Where does that leave us?
Growing consolidation in our industry is reducing the available resources for clients. It is ever more difficult to find co-ordinated resources that can deliver what clients require, particularly if they are an international, multinational or global company. Smaller, country- or city-based operations cannot offer the depth of coverage or breadth of resources.
One interesting recent development is the growing interest in outsourcing parts or all of the marketing function. Clearly this is an opportunity for us and is being driven by CEOs’ focus on costs and their analysis of their investment in marketing services. Instead of concentrating solely on amounts spent outside the organisation, closer examination is being made of amounts spent inside the company. WPP has become involved recently in outsourcing projects in the automotive and internet services industries. In a number of other areas, including advertising, direct marketing and research, there is interest in what can be done in outsourcing costs. Clearly this tends to make internal marketing departments more defensive about their functions. We have seen much of this, for example, in the media buying area.