4 Tips For Successfully Activating Your Brand By Integrating Mobile and Web.

May 7, 2013


Many of the main issues marketers experience stem from what can only be called the “Separate Development Syndrome”. When different individuals or departments own different pieces of the activation program, it’s no wonder that the experience can feel disjointed to a consumer.

Tip Number One:

Where possible, try to avoid having two separate agencies or engineering teams (one Web, one mobile) developing two separate products but not working together on what should feel like the same experience. The focus should be on the consumer with the technology being the facilitator to delivering the optimum experience.

Tip Number Two:

This kind of disjointedness is not limited to engineering departments, or agencies. Quite often it is inherent in the structure of the marketing department itself when individuals or departments own different pieces. The mobile group may be responsible for the App or WAP site and the digital group the Web site and microsite strategy. If this is reflective of your structure, try to make sure that both teams work against the same brief, targeted experience deliverable and desired outcome or behavior.

Tip Number Three: 

Make sure that you have “mobile with a purpose” versus just to say that you have an App. I so often hear a client say that they need an App. When I ask why, the response amounts to not much more than it would be cool to have one. Quite often they do not even have a viable WAP site yet or what they do have is not cross-platform friendly.

Case Study Example: A recent client who is a large retailer focused on the tween and teen market, briefed us on developing a mobile App. When I asked the CMO via what devices do the current Million plus a month visitors access the current site, they did not know. On further research, we found that over 700,000 of them accessed it via a tablet or smartphone and believe it or not, the current site was not tablet or smartphone friendly. Hence our suggestion to develop a suitable WAP site in the first instance.

 Tip Number Four:

Start by taking an integrated approach with a problem-solving mindset. Start with two questions: “Does this make sense for our brand?” and “Does this enhance the consumer experience?” If you can answer yes to both of those questions, you are probably on the right track.

Digital, mobile and social technologies are the glue or even better the critical DNA to brand activation. That being the case, they must be strategically integrated, seamlessly developed and executed and add reciprocal value to the brand/consumer interaction and relationship.


Mobile Marketing ROI… The Key To Incremental New Business Success

May 18, 2010

25% of clients surveyed intend to spend between 15% and 30% of their total marketing budgets on mobile marketing. However, agencies are going to have to demonstrate a quantifiable ROI in order toget their share of the money! (Source: R2i survey, Jan 28, 2010)

When asked what the most critical area of improvement was in mobile, 43% of respondents listed quantifying ROI as their top response. Respondents said the main goals of their current mobile campaigns were raising company awareness and generating leads. To that end, marketers were most likely to measure their success by an increase in customers or sales.

Not surprisingly, more than 50% of respondents were focused on mobile Website development, while 40% used apps for their campaigns. (With iPhone and BlackBerry being considered the most important platform for mobile development).

To date, most mobile campaigns have been developed in silos as standalone initiatives. Creative assets from other channels are often just repurposed to make it appear integrated, even though in reality it is actually nothing more than a tactic. The results of this approach are confirmed in the survey findings.

Mobile actually has an amazing capability of being not only a very effective channel in its own right, but properly integrated into a campaign it has the ability to provide a bridge between digital and traditional media. Increasing the effectiveness of both as well as delivering results within the mobile channel itself.

There is an incredible new business opportunity out there for those agencies that truly understand the role of mobile and the technology platforms and applications available. Integrate mobile into your thinking and your solutions. Explain its role and its unique ability to bridge the other media to make them all more effective. Above all, quantify its individual effectiveness and its ability to generate immediate results.

You will answer a lot of open client questions, differentiate your agency from the competition and win more new business opportunities. I believe that you will find this to be easier and more effective than you might think.

Forrester Survey Highlights Clients’ Lack Of Confidence in Both Traditional And Digital Agencies Alike!

February 9, 2010

Forrester Research conducted a “state of interactive agencies” survey of about 100 global interactive marketers. It found just 23 percent believed their “traditional brand agency” is capable of planning and managing interactive marketing activities.

While that would appear to be good news for digital agencies, particularly as digital continues to enjoy increased allocations in most marketing budgets. The Forrester survey however, found few clients are willing to give them responsibility for the brand’s overall direction. Just 22 percent agreed that their interactive agency is “ready to lead my brand.” Another 33 percent said their digital shops aren’t ready, with the rest neutral.

The result is what Forrester calls “the great race” as traditional shops scramble to add digital know-how and digital shops seek to move up the ladder to become brand stewards, rather than Web site and banner ad specialists.

The survey found that in an ideal world, clients would like to work with a single agency with 60 percent saying that they would like one digital shop.  When you look deeper into the survey data it would appear that even within digital, only one in five respondents currently rely on a single provider. Almost 60 percent of respondents currently have two or more.

For every digital agency that manages to secure brand lead responsibilities, there are just as many traditional agencies making inroads into the digital world.  Add to this the increasing number of emerging media specialists (mobile and social media) that appear on a daily basis and you have the digital equivalent of the Wild West.

No matter whether you are a traditional or digital shop, there is no doubt that you have your work cut out for you.

From a digital perspective your agency might be well served… Investing your time and money keeping abreast of new technologies and emerging media versus chasing those elusive brand responsibilities.

From a traditional perspective, your agency might be well served… Protecting your current turf and client relationships, while at the same time expanding your creative and strategic capabilities to include people like Idea Architects and Idea Engineers. Then partner with digital specialists to develop and execute truly integrated marketing campaigns.

How Critical Is The Website To My Ad Agency’s Success?

August 25, 2009


critical website

While the design and usability of your ad agency website is important, it really makes no difference at all if no one is visiting it!

Last week I received an email from the principal of a small agency who is currently in the process of re-branding and re-launching their agency. The purpose of her email was to ask me what other agency websites I could recommend as good examples of best practices. A very reasonable question but, under the circumstances I fear the wrong question altogether.

There is no doubt that most agency websites would benefit from being less complex, easier to navigate, and having less flash among many other things. However, before even getting to the website design and functionality, what about those more important issues like content, message, differentiation, positioning, relevance, targeting etc.

There are so many websites, micro sites, blogs, Interstitials etc. online that the old adage of “if you build it they will come” just does not apply. That’s because they won’t. There seems to be this perspective that borders almost on panic and paranoia, that as an agency you must have a website and it had better be a creative masterpiece. After all, can you really consider yourself an agency if you do not?

The reality is that you will probably be better served spending your time and money working out the best way to deliver value through content and start a dialogue with your target clients through that. Do you have any idea just how many agency websites there are out there that give a laundry list of capabilities, claim to be full service and integrated and have a plethora of client work on show supported by far too much flash? It’s enough to make most clients yawn. In fact, the average number of “real” visitors to an agency website that might have even the most remote possibility of becoming a client is minuscule at best.

My suggestions are:

  • Agencies start thinking about how they could become involved in the environments clients already frequent, versus expecting them to come to theirs.
  • Spend your time and money defining who you are, what you do really well, and targeting those clients who are most likely to be interested in your story.
  • Move your approach away from talking about you and what you have as an agency, to the client and what you know about them and how you can help them succeed like no other agency.
  • Look at providing value through content and starting a dialogue with your target clients, versus creating a self serving online environment that does little else than boost your own self esteem.

Success for ad agencies in the digital world requires more than just having a great website. It requires an informed digital strategy that is well executed. Ultimately the value of your website is determined by how good your marketing communications strategy is.



An Ad Agency Nightmare. The Day The Media Died!

August 6, 2009

madison avenue blues

I recently wrote a post describing how the Magicians of Madison Avenue have become obsolete. This video tells the story far more poetically than I ever could. 

Just after writing that post, I came across this video on you tube. It is probably one of the most insightful and funny parodies ever produced about the advertising and media business. At the same time, it is also carries with it a very strong message…A wake-up call for everybody in the marketing communications and media industry.

The video puts into perspective the real impact that technology has had on our business and illustrates just how slow many of us have been to adapt or at least embrace it. No one is left unscathed in the process.

We have all heard the proverbial phrase that dates back to the 19th century, “less is more”. In this instance I am going to say less and let the video tell you more about the story.

Enjoy. I know that I did.




Mobile Media, Can Advertising Agencies Keep Up?

July 1, 2009

mobilemarketingpanelAs technology continues to push media and communication boundaries, do advertising agencies have even a chance of keeping up? With the recent exponential growth in Mobile Media, will agencies be able to get ahead of it or will it roll over them?

The last six to eight years have been characterized by traditional agencies and agency groups rushing to acquire or build digital, direct marketing and database/analytics capabilities. Having done so, they immediately tout the fact that they are a fully integrated agency.  “A one stop shop with the ability to deliver campaigns that run across the full media spectrum.” “Really, the full media spectrum?” How many agencies can really claim be competent across the “full media spectrum”?

Let’s take a look at mobile media for example. The Washington Post reported today that YouTube has seen a 1700% increase in video uploads from mobile devices. 400% of the increase occurred in the six days following the recent release of the new Apple 3G iPhone. They also predict that video sharing via a mobile device will continue to skyrocket over the next few months.

While some may say that this will just increase the amount of silly user-generated content, it could alternatively very well spur the “iReporter” movement, as consumers upload video taken at the scene of a newsworthy event. Can you just imagine the applications from an advertising and brand/product promotion perspective? The ability to document and share brand experiences in real time, be they positive or negative? Or enhanced consumer brand involvement and shared experiences? The possibilities are mind boggling.

The question this raises is how can clients expect their agencies to successfully integrate innovative mobile marketing technologies and ideas into their work, if the agency teams working on the assignments very often do not have a true understanding of the media and what is and is not possible? This may well end up being another case of the client taking the leadership role and finding their own solutions outside of the agency relationship.


The bottom line is that most agencies currently have little to no true mobile marketing expertise! The bulk of the current know how rests with a few specialist agencies and wireless vendors. In my opinion, Mobile Marketing is going to continue to grow in importance and scale in the foreseeable future, and the agency world either needs to embrace it and get ahead of it, or have it roll right over them.

So, what can an agency do to avoid being left behind?

  • You start by doing something as simple as engaging various experts in the field to help your client and creative teams understand what it available and how to leverage it.
  • The next step might be to set up a formal strategic alliance with a partner who’s competent in the space and include them in agency ideation sessions.
  • Another alternative is to hire an expert who can work within the agency to evangelize the media and help identify some key client opportunities.

Whatever you do, I suggest that you at least avoid doing nothing. Mobile marketing not going away and ignorance is not bliss. Now is the ideal opportunity to strategically add this capability to your agency repertoire.