Twitter inks deal with ad giant WPP

Steven Loeb · June 6, 2013 · Short URL:

WPP will leverage Twitter data, while Twitter will get to expand new markets around the globe

Twitter has entered into a "global strategic partnership" with advertising agency WPP, it was announced Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal will allow WPP and its agencies, which include media investment management company GroupM and consumer insight business Kantar, to leverage Twitter's data in order to gain insight into customer behavior. This will allow these companies  to get a better sense of where to spend their ad dollars, deliver better ad campaigns, enhance targeting and give clients real-time insights.

"As Twitter has grown, marketers are leveraging the platform for brand insights, relevant real-time messaging, and customer research. This partnership will benefit clients by pairing Twitter with WPP’s world-class analytics, targeting, and creative capabilities," Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, said in a statement.

There is also an added benefit for Twitter in this partnership (on top of all of the increased ad revenue that it will be seeing): WPP will help Twitter expand its business globally, in markets such as Western Europe, Japan, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil, as well as deeper in the United States. 

In addition, "the partnership will see the launch of new data products and services, the integration of Twitter data into key WPP media and analytics platforms, training for staff in the application of these new capabilities and a partnership approach to key clients and markets."

WPP is one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, with billings of $70.5 billion and revenues of $16.5 billion. The company employs over 165,000 people, including associates, in over 3,000 offices across 110 countries.

There are over 100 companies within the Group, and they work with over 340 of the Fortune Global 500, over one-half of the NASDAQ 100 and over 30 of the Fortune e-50.

Twitter's advertising strategy

This is the second large ad agency to ink a deal with Twitter.

In April, Twitter entered into a partnership with Starcom, in a deal that was reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and which brought in such brands as Proctor & Gamble, Walmart, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola.

In addition, Twitter has been recently been taking a number of internal steps toward building up its advertising revenue.

In April, Twitter introduced new Twitter cards to incentivize businesses and advertisers to showcase their content on Twitter, which they hope will lead to further monetization. The social network also launched a redesigned resource for businesses to learn how to user Twitter, including marketing tips, glossary, and ideas on how to promote on Twitter.

Twitter debuted a new API that is designed make it easier for brands to manage campaigns and get more value out of advertising on Twitter, by allowing them to integrate with its ads platform through a list of API partners that will supply them with better targeting and tools.  The first five of these partners were HootSuite, Adobe, Saleforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital.

The company also introduced a new tool for advertisers what could make that number go even higher: keyword targeting, which will allow advertisers to sell ads to users based on words in their tweets. It will be available in the full Twitter Ads UI and through the Ads API.

Advertising is key to any social network's long-term success, and, so far, Twitter's strategy seems to have be working. Market researcher eMarketer is projecting Twitter to grow revenue by 63% to nearly $1 billion in advertising sales by 2014. 

By 2015, Twitter is expected to pull in $1.33 billion in worldwide ad revenue. In September, eMarketer had projected that the network would take in $807.5 million in 2014, but has now revised that number to $950 million.

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