Alison Weissbrot
Oct 26, 2021

GroupM and Hogarth team up on global addressable content practice

The partnership between the two WPP agencies aims to bring more personalized creative to clients.

Credit: Ricardo Arce
Credit: Ricardo Arce

For a long time, the advertising industry has gotten good at reaching the right people at the right time. But often, the message isn’t as personalized and targeted as the media placement.

GroupM and Hogarth are setting out to change that. The WPP-owned media buying giant and content production agency are teaming up on an addressable content practice that will tie together performance targeting with personalized messaging and content.

The alliance is based on the fact while 85% of media placements will addressable by 2025, currently just 3% of ads are delivered addressably.

“That is an imminent opportunity,” said Jill Kelly, global CMO at GroupM. “We’re looking at omnichannel addressability and cross-channel expertise [delivered by] a single team.”

The global practice will formalize existing addressable content offerings across GroupM’s agencies — Mindshare, MediaCom, Essence and Wavemaker — and pair them with Hogarth to integrate addressable content into the planning and buying process.

While GroupM and Hogarth have been working together on specific client engagements for some time, the global practice makes the offering more tangible and easy to access for global clients at scale, said Richard Glasson, CEO of Hogarth Worldwide.

“By linking our teams, systems and intelligence, we're able to produce creative work which talks in an incredibly authentic and relevant way wherever the person might be, in any market around the world,” he said.

GroupM and Hogarth will create “always-on,”  integrated teams for clients looking for addressable content strategies. The idea is that integrating addressable planning, buying and content at the outset, rather than planning each in silos, will create more cohesion and better outcomes.

“It's not a legacy way of working, like handing off to partners down the track who are adapting work that has already been made,” Glasson said. “We are working in an integrated way and responding together, which speeds the process up, makes the work more effective and puts strategy and creativity at the heart.”

On the creative side, having content and media work together at the outset creates an opportunity for dynamic and addressable creative to live up to its promise, “beyond changing the name and zip code in an email,” Glasson said.

“We're talking about putting culturally relevant messaging in front of people,” he said. “That's where creative quality can play a strong part.”

So far, the addressable content practice is live and working with clients out of hubs in New York, London, Mexico City, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney, and is kicking off pilots in China, Japan and Germany. The practice is working with clients across technology, travel, automotive and pharma, but GroupM and Hogarth declined to name them.

The partnership has yielded better performance for brands based on the KPIs they set out for a specific campaign, whether that’s sales uplift, brand awareness or loyalty card sign-ups, Kelly said, but she declined to break out figures.

GroupM and Hogarth see addressable content as a major opportunity. The agencies are projecting that the practice will grow 40% to 50% and triple in size in the next five years.

“Ad light environments growing globally, heightened regulatory constraints and the deprecation of cookies are not only forcing media and content to work harder, but harder together,” Kelly said.

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