GroupM has revealed details of a new division unifying its data and technology offering, [m]Platform, as new global CEO Kelly Clark accelerates his overhaul of the group.
The WPP-owned media investment group said the launch of [m]Platform will allow it to offer advertisers unprecedented access to data analytics and digital services, including a single consumer view.
Programmatic digital media platform Xaxis will become part of [m]Platform, albeit as a self-contained unit, along with its programmatic specialist hub GroupM Connect. Xaxis global boss Brian Gleason becomes chief executive of the new operation.
Working in collaboration with other WPP arms such as Kantar, Wunderman and Millward Brown, GroupM has created a portfolio of four key products to push out to clients.
[M]Core is an “audience intelligence” service, combining cross-platform data to produce a single consumer view – dubbed [m]ID; [m]Insights is a cross-channel media planning tool; [m]Analytics allows advertisers to marry online and offline data; and [m]Report merges data into a single dashboard.
GroupM agencies Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, m/SIX and Essence will be able to offer clients access to the tools.
“Marketers are under tremendous pressure to deliver results from media investments. This flexible platform approach enables us to focus $7bn worth of investments we’ve made in data and technology over 10 years to help them realise a marketplace advantage,” said Clark, who took over from Dominic Proctor in September.
“Our agencies will now have deeper consumer insights and the most robust technology in the market.”
Gleason added: “The rise of digital and mobile technologies, media fragmentation and expanding ecommerce create a pivot point in marketing where the scientific application of data to media strategies is essential.
“Today, marketers have to know their customers in richer detail than ever before, or else they won’t reach them. [M]Platform is an audience-centric approach enabling our agencies with individualised consumer insights and technologies to reach audiences without boundaries.”
Four regional [m]Platform presidents will report to Gleason. Phil Cowdell – only earlier this month named GroupM’s president of platform services – becomes North America president, while Lucas Mentasti takes on the LatAm role. EMEA and APAC chiefs will be announced “shortly”.
Xaxis’ chief operating officer Nicolle Pangis and chief technology officer Bob Hammond are promoted to the equivalent positions at [m]Platform. GroupM Connect’s Jack Smith has been named chief strategy officer, but Connect’s CEO Ruud Wanck is leaving WPP.
A WPP spokesperson confirmed Wanck’s departure: “Several months ago, Ruud Wanck made a decision to leave GroupM to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity outside of the company. He has been transitioning out of his role with Connect over the last several months and will fully leave GroupM at the end of the year.
“Across several different roles within the group, Ruud made extraordinary contributions during his time with GroupM and we wish him the best in his new endeavour.”