MAD//MeetMarket Preview: How Sir Martin Sorrell Thinks Brands Can Take Advantage Of Disruption

08 Oct, 2021

Finding opportunity in disruption is the focus of S4 Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell's MAD//MeetMarket breakfast briefing - brands and agencies can request a guestlist pass until 15 October

Sir Martin Sorrell has painted an optimistic picture for the marketing industry in 2022-23 and says he’s “not witnessed growth quite like it in his career”, but where are the opportunities for brands and agencies looking to take advantage of mass disruption?

Growth prospects and finding opportunity in disruption will be the focus of Sir Martin’s breakfast session at MAD//MeetMarket on 2 February.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the expected themes:

“A tale of two cities”

Just like the uneven property market, the ad industry isn’t booming across the board.

Digital-first businesses are thriving whilst traditional agencies and legacy brands have fared less well in the face of accelerated disruption. 

For Sir Martin, this has created a “tale of two cities” scenario. He believes the tendency of analysts to think about marketing and advertising as a homogeneous entity leads to an overly pessimistic appraisal of the industry’s performance. 

Sir Martin believes that it’s essential to prioritise digital “avoid the albatross around the neck” of traditional business - a mantra S4 has embraced by building an agency group free from legacy.

“Make hay whilst the sun shines”

Back in November, Sir Martin told attendees at MAD//Anywhere that “If you don’t grow in Q2 (2021), you’ll never grow at all”. The big six agency groups have largely succeeded in this respect, with WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and to a lesser extent Dentsu all posting solid growth during 2021. 

But whilst Sir Martin is positive about the rest of 2021 and 2022, is trouble on the horizon in 2023 thanks to a predicted slowdown in the global economy?

Sir Martin predicts that growth in 2023 will slow to pre-pandemic levels of 2-3%, therefore causing a downturn in ad spend.

So there’s time like the present to go for growth and protect your business from macro-economic factors in 2023. 

As Sir Martin puts it, brands and agencies must “make hay whilst the sun shines”.

Why we need to be trendspotters - who act fast

As everyone knows, accelerated mass disruption creates winners and losers. Sir Martin says S4 “thrives on disruption” and has created a unit within the group to spot businesses with disruptive potential.

“It will be voice, virtual reality, augmented reality. We are working very closely with Facebook on Oculus in the VR area and that is becoming more important,” he told The Times.

The ability to spot emerging trends and act fast will become increasingly important in the face of accelerated disruption. In fact, it could be the difference between survival and extinction.

Brands and agencies can apply here for a MAD//MeetMarket VIP pass until 15 October.
A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available by application until 15 October. Click here to apply.

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