COLOGNE-WPP Group hasn’t wasted any time incubating GroupM Connect, its digital agency platform specializing in real-time and biddable media. In two years it’s grown to more than 2,000 people and made a number of acquisitions because “We firmly believe that anything that can be bought programmatically going forward will be,” said Ruud Wanck, Worldwide CEO of GroupM Connect.

GroupM Connect’s raison d’être is to the drive the transition of GroupM into the real-time media investment management space, Wanck explained in an interview with Beet.TV at the annual DMEXCO conference and exposition in September.

“We wanted to create one unifier where we’re putting all the company specialists in a single place and environment to really drive that transition from regular media investment management to real-time media investment management,” Wanck said.

Asked for his view of the continuing rise of advertising that is bought programmatically, Wanck acknowledged “a lot of fuzz around programmatic” but boiled it down to a simple Wall Street analogy.

“Go back to the stock exchanges with people running around with ticker tapes. Those people now have different roles,” Wanck said.

GroupM Connect has developed its own technology layer and acquired other capabilities. Upon deciding it didn’t want to be dependent upon digital pipes created by publishers, it acquired The Exchange Lab primarily for its Proteus programmatic technology. Similarly, GroupM Connect scooped up Greenhouse Group in The Netherlands. Greenhouse is now the company’s digital and real-time services layer in Benelux.

Wanck clears away any confusion about programmatic advertising by pointing out that it’s not a new channel or medium being created.

“It’s much more an underlying development that’s changing all of these media, the way they are being bought and how consumers see them,” Wanck said. “We see programmatic in that sense much more as a foundational layer.”

This interview was taped at DMEXCO ’16. It is part of a video series of industry leaders. The series is sponsored by Videology. For more Beet.TV coverage of DMEXCO, please visit this page.