CEO Martin Sorrell told investors on Friday that WPP has acted historically as the marketing partner working alongside a vendor such as IBM. That changed significantly circa 2007, when the company acquired 24/7 Media. More recently it took a 20% stake in South American technology firm Globant. The strategy is to get closer to CIOs, who control marketing budgets in an age where software is a growing piece of the advertising equation.
"We're increasingly getting knowledge of the technology side on our own," Sorrell said. "Xaxis is a very good example on the media planning and buying side online."
Sorrell added WPP's fourth largest client has recently commissioned the company to "put a complete platform in." He didn't elaborate on the nature of the project or what "complete" means in this instance, but WPP's seriousness about its platform strategy is clear.
As Sorrell told AdExchanger in January, the company is going after "the Sapients and the Cognizants."