Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Could Sorell's greater online engagement help push for WPP digital leadership?

Excerpts from a BusinessWeek article with some fairly interesting info about the goals and obstacles faced by WPP as it tries to transform itself into a next generation marketing agency. Interestingly Martin Sorell, its CEO is pushing employees and Board Directors alike to adopt new practices from video, to Facebook, to Twitter and other social tools. And that's the right way to go for this sort of transition from yesterday to tomorrow, an endeavor only very few companies managed to achieve in business history.

Now, since I believe that coherence, alignment and consistency are essential ingredients of success as the US presidential super-campaign amply demonstrated, I wanted to check whether Sorell, the staunch promoter of WPP's diitization, has done anything for himself to be more present, more digital, more of a "social networker" I looked for his profile on LinkedIn and the result was, I quote, "0 results


Martin Sorell
". Same thing on Naymz and Plaxo, while on Facebook there's only one entry without pictures and with one friend called Mélanie Pineau. So let me get this: we're about to have the first awesomely digital US President in Barack Obama (present on all sorts of online platforms from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to a YouTube channel and with fans forming Plaxo groups like this one), and the head of tomorrow's would-be leading agency is nowhere to be seen? When is Sorell going to assemble a small team of WPP wiz kids to build his own onine presence? That would go a long way to making his push with employees and close co-workers much more compelling IMHO.

strategy to make the $15 billion agency a leader in the emerging world of digital communications

At an Oct. 20 board meeting in Palo Alto, Calif., Sorrell had all the directors—including himself—learn how to upload video and create their own Facebook pages

chairman of interactive marketing company OgilvyOne, figures he pays 15% to 30% more to hire young people with one-third less experience than those versed in traditional advertising channels

Sorrell also is pushing for greater cooperation among WPP companies to incorporate TV, video, print, mobile technology, and social networking into every campaign

WPP recently won a hefty portion of a Johnson & Johnson

widely reported to be worth more than $100 million

WPP staged a science fair-style presentation inside JWT's New York office, where representatives from 20 WPP units sat in different booths, showing off displays such as a WPP-designed social network promoting a prescription drug and an interactive Web site to inform doctors

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