A hung Parliament after India’s national election, due in May 2014, will not be a good sign, Martin Sorell, chief executive of advertising and public relations firm WPP Plc, told delegates on Wednesday at a conclave organized by Exchange4Media, a firm that runs a media website.
Responding to a question to a panel moderated by R. Sukumar, editor of Mint, that included Aroon Purie, chairman of India Today Group, and Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of advertising firm Madison World, Sorell emphasized WPP’s need to stay ahead of the curve, especially in digital advertising.
Sorell said he wants 40-45% of WPP’s revenue to come from digital sources by 2018, adding that the industry average by that time is likely to be 30%.
Sorell said the current print-based mass media system was economically challenged as well as environmentally unsustainable. The key for conventional media outlets was to conceive of a model that would allow them to move quickly to other platforms, he said.
Agreeing with Sorell’s assertion, Purie said the challenge was to create good content across platforms and that good content would do well irrespective of the platform that it operates on. Purie said that as more and more content moves online, there was no other choice except to come up with some kind of a subscription-based model for online offerings.
Adding to the general tone of the discussion, Balsara said that digital marketing agencies need to access the “big table” of advertising and not remain niche firms.
The coming two years would see an explosion in digital marketing, Purie said.