GroupM launches operational excellence transformation

10 March 2021 2 min. read

Global media investment giant GroupM has launched a major business transformation in Australia.

GroupM is a media company with a global investment portfolio worth over $50 billion per year – managed via agencies such as Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence. The WPP-owned company is according to benchmark operator COMvergence the largest player globally in its segment.

In Australia, CEO Mark Lollback’s is leading a large programme centred on enhancing the company's operational efficiency. Objective is to eliminate complexities by building a more centralised and simplified operation, with the local transformation aligned to the vision set out by global CEO Christian Juhl.

GroupM is streamlining its Australian organisation

In the early stages of this ongoing transformation, GroupM worked with PwC on project management for two weeks in December last year. The consultancy was hired to lead a sprint sprint around organisational workstreams.

PwC has since rolled off the project, and GroupM’s goal is to address the complexities identified and deliver improvements through a broad-based transformation. According to reports from Mi3, job cuts are not part of the plan.

Change of purpose

Once streamlined, GroupM Australia will likely be subject to a more fundamental change of purpose – judging by trends unfolding across WPP’s global practice. GroupM global CEO Christian Juhl has publicly declared that the firm needs a stronger tech focus – aligning with broader trends in the advertising industry. And he is on the job.

“Five years from now, if I am successful, GroupM will look more like a software company than it will a media agency,” said Juhl. The current transformation will prepare GroupM Australia for this wider transition in due time.

For now, the company is looking to stay competitive in a media and marketing space increasingly populated by diversifying big businesses and smaller entrants alike. Indeed, WPP founder Martin Sorrell himself launched media investment group S4 Capital in 2018, which has upped its expansion efforts in Australia recently.

While GroupM has seen the volume of its media spend dip in 2020 (the firm for example saw a ten-year association with banking giant Westpac ended in November last year), the group remains the market leader down under, ahead of Omnicom and Mediabrands.