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Opinion and Insight

Publicis Groupe Reveals 'Sprint to the Future' Plan

Arthur Sadoun addresses holding company employees in video released ahead of its ‘Investor Day’ event in London

Publicis Groupe Reveals 'Sprint to the Future' Plan

Publicis Groupe is today presenting its plan for the coming years to investors at an all-day event in London dubbed Investor Day.

Speaking in a video sent to all Publicis Groupe employees ahead of the event, Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun announced ‘Sprint to the Future’, a three-pillar plan for success. He also expressed “confidence and passion” ahead of its launch, but also “some nerves”. 

“The 300 financial experts who will be in the room are not convinced that the future of our industry is bright, to say it nicely,” he says. “They are not completely wrong. Disruption is everywhere, our clients are facing an absolute necessity to change and our industry is being challenged as well.” 

He adds: “We are all in a race for transformation and there will be very few winners.”

But Sadoun believes that Publicis Groupe is already better placed for the future than its competitors. “Because change is in our DNA and because we have taken the right steps in advance, we believe that we already have a head start for success.”

And so how will Publicis Groupe execute Sprint to the Future? It’s based around three pillars. 

The first pillar is based around the company’s offer and how it “is exactly what will make our clients win the future”. Sadoun details how one-to-one consumer engagement at scale is now possible, and that Publicis have the resources to deliver it right, to make it magic, and to make it work.

"We are the only company in the world that can connect data, content and technology with the necessary credibility, with CMOs on one side and CIOs on the other," he says. 

According to Arthur, being the market leader in one-to-one consumer engagement will make Publicis Groupe stand out not only compared to the other holding companies but also tech companies and system integrators.

The second pillar is focused on accelerating transformation from a holding company to a “platform”. Publicis will achieve this through six actions: 

1. "Putting our clients at the centre of our organisation”
2. "Breaking down the silos"
3. "Scaling our game changers"
4. "Building a single delivery model"
5. "Reinventing the way we work through Marcel"
6. "Investing in our future"

The third pillar is focused on “delivering while transforming”. 

Publicis will present plans for organic growth with the aim of reaching +4% by 2020. It will also share its target to improve its operating margin rate by 30-50 basis points every year until 2020. Finally, Sadoun expects headline earning per share growth to accelerate over the next three years.

"We want to become the indispensible partner for our clients in their transformation," Sadoun assured investors. “We are committed to shifting our model to become a platform for greater efficiencies, and our objective is to lead the pack in terms of financial performance, to make sure you progress collectively but also individually.

“Of course, it won’t be easy and there will be some bumps in the road. But at a time of huge challenges for our industry, we aren’t looking for excuses or burying our heads in the sand. We are acting to create a brighter future for ourselves and our clients - fast.”

Check out Sadoun’s presentation in full below.