Dolly Mahayan

Faster, better and cheaper is the mantra of S4: Sir Martin Sorrell, S4 Capital

Our aim is to disrupt the traditional business approach model, and first party data owned by our clients helps in driving and developing digital products.

At Google’s annual Think Platforms 2019, Sir Martin Sorrell, executive chairman, S4 Capital, had a Fireside Chat with Vikas Agnihotri, country director, Google India. During the session Sorrell touched upon the mantra on which S4 is built, and why digital is the best medium to stay ahead of the curve.

According to Sir Martin Sorrell, S4 is a mixture based on few fundamental principles, “S4’s aim is to be faster, better and cheaper. Firstly it is purely digital, because digital is where the growth is. First party data, content creation and programmatic, and a unitary structure are the principles of S4.”

“We're technology agnostic -- faster, better and cheaper is our mantra. Faster means more agility, better means better use of technology — including AI, VR, AR and Voice — and cheaper means more efficient,” he described.

Sorrell believes, “First party data is the digital future, as it has the ability to allow media and advertising to become increasingly programmatic, personalised and faster.”

First-party data is generally defined as the information an organisation has collected about its audience.

“In India, if we look at statistics in the advertising and marketing field, the traditional approach still continues to grow. India, as a market, is the fastest growing advertisement market in the world. The difference between traditional and digital growth rate is extreme in India. Digital is expanding rapidly in global counterparts, but India is probably different to other markets because it’s more traditional media-based,” he explains.

Sorrell adds, “For us, India is a big focus market from both, the digital and scale point of view. India as a market is viable and strong. Consumers are changing at a very rapid pace, it is important to understand the digital ecosystem.”

“Our aim is to disrupt traditional the business approach model and the first party data owned by our clients helps in driving and developing digital products, which is fit for purpose,” he says.

Sorrell explains that the digital ad industry is at about $200 billion, of that, Google takes away $125 billion, Facebook takes $52 billion with Amazon and Microsoft taking $10 billion each.

Sir Martin Sorrell, ex-CEO of WPP stepped down from the company in April 2018. He ran WPP for 33 years, which is the world’s largest marketing communications holding company. Sorrell is known for building a conglomerate that includes creative agencies like JWT, O&M and Grey; and media giant GroupM

After exiting from WPP, Sorrell founded S4 Capital in a span of six weeks and made a comeback in the marketing business. The advertising venture is focussed on data, digital content driven by data and programmatic media buying with an objective to deliver faster and effective solutions by leveraging technology.

Globally, S4 Capital has won several new clients in the last few months, including Apple, Google, Adidas, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, Starbucks and Nestle.

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