GroupM pools data and tech business into new group

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 30 November 2016
Brian Gleason

GroupM has created a new global network which brings together data and technology capability from across the group into one business called M Platform.

The move is part of its quest for deeper consumer insights to woo marketers and GroupM says it is the “most robust” insights resource in market. It is the first majormove by new CEO Kelly Clark.

M Platform will be led by CEO Brian Gleason, former global boss of Xaxis. A local market/APAC lead will be named imminently.

GroupM describes the new unit as an “advanced technology suite of flexible media planning applications, data analytics and digital services”.

It claims grouping the functions together will help its agencies and clients use customer insights from hundreds of data sources to better connect with audiences.

M Platform incorporates Xaxis and digital services including search, social, mobile, programmatic and ad operations and taps into data sources such as WPP's Kantar research house, third party data, global media partners and clients' first party data.

The aim is to provide clients with customer profiles that outline demographics, technology usage, behavioural insights, purchase history, location data and more.

It is split into four pillars:

  • M Core is a full-stack audience intelligence platform that combines cross-platform data from display, mobile, video, offline CRM and apps, to creates a single consumer identifier.
  • M Insights is an audience-centric media planning tool with cross-channel planning, creative workflow management, unified audience frequency capping and location-based and in-demo reach management. 
  • M Analytics marries online and offline campaign-level data to enable analytics, attribution and optimization. 
  • M Report merges data into a single visualisation dashboard.

Kelly Clark, recently appointed global CEO of GroupM, says: “Marketers are under tremendous pressure to deliver results from media investments. This flexible platform approach enables us to focus $7 billion worth of investments we’ve made in data and technology over 10 years to help them realise a marketplace advantage. Our agencies will now have deeper consumer insights and the most robust technology in the market.”

Recently named president of platform services in North America, Phil Cowdell, will lead that region, Lucas Mentasti will lead M Platform in Latin America. EMEA and APAC bosses are yet to be named.

Nicolle Pangis, chief operating officer; Jack Smith, chief strategy officer and Bob Hammond, chief technology officer also sit on the global leadership team for the new function.

“The rise of digital and mobile technologies, media fragmentation and expanding e-commerce create a pivot point in marketing where the scientific application of data to media strategies is essential, says Gleason.

“Today, marketers have to know their customers in richer detail than ever before, or else they won’t reach them. [M] Platform is an audience-centric approach enabling our agencies with individualised consumer insights and technologies to reach audiences without boundaries. Now, the best of our technologies, whether built, acquired or partnered are consolidated under his remit to enable our agencies with an unparalleled ability to reach audiences and deliver outcomes for their clients.”


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