WPP Group has made a $25 million investment in web analytics firm Omniture as the two plan are putting together a marketing consultancy. The move represents the direction WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell has charted since buying audience researcher TNS Media Intelligence this past fall. As Sir Martin told me at an industry conference last month, the company wants to be seen as having broader offerings than just creative advertising or media buying. Driving ROI and offering an array of consumer insights is the best way to attract and retain marketers.
In terms of the partnership with Orem, Utah-based Omniture, WPP is bringing all its digital assets, including TNS, G2, OgilvyOne, RMG, Wunderman, Enfatico, Schematic, Group M, 24/7 Real Media and others, to help develop and market its analytics services to clients. The integration process will take about 12- to 18 months, the companies said.
Under the terms of the deal, Omniture will issue 2.85 million shares of stock, which are to held by WPP for at least 18 months. In April 2010, WPP could buy as many as 10 million additional shares. That would give the UK ad holding firm 14 percent of Omnitures’ outstanding shares, if the analystics firm meets predetermined — and otherwise unspecified — performance conditions set by WPP. Release
In a research note, JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan says the purchase buoys his belief that performance-based ads will continue to rise display’s value is reduced as more marketers cry out for “ROI.” As for the deal itself, Khan doubt any perceptible near-term sales gains, but “Omniture