free html hit counter Help Me Interview Michael Roth, CEO of Interpublic Group (And Win Free Tix to Web 2) - John Battelle's Search Blog

Help Me Interview Michael Roth, CEO of Interpublic Group (And Win Free Tix to Web 2)

By - October 06, 2011

roth.jpegWhat’s the CEO of a major advertising holding company doing at Web 2 Summit? Well, come on down and find out. Marketing dollars are the oxygen in the Internet’s bloodstream – the majority of our most celebrated startups got that way by providing marketing solutions to advertisers of all stripes. Think about it: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Groupon – all provide channels between customers and brands.

So it only seem fitting that invite a man responsible for more than $6.5 billion in marketing-driven revenues (and that’s not advertising spend, that’s revenues after spend). Michael Roth runs the Interpublic Group of Companies, which include scores of specialized agencies, from Cadreon on the automated buying side of things to McCann, Lowe, and DraftFCB. The company employs more than 40,000 people around the world.

Marketing is changing dramatically as the Internet becomes *the* medium connecting brands and consumers. It’s also a key indicator of economic health – as goes marketing spend, so goes the economy. I’ll be asking Roth about the role digital has played in his business, as well as how he sees the rise of companies such as Google and Facebook.

What do you want to learn from a top executive in the world of marketing?

As an extra incentive, I’ll be picking the best three questions from these series of posts (including Paul Otellini, Mary Meeker, Michael Roth, Steve Ballmer, James Gleick, Vic Gundotra, and Reid Hoffman, among others.) The authors of those questions will get complimentary passes to Web 2 – a more than $4000 value. So get to commenting, and thank you!

Previously: Mark Pincus, John Donahoe, Marc Benioff, Dick Costolo, Michael Dell, Mary Meeker . Next up: Steve Ballmer.

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9 thoughts on “Help Me Interview Michael Roth, CEO of Interpublic Group (And Win Free Tix to Web 2)

  1. Trace Cohen says:

    The world as we know it changes everyday with new social networks to engage our customers on, more in depth analytics for highly targeted ads and new writers/influencers emerging to cover our clients (PR).

    How do you evaluate each platform and determine the appropriate value you can derive from it and create a budget for each one? And as a follow up, PR is seen as a more effective means of influence and potential visibility with such low clicks throughs on ads etc., so how do you see that affecting your decisions moving forwards?


    Trace Cohen

  2. Mariana Phipps says:

    Marketing budgets have been shifting from mass media to digital media. Many people that have worked for many years selling TV, radio and newspapers do not know how to sell/strategize/measure online and viceversa.

    How are the agencies addressing the urgent need of cross training their employees?

  3. Jose Nevado says:

    It’s proven that selling media consultancy and media space works as Google proves more and more everyday. This could delete from value chain the media agencies. Initiatives as Cadreon only solve one side on the issue, becoming less an intermediate in media buying, and solving some of the SOX and contractual issues with advertisers, but what IPG plans to fight against the big monster Google is and will be when they become the biggest intermediate a vehicle of vido/tv advertising?

  4. Adam says:

    There’s branding (long term company image) and advertising (short term promotion, etc.).

    When it comes to retaining customers for the long haul: There is not a platform that correctly manages those two, very different, and independent (to a point), aspects of “company voice”.

    Are companies going to be able to overcome the fact that branding and advertising (marketing) – you can only have one, not both – are not sustainable on one platform, in the long term? If yes, how?

  5. David says:

    I would ask him if it was no longer true that 1/2 your advertising budget is a waste but you cannot figure out which half. I would also ask him how much further we can go in shifting ad dollars from other media to the web (i.e. has that transition been fully realized or are there still many non-Internet natives deciding how to spend ad dollars who are still resistant to whatever portion of ad spending they might spend online that would optimize their interests).

  6. Is it still possible to talk about ‘TV’ as a single entity?

  7. Justin says:

    How involved are you with social media? Where advertising is more of a 2-way conversation?

    Do you think the Internet has allowed society to be much more fragmented? How had that impacted advertising?

    What kinds of advertising formats/styles are you experimenting with these days? Have you had success with Apple’s iAd?

  8. David Burn says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to address Mr. Roth, John. Given the chance, I might ask the man how best to insert oneself into a client’s business. Is it enough to be a brand builder, I would ask, or must the agency of today and tomorrow get to a much deeper level with clients–an operational place and a place where the soul of the company is fought for and won?

  9. Mark Boyd says:

    Interpublic is on target for spending $150m this year on buying new ad agencies (they acquired Brazilian outfit cubo in March for example). What are the key features they are looking for in a new advertising acquisition?