Every client, Irwin Gotlieb (Global Chairman of GroupM) said, is suffering from what his boss, WPP’s Martin Sorrell, coined as “short-termism.” Every client has to make the next quarterly report. “When you become more focused on the short term than the long term, you need to narrow your marketing funnel because that’s where long-term effect happens. You focus on short-term ROI, and brand building doesn’t give you short-term return, it gives you long-term return.”
What Gotlieb really misses, he said a little wistfully, is the “deep client relationships that we had, that evolved over decades of working together. Today, that’s more the exception than the rule, and I think the work suffers as a consequence.”
Irwin explained why WPP originally put all its media holdings in one nest. He said the elements of media, data, and technology all benefit significantly from scale, and the creative function really doesn’t.
He maintains that, “It’s really easy to save money by downgrading the quality of the media that you acquire. The CPMs go down, the GRPs remain the same, and the client saves money. But it doesn’t always have the same effectiveness, and it doesn’t always have the same outcomes. We believe that our role is to help guide a client to optimize their profits, not to save money on media expenditures.”
Rance Crain. Failure to Build Brands Is Hurting the Economy, GroupM’s Irwin Gotlieb Says. AdvertisingAge.