IPG To Invest In Data And Analytics Through Mediabrands And Build Out Consulting Expertise

ipgearningsOn its Q4 and full-year 2016 earnings call on Friday, IPG said it will invest in data and analytics for its global media management unit, Mediabrands, rather than bolting on an acquired solution.

“We believe [Mediabrands] will become the data stack and platform that will service all of our clients,” said CEO Michael Roth.

Roth was reiterating a long-stated Mediabrands strategy: to build its own technology. IPG agencies can tap into Mediabrands’ talent for data and analytics expertise, as well as access to its AMP data platform.

While Roth doesn’t rule out future acquisitions, there simply isn’t anything that appeals to him at the moment.

“We are always looking at transformational-type transactions,” Roth said. “There doesn’t seem to be one out there at the current moment that would have a big call on our capital.”

IPG is also wary of management consultancies encroaching on agency territory, so it will expand into theirs with new business transformation service offerings. Roth pointed to digital agency R/GA as a point of strength, noting the agency’s joint venture with Snap Inc. to incubate marketing and technology startups.

“We are beefing up our areas with business transformation,” he said. “It’s a space that all of our agencies will have capabilities in.”

Though management consultancies have also been acquiring capabilities to compete creatively, Roth says he’s not too worried about that.

“I don’t see these consultants being able to compete if we deliver on an integrated offering,” he said. “On the creative side, they’re not going to have the firepower we have across all of our agencies.”

In 2016, IPG saw strong organic growth of 5%, and Q4 growth of 5.3%. Organic growth in the US was 4.7%. Since 2014, IPG has grown organically 17%.

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