During its first investor day since 2013, Publicis Groupe gathered 300 investors in London to unveil its "Sprint To The Future" execution plan to transform the Groupe from a holding company to an organization designed for tomorrow's business demands.
"No doubt, the present is complex," says Arthur Sadoun, CEO/chairman, Publicis Groupe. "But the future will be bright for those who can help their clients accelerate their sales, reduce their costs and win the battle with new competition. And the only way to do that is to deliver marketing and business transformation, connected by data.
"This is where we are today and how we will lead our industry tomorrow."
This execution plan is built around a handful of actions to be fulfilled by 2020 and a "clear road map" has been assigned to each work stream. "There will be few winners" in the race to better match client demands, says Sadoun, "but we have a head start for success."
Publicis Groupe has already appointed 35 global client leaders -- including UK CEO Annette King and Italy CEO Emanuele Saffirio -- to steer relationships with its top clients through a single P&L per client and to seamlessly access the Groupe’s capabilities. This model already represents one-third of the Groupe's revenue and is projected to represent more than half by 2020.
Within the next three years, the Groupe will roll out this model across all geographies.
Publicis also will bring all of its data capabilities to the same platform, as well as create six "hubs" that will oversee what it calls "dynamic creativity," where creative content is adapted to each client at every step of the consumer journey.
Fed by individual IDs built by the Groupe, this new Publicis PeopleCloud platform will make "better marketing and business decisions" and is designed to build personalized content around creative ideas,” Sadoun says. "We are the only company in the world" that can connect these tools with "CMOs on one side and CIOs on the other," he adds. This is the "holy grail," where marketing and IT converge with content, data and technology, says Sadoun.
The Groupe will also develop industry practices around "digital business transformation" to better help clients navigate ad fraud and attribution concerns.
The company says that data, dynamic creativity and digital business transformation services already represent 16% of revenue with Publicis Groupe’s top 100 clients. In 2020, those areas are expected to represent 30% of revenue and a 70% share of the Groupe’s total growth. The Groupe claimed that these three strategy "game-changers" recently helped it land new clients Mercedes-Benz, Campbell's and Marriott.
Publicis Groupe is concentrating its data, analytics and technology operations in India, Colombia, Costa-Rica and Mauritius. This organization will be developed further by increasing the headcount of these delivery centers from 8,700 to 13,000 by 2020.
The Groupe's AI platform Marcel is targeted to connect 90% of its 80,000 employees by 2020. "This platform is much more than a tool. It is a new way to work, to share, to learn and to create at the service of the Groupe’s clients and talent," the company reported in its presentation documents.
Lastly, the Groupe is spending money to make money.
The Groupe will earmark about $370 million for training and new hiring, while $123 million will go to its new platforms Marcel, Publicis PeopleCloud. Investment in automation and digital business transformation could reach roughly $600 million per year between 2018-2020.
The Groupe also anticipates that M&A investment could be in that same ball park per year over 2018-2020. These objectives are projected to accelerate organic growth over 2018-2020 with the aim to reach +4% in 2020.
"We are in a race to transform our industry and the first prize is the leadership of our industry," says Sadoun.