GroupM streamlines tech partnerships with new strategy to deal with ‘cluttered’ landscape



Australia’s largest media agency group GroupM is banning ad tech suppliers from approaching its agencies directly as it looks to implement what it is calling a One Voice Tech strategy.

Newly promoted director of technical operations for GroupM Timothy Whitfield told Mumbrella the new approach was necessary to deal with what is a “cluttered” landscape.

“We identified the challenge that the mediascape is very cluttered, at the moment, and that this creates a lot of confusion and it leads to sometimes making some bad choices,” said Whitefield. “There is a knock on effect by slowing projects down.

“This is based on the recognition that it is just a little too complicated at the moment.”

Whitfield said GroupM’s One Voice Tech strategy would act as a central hub for assessing new technology solutions and would be overseen by him and John Miskelly, who yesterday took the title of chief digital officer of GroupM.

Source: Mediasope

Click to enlarge Source: Mediasope

As programmatic marketing continues its double digit growth each year the number of technology and data vendors has exploded, with Mediascope’s latest digital media trading landscape listing hundreds of vendors, publishers and suppliers. 

“What we have identified is that there is an opportunity to create a centralised hub – a bit like an internal tool – for us to look at independent views on each one of the pieces of technology in the Australian landscape and be able to understand how they will benefit our clients,” said Whitfield.

“Rather than the tech vendors going directly to the agency groups – and it’s not just new vendors but existing vendors as they update their roadmaps – filtering all that through a centralised role allows us to understand what the best tech is in the market for each one of our clients.

“I report in to John [Miskelly] now and he will look after the commercial side of the operation and I look after the technical,” he said. “It is a ying and yang relationship.”

Asked if this was attempt by Australia’s largest media group to centralise its tech partners among preferred supplies, Whitfield said that GroupM would still be open to other players “as we need it.”

“The reward for us is to create a very very solid WPP tech landscape that is built off the back of our own tech stack and then plugs-in to other technology as we need it,” said Whitfield.

“That will be a strong benefit to our clients.”

Nic Christensen 


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