mobiThinking guide to mobile agencies: Mobext
This guide profiles in-depth the world's biggest and best mobile agencies, asking the questions that every brand, publisher or creative agency needs to know to pick the right mobile partner.
Mobext: in brief
Type of agency: full service.
Founded: 2007 in Spain.
Main offices: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Paris, France; Mexico City, Mexico; Lisbon, Portugal; Madrid (HQ), Barcelona, Spain; London, UK; Boston, New York, USA.
Ownership: wholly-owned subsidiary of Havas Digital.
Contact details (main offices): phuc.truong (at) mobext.mobi (USA); chris.bourke (at) mobext.mobi (UK); sixto.arias (at) mobext.mobi (Spain); fernanda.magalhaes (at) mobext.mobi (Brazil).
Web: mobext.com; Mobile Web: mobext.mobi.
• 2009 – Mobext opened offices in Argentina and Chile.
• 2010 – first mobile agency to participate in Apple's new iAd service on behalf of Sears (deal size in seven figures).
• Latest awards and new clients detailed below.
Profile submitted by: Sixto Arias Sánchez, managing director, Mobext Spain.
First published: July 2010.
Mobext: in depth
1) Annual revenue from mobile: Band E $US10-20 million.
2) Is the mobile business profitable? Yes.
3) How is the company funded? Mobext is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Havas Digital.
4) Proportion of business related to mobile: 100%.
5) Business split: strategy 40%; creative 40%; technical 20%.
6) Key mobile activities: media buying 35%; advertising 25%; applications 15%; mobile Web 10%; messaging 5%; mobile search and SEO 5%; QR codes, short codes 5%.
• USA: location-based expertise, integrated campaigns and mobile Web development.
• Europe: apps expertise, iPad, classical media integration.
• LATAM: online/mobile cross-media campaign, apps, mobile Web development and analytics.
• UK: business analysis, strategy, copy/art direction, mobile Web, app development, hosting, Bluetooth, messaging, mCRM, reporting and analysis.
8) Main competitors: All digital creative agencies, specialist mobile agencies and mobile media independents, including Glue; Agenda 21; Marvellous Mobile; We love mobile; Ring Ring Media; Pontomobi (RGB Group); F.biz; Phonevalley (Publicis) and Brand in Hand.
9) Type of clients/industries (in alphabetical order): automotive, banking, fast-moving consumer goods, telecommunications, tourism/transportation.
10) Client base: Alfa Romeo, Amtrak, Banorte, Barclays, BBC, BMW, BNP Paribas, Caja Madrid, Camelot, Canal+, Citroën, Coca-Cola, Coty, Credit Suisse, Danone, Dior, EDF, El Corte Ingles, Fanta, Fidelity, Jones NY, Kia, Kmart, Magners, McDonald's, National Express, Nationwide, Nike, Orange, Pages Jaunes, Peugeot, Pizza Hut, Real Madrid, Renault, Santander, Sci Fi Channel, Sears, Societe Generale, Tam, TIM, Toyota, Turespaña, Unitec, Volvo, Warner Bros, WebMotors.
11) Geographical coverage (with % of revenues): Spain 20%; UK 20%; USA 20%; France 15%; Brazil 10%; Argentina 5%; Chile 5%; Mexico, Portugal 5%.
12) Works most closely with (apart from clients): digital creative agencies, offline agencies, direct marketing agencies, public-relations agencies, database providers, Internet-service providers, market intelligence providers, mobile ad networks, programmers and developers, messaging carriers and telcos.
13) Case studies:
Many of Mobext's client case studies are here.
Video case studies: this specially prepared showcase of Mobext's award-winning campaigns features: Citroën (Brazil); Turespaña (Spain); Kmart Protégé Footwear (USA) and Magners Pear Cider (UK):
14) Recent awards: (see links for case studies)
• One of the 100 best ideas of 2009; Actualidad Economica Magazine for Turespaña iSpain (Spain).
• OMMA Awards 2009 for Kmart Protégé Footwear and for Volvo (USA).
• MITX Awards 2009 Best Direct Response Campaign for Amtrak's Acela (USA).
• MMA Global Awards 2009 Best Mobile Campaign Overall and Best Cross-Media Integration Campaign (LATAM) for TIM Father's Day: Gift Express (Brazil).
• El Ojo Iberoamerica 2009 Best Interactive Mobile Ad Campaign for WebMotors (Brazil).
• Sapo Gold Award, Best Mobile Ad Campaign 2009 for Peugeot (Portugal).
• MMA Global Awards 2008 Best Cross-Media Integration Campaign (LATAM) for , Citroën (Brazil)
• Eurobest 2008 Grand Prix Winner for the BBC iPlayer promotional campaign (UK).
15) How do you sell mobile to your clients? Mobext takes a firmly strategic approach to selling mobile. The majority of our clients have spent the past two years testing different media and campaign mechanics based on strategic templates we developed for them back in 2008. These trials help our clients to understand where and how they ought to allocate their mobile spend, putting them in a very strong position now – before mobile media enters its exponential growth phase.
16) What can mobile do that offline/online can’t?
• Mobile allows brands to reach audiences who might be light consumers of TV/radio. It also allows brands to complete their whole-day interactive campaign – only if mobile is in the mix can you communicate interactively with consumers during commuting times (7-9am and 5-7pm).
• Mobile acts synergistically with online advertising; recent research conducted by Mobext/MC/MPG and the IAB demonstrates that when an advertiser invests in both mobile and online display, the likelihood of consumers clicking the online display ads increases.
• Mobile extends the impact of offline advertising. Short codes or quick response (QR) codes make outdoor, print, radio or TV ads interactive. Extending the brand experience from offline media to mobile media stretches the consumer relationship much further. Thus we argue that mobile helps to ‘sweat’ the investment our clients make in offline media.
17) What return on investment (ROI) should your clients expect from mobile?
This depends on the media employed and the definition of ROI. ‘Mobile media’ is very broad category – it might involve buying: display, search ads or messaging. Consumer response rates vary widely across these different media and are not easily compared to the common metrics of campaign success, sales or positive shifts in brand awareness. The complex relationship between mobile and ROI is massive subject and not easy to summarize. However our current estimates for click through rates (CTR) for mobile media are: display 1%; search 0.5%; messaging 5%; SMS 2.5%.
18) Membership of industry bodies/associations: Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), IAB (UK), iMedia.
19) What needs to happen to accelerate mobile marketing/Web/services over the next five years?
The biggest challenge is changing consumer behavior – this will take time… probably about five years. Today mobile is great media for brands to reach young audiences and early technology adopters. The change will come over the next five years, as all demographics – including families, c-suite executives and retirees – buy smartphones. As mobile Web use quickly follows smartphone ownership, this will be the point when we can use mobile to have a conversation with any conceivable audience a brand wants to reach.
20) In 2015, mobile will be… an irrelevant word.
Brands will simply talk about reaching consumers on the Web. We will be discussing context and not whether or not they are mobile. We will have access to data that will tell us if a consumer is at their desk or walking down a high street and we will serve advertising accordingly.
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