Sir Martin Sorrell World Economic Forum

Sir Martin Sorrell reveals his predictions for 2014 including data security, mobile, Chinese innovation and the return of 'Brand America'


By Gillian West, Social media manager

January 26, 2014 | 3 min read

Sir Martin Sorrell has claimed that people are becoming more worried about data security, mobile marketing is only set to grow, and that Chinese innovation is the next big thing.

Sorrell's predictions came as the world's political and business leaders descended on Davos for the World Economic Forum, where 30 government or state leaders and 300 other senior public officials discussed the long-term strategies needed to address global issues, such as finance.

Published online, as part of a blog for the Huffington Post, Sorrell reveals that financial confidence is slowly growing but remains "fragile". He writes: "WPP's financial performance correlates directly with global GDP: when the world economy does well, so do we; when it catches a cold, we come down with the illness every time - three times in the last 28 years."

He reveals that businesses appear to be "doing well" with optimism higher this year than last, though "clients remain cautious and risk averse". Sorrell also predicts that now is the time for 'Brand America' to reassert itself, with there being "several reasons to be significantly more cheerful about the future of the US".

Developments in manufacturing and technology, such as 3D printing, will - in Sorrell's opinion - "reposition American manufacturing in comparison with lower cost offshore options. Indeed, there are indications already of clients moving manufacturing onshore to the US."

As will any prediction piece Sorrell touches on both data security and mobile as two common themes running through 2014. NSA revelations continue to make waves, according to Sorrell, with the public concerned about data and security as technology increases the "amount of information collected on consumer behaviour".

Spying and phone-tapping allegations have caused "a major issue for a vast array of businesses" said Sorrell, with businesses needing to "work harder to show the benefits that 'big data' brings to consumers and economies…'Opt-out' is no longer an acceptable strategy. And 'opt-in' has to be clarified and simplified for the consumer".

With GroupM declaring that "the mobile advertising floodgates are open" and mobile overtaking desktop as the primary means for going online in fast-growth markets such as China, Sorrell also predicts that "finally, mobile is on the up and up".

His final prediction is that Chinese innovation will be the next big thing, with Xiaomi "outpacing Apple in China" and "Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu poised to shake up the traditional banking sector". He continues: "Smarter minds are looking East - and learning".

Sir Martin Sorrell World Economic Forum

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