FEATURE25 January 2016

Digital, data and globalisation

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Data analytics Features Impact UK

Advances in digital technology mean that the researchers’ toolkit has expanded beyond the survey, says Sir Martin Sorrell in the latest MRS 70th anniversary article. 

At WPP, what we once called market research or consumer insight is now described as data investment management. Contrary to what the resulting acronym might suggest, we think this is not so dim.

This sector of our business has always been about gathering and interpreting information, but the internet has created a new, ever-expanding universe of data, the sheer volume and complexity of which demands ever-more sophisticated approaches, tools and techniques. It also demands a fundamental shift in how we think about the business itself – hence the new definition. 

Managing clients’ investment in data – in a fragmented, complicated world – is what we do, just as we manage their investment in media (today we talk about media investment management rather than media planning and buying). These two areas are increasingly linked within our group, as we integrate data and media to provide clients with the most telling insights and the best return on their investment.

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