MediaVillage's Insider InSites podcast on Media, Marketing and Advertising
Sir Martin Sorrell Schools Me on Data, Creativity and his Holy Trinity of Media
Oct 2, 2019 · 32 min
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When you find out you’re getting the chance to interview one of the, arguably, best known people in the ad industry you want a little time to prepare, to study, and in some cases, pray. I learned a couple of hours in advance that I’d be speaking with Sir Martin Sorrell before one of his myriad panels at Advertising Week. As you listen to this podcast episode – and if you know anything about him – you’ll realize I needn’t have worried. The man who built the world's largest advertising and marketing services holding company had plenty to say, and to say in his usual no-holds-barred way.

From the mind of the man who defined the modern media agency business, and who has not been spared either praise or criticism for his actions or comments, are opinions on everything from the “holy trinity” for media today and the other principles he’s set for his new(ish) venture, S4 Capital, to what he looks for in a company they might what his mother would think of his ongoing drive for dominance in the world of digital media.

We also discuss:

  • how data helps vs hinders creativity
  • what’s behind his strong projections for S4 Capital and its expansion in and beyond Asia Pacific (“we have a good positioning there already, but we need to build scale. We have to figure out what our model is going to be in China and in India. I think the model will be a transparent one. I think that's where the existing agencies are vulnerable.”)
  • perceptions on the issues with holding companies today (“I'm not interested in the traditional business. I think it's a sort of zero-sum game at the moment.”)
  • attracting and retaining talent (“I think because we're a disruptive startup, that in and of itself is very appealing.”)
  • disruptor vs disruptive companies
  • if legacy companies or analog companies have a chance in today’s “mini-tsunami” of pitches...

Finally, I had to ask why, after all he's accomplished, why not take a rest in his 70s. His answer was influenced by his parents, the Saatchis, and Gore Vidal. Hear why, on Epi 43 from MediaVillage.

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