. You need the feedback from end users to find out whether the hypotheses of what they’ll like are true.” The yet-to-be-named new product will help people visually illustrate how their Facebook posts have performed as "cards" on their screen and will help identify trends and patterns aimed at identifying the elements that made the post spread to improve the creation of future posts.



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