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WPP unlocks the power of data and creativity using Google Cloud

September 17, 2019
Thomas Kurian

CEO, Google Cloud

Over the past year, our customers have shared many stories with me about how cloud technology is transforming their businesses. One theme that frequently comes up is how the cloud enables marketers to deliver better customer experiences across online and offline campaigns, email, apps, websites, and more. By stitching together these consumer touchpoints via the cloud, marketers can ultimately produce more seamless, consistent experiences—and better outcomes for the businesses they support.

One of the companies at the forefront of this transformation is WPP. As the world’s largest advertising holding company, WPP operates across 112 countries and supports nearly three-quarters of the Fortune 500 with media, creative, public relations, and marketing analytics expertise. 

It can be challenging for a company operating at this scale to manage and unlock the value of its data across its businesses. Information can become siloed, with valuable insights lost within the organization. In 2018, WPP CEO Mark Read recognized this challenge and set forth a new vision. By better aligning his company’s technology, creative and talent, WPP aims to deliver transformative experiences for audiences and superior results for its clients.

“Creativity and technology are the two key pillars of WPP’s future strategy. Creativity is what differentiates us and technology allows us to scale. In the first year of our transformation journey we have invested significantly in our technology capabilities and our strong partnership with Google Cloud is key to helping us realise our vision. Their vast experience in advertising and marketing combined with their strength in analytics and AI helps us to deliver powerful and innovative solutions for our clients,”  said Mark Read, WPP CEO.  

To fast-track its business transformation, WPP chose Google Cloud for our technology and expertise, and is focusing on 3 key initiatives:  

  • Campaign Governance—Creating better ways of working through cloud-driven automation for campaign set-up, creative management, reporting and optimization across the WPP network.
  • Customer Data Management—Bringing together data points from the customer, market intelligence and WPP data into an open data platform to enable better insights, planning and activation.  
  • WPP AI—Utilizing Google Cloud’s ML tools and technology to help fuel innovation in WPP’s analytics, campaign optimization, content intelligence and customer experience practices.

WPP is deploying Google Cloud across multiple projects—from building a media planning stewardship system, to improving campaigns with the use of tools for image recognition, sentiment analysis, and natural language processing. By incorporating cloud technology into WPP’s daily practices, teams can speed up their time-to-insight and uncover new opportunities for clients. Also, by connecting Google Cloud to other products like the Google Marketing Platform, WPP can deliver better experiences for their audiences across media and marketing.

WPP has already begun putting its data-forward thinking to work. For example, Wunderman Thompson, a global agency within WPP, worked with GlaxoSmithKline to develop the Theraflu Flu Tracker. Using statistical data from Mexico’s National Institute of Epidemiology, along with weather data and other indicators, it developed deep learning models on Google Cloud that predicted where and when flu cases would occur in Mexico, with up to 97% accuracy. Wunderman turned this knowledge into relevant digital ads that communicated the risk of flu in the 32 federal entities in Mexico. This campaign increased e-commerce sales by nearly 200%, won a Bronze Lion at Cannes and helped people be better informed about flu likelihood.

This is just one example of how WPP is tapping into data, obtaining insights at-scale and using creativity to produce meaningful business results—and it’s only the beginning. We are proud to collaborate with WPP to deliver truly transformative experiences to consumers using Google Cloud.

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