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Publicis Groupe (PUBP) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Publicis Groupe (France)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Publicis Groupe is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – challanges to central banks by blockchain based private currencies, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, geopolitical disruptions, technology disruption, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing energy prices, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Publicis Groupe


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Publicis Groupe can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Publicis Groupe, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Publicis Groupe operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Publicis Groupe can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Publicis Groupe
2. Improving business portfolio management of Publicis Groupe
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in France
4. Making a Advertising sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Publicis Groupe




Strengths of Publicis Groupe | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Publicis Groupe are -

Ability to lead change in Advertising

– Publicis Groupe is one of the leading players in the Advertising industry in France. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Advertising industry in France but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Publicis Groupe in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Analytics focus

– Publicis Groupe is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Advertising industry. The technology infrastructure of France is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Publicis Groupe has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Publicis Groupe in the Services sector have low bargaining power. Publicis Groupe has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Publicis Groupe to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Organizational Resilience of Publicis Groupe

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Publicis Groupe does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Publicis Groupe comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Advertising industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Publicis Groupe in Advertising industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Advertising industry

– Publicis Groupe has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Publicis Groupe to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Advertising industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Publicis Groupe to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Digital Transformation in Advertising industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Publicis Groupe digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Publicis Groupe has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Publicis Groupe has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Publicis Groupe has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Publicis Groupe has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Advertising industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Publicis Groupe have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Diverse revenue streams

– Publicis Groupe is present in almost all the verticals within the Advertising industry. This has provided Publicis Groupe a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.






Weaknesses of Publicis Groupe | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Publicis Groupe are -

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Publicis Groupe is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Publicis Groupe to provide better information regarding Advertising products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of France, Publicis Groupe needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Publicis Groupe has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Advertising industry using digital technology.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Publicis Groupe needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Advertising industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Publicis Groupe can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Publicis Groupe is planning to shift buying processes online.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Publicis Groupe has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Advertising industry over the last five years. Publicis Groupe even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Publicis Groupe, in the dynamic environment of Advertising industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Publicis Groupe has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Publicis Groupe has some of the most successful models in the Advertising industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Publicis Groupe should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Publicis Groupe has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Advertising industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Publicis Groupe is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Advertising industry, but Publicis Groupe needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Publicis Groupe to focus more on services in the Advertising industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

Skills based hiring in Advertising industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Publicis Groupe has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Advertising industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in France, Publicis Groupe is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Advertising industry.




Publicis Groupe Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Publicis Groupe are -

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Publicis Groupe has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Advertising sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Publicis Groupe to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Publicis Groupe to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Publicis Groupe is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Publicis Groupe can utilize new technology in the field of Advertising industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Publicis Groupe can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Advertising industry.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Publicis Groupe has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Advertising industry. This can help Publicis Groupe to build a more holistic ecosystem for Publicis Groupe products in the Advertising industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Publicis Groupe to increase its market reach. Publicis Groupe will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Publicis Groupe to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Publicis Groupe can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Publicis Groupe to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Publicis Groupe can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Publicis Groupe operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Advertising sector.

Loyalty marketing

– Publicis Groupe has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Publicis Groupe can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Buying journey improvements

– Publicis Groupe can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Advertising industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Publicis Groupe to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Publicis Groupe to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Advertising industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Publicis Groupe in the Advertising industry. Now Publicis Groupe can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.




Threats Publicis Groupe External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Publicis Groupe are -

Increasing wage structure of Publicis Groupe

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Publicis Groupe.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Publicis Groupe will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Publicis Groupe demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Advertising industry and other sectors.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Publicis Groupe in Advertising industry. The Advertising industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Publicis Groupe.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Publicis Groupe has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Advertising industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Publicis Groupe needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Advertising sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Advertising industry are lowering. It can presents Publicis Groupe with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Advertising sector.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Publicis Groupe high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Publicis Groupe is facing in Advertising sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Publicis Groupe can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Advertising industry.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Publicis Groupe in the Advertising sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Regulatory challenges

– Publicis Groupe needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Advertising industry regulations.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Publicis Groupe Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Publicis Groupe needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Publicis Groupe is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Publicis Groupe is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Publicis Groupe to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Publicis Groupe needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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