WPP’s moves into “big data” are a potential source of competitive differentiation. While other agencies are attempting to do this, none are attempting to nail it down at a holding company level. The potential for WPP’s agencies to share the insights and develop cross silo discipline solutions could be very powerful.
In short, “We’ll have access to behavioural data that Twitter has developed, which will be available to our media planning and buying business, to Kantar, and to our public relations and public affairs businesses,” Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP’s chief executive, told the Financial Times. Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter, said “marketers are leveraging the platform for brand insights, relevant real-time messaging, and customer research”. “This partnership will benefit clients by pairing Twitter with WPP’s world-class analytics, targeting, and creative capabilities,” he said.
While much of this data is available through third parties, getting that data into a consolidated useable form, and sharing across a network is a whole other matter. And doing it outside the confines of a media agency should broaden understanding of what the various holding companies can do with the data.