The outlook for WPP

So, all in all, the growth climate is tough, but manageable. If advertising and marketing services retain their existing share of GDP globally – with under-advertised faster-growth markets still outpacing slow-growth mature markets – then spending should rise by 4.5% at nominal prices. The mini-quadrennial events – the Sochi Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the US mid-term Congressional elections – have and will all help. However, clients remain cautious, with procurement and finance functions holding sway over marketing.

Strategically, we continue to focus on four priorities: new markets; new media; data investment management and quantitative disciplines; and horizontality.

New markets are already almost a third of our business; within the next five years we want them to be 40 to 45%.

Digital or new media is almost 35% of our business; we also want that to be 40 to 45% within five years.

Data investment management, what we used to call market research or consumer insight, is 23% of our business and that is roughly where it should stay. Collectively, quantitative disciplines – data and digital – account for 51% of our revenues.

And last but not least is horizontality: the imperative to leverage the knowledge and ability possessed by 175,000 people (including associates) in 110 countries across the world more effectively and efficiently for the benefit of our clients.

Chapter 7 of 13