Only the Curious Survive: Rob Norman @BIC on the Past, Present, Future of the Industry

4/22/2018 Unknown 0 Comments

In a fast paced hour, BIC Board Member and former CEO/CDO of GroupM Rob Norman took a packed audience on a thirty year journey: the explosion of media in a digital world, an Englishman's passion for the New York Mets, and an unavoidable cab ride with Sir Martin Sorrell to Heathrow.
But the most fascinating part of the lecture was when our favorite "trendcaster" looked ahead. His presentation of when clouds collide laid out a potentially stormy future with the creation, destruction and transfer of value, including youth defection from Facebook, capital over-reach by Amazon, and brand safety by Google. Ever the optimist, Rob provided a pathway to a brighter future with "data beacons in an audience-driven world that connect identity and the right assets to inventory and outcomes at any stage of the consumer journey."

It's always a privilege to welcome Rob to campus, especially as he retires from his amazing perch at GroupM. However, Rob's not going anywhere. As reported in Ad Age last November "The "retirement thing," he hopes, will broaden the horizons a bit. "It allows you to be curious over a broader canvas than viewability ... not that viewability isn't important," he says. 

GroupM is the largest purchaser of advertising media in the world and is a division of WPP and the parent company of Maxus, MEC, Mindshare, Xaxis, M80, IEG, Catalyst and Quisma. On a global basis, GroupM invests in excess of $80 billion on behalf of its clients. Overseeing more than 3,000 digital specialists around the world, Rob's leadership has been transformative. He has been called "arguably the most influential person in digital advertising."

Other members of the BIC Board were also on The City College campus to listen to Rob, including former @BIC Speakers Barri Rafferty, CEO Ketchum and Rob Schwartz, CEO TBWA/Chiat/DayNY. They were seated along with Douglas Davis, Belle Frank, Hayes Roth, Dee Salomon, and GroupM Managing Partner Tim Cecere.