"Entirely unacceptable" for agencies to resist mobile argues IAB Chairman Richard Eyre.
The IAB’s Mobile Engage conference saw heavy hitters from blue chip brands - including Sky, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and the COI - tackle some of mobile’s biggest challenges alongside movers and shakers from some of the UK’s biggest media agencies.
In a session led by IAB chairman, Richard Eyre, Claire Valoti, business director of Mindshare, George Dixon, mobile manager at Mediacom, and Ross Sleight, CSO at Somo, were grilled on Creativity, measurement and customer acquisition strategies in mobile marketing.
Asked "what are the barriers stopping brands from using mobile?" Valoti outlined three reasons – a lack of skills, the issue of measurement, and investment – both time and finance. However, the scope of mobile, owing to its ubiquity as an ‘always on’ device, she said, meant that possibilities were endless and brands are realising the inherent opportunity.
Dixon felt that agencies needed to educate brands on mobile in order to build confidence. Agencies are also consumers, he explained, so a technology that appeals to planners and buyers will naturally start to gain interest from brands.
Sleight was put on the spot when asked why specialist mobile agencies like his were needed. He responded by asserting that he felt traditional agencies were "too big and out of shape" and unable to provide the level of expertise needed to develop a brand’s mobile strategy – which typically encompasses everything from business planning, to design, marketing services, through to analytics.
Not afraid to shy away from the spotlight himself, Eyre made some salient points about the industry hype surrounding mobile as a media outlet in its own right. He told delegates, he was tired of hearing "this will be the Year of Mobile" clichés that analysts have heralded over the last ten years.
He urged delegates to consider the creativity, intent and sheer growth of mobile - true signs of a media being established in its own right. It is "entirely unacceptable" he argued, for agencies to resist mobile for the sake of their own margins, but added that mobile must be integrated into brand strategies, in order to be a part of bigger picture.