WPP's Blackett: opportunity for creative industries is to make people feel they belong post-Brexit

Karen Blackett, UK country manager at WPP and chairwoman at MediaCom, has said the opportunity for the creative industries is to make people feel like they belong in a post-Brexit world.

WPP's Blackett: opportunity for creative industries is to make people feel they belong post-Brexit

Speaking at the Creative Equals Future Leaders in London last week, Blackett (pictured) said: "15% of our creative talent is from EU markets and we want them to feel they belong."

Describing modern Britain as a "beautiful fruit salad of people", she said the more that diversity is reflected in organisations the easier it becomes to connect with people.

A question of confidence

Blackett noted that, regardless of how we voted, Brexit is coming and it has knocked consumer confidence. A state of play which she says means that for brands it is no longer about getting on consumers’ consideration list it is about getting on the "priority list".

She said the current market is described internally within WPP as grappling with "VUCA" (volatility; uncertainty/the known unknowns; complexity and ambiguity/the unknown unknowns.

However, she noted that "this is the ninth consecutive year we are predicting growth in the advertising industry".

Digital, technology and data

Despite the industry’s much-discussed focus on data and digital transformation, according to Blackett, less than 10% of clients at Group M have a single view of a customer. She said: "If we can harness this data it will be like catnip for the creative solutions we can come up with."

Blackett said that technology allows us to do more for our clients and ‘whatever department we work in we need to lean into this’. In practical terms she said this means knowing who your tech partners are.

She said the core question for the industry is "how do we ensure we have a point of difference?" "When clients are bringing things in house the question is how can we be with them on that journey and have a role?"

Technology allows us to do more for our clients – whatever department we work in we need to lean into this she added, and asked, "who are your tech partners do you know your tech partners." 

"How do we ensure we have a point of difference? Bringing things in house for clients - how can we be with them on that journey and have a role. Technology allows us to do that but it can also be a threat," Blackett added.

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