'Big in content:' Martin Sorrell on how strength in numbers is the key to success

Not to mention the benefits and inside workings of having frenemies.

'Big in content:' Martin Sorrell on how strength in numbers is the key to success

NEW YORK: WPP chief Martin Sorrell brought together a panel of media moguls on Wednesday to discuss how industry success is swayed by clever content collaboration.

The holding company chief was joined by executives from industries such as music, talent management, sports, and, as Sorrell put it, "female Millennials," in an Advertising Week panel.

Each participant discussed his or her process for finding a content niche and creating business. Alex da Kid, a Grammy winning producer, opened with a description of his fast rise through the alignment of music with marketing, or "elevating music into the strategy relationship for brands."

George Pyne, founder of Bruin Sports Capital, noted that while at IMG he harnessed the collegiate sports market to create IMG College, a rights commodity that went from zero to a $500 million business from 2007 to 2014.

Sorrell also showcased Refinery29, the niche digital and media platform cofounded by Justin Stefano, which appeals to the "most important generation of women that has ever existed."

Stefano called its audience "the most connected, influential, and the hardest to reach."

The panel also discussed the inside workings and benefits of corporate "frenemies." Agencies are always reluctant to relieve control of client communication, yet Alex da Kid noted, "That tension will lead to better work."

"For me it’s a natural progression" he added. Through such a collaboration, creative content could be elevated from a music video to a comprehensive program for brands and agencies.

Sorrell also referenced Perelman’s former employer, BuzzFeed, citing its unique content delivery while disregarding the stereotype that "Millennials are not interested in news."

"It’s how it’s delivered – the form, the function, the manner, the device," Perelman agreed. "They want content."

This article was updated on October 7 to correct the name of Refinery29 cofounder Justin Stefano.

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