'Mo Money, 'Mo Arguments About Time Spent With Media
Editor's Note: This blog entry has been updated from an earlier version, which incorrectly attributed Chia Chen's "free tickets" quote to MEC's Andy Wasef.
Chia Chen, senior vice president and North American mobile practice lead at Digitas went right for the money on the “Money Gap?” panel at the Mobile Insider Summit, saying that from an agency’s point-of-view, it’s not necessarily how the agency is structured, so much as how it’s media vendor partners are structured vis a vis mobile.
“We are an integrated agency,” he pointed out, adding. “For us, mobile is part of a mix.”
And then he reminded summit attendees that the mix is what influences budgets – or in the current economic environment, vice versa.
“one of the important parts of the question is what does mobile take away from,” he said, reminding, “There’s not an ever growing pot of media dollars. And as many of you are feeling right now, there is an increasing shrinkage of media dollars. How does mobile tie into the other digital channels?”
JiYoung Kim, senior vice president-strategy & new solutions at Interpublic’s Ansible unit, added that there is an inherent flaw in the way agencies are structured too, noting they tend to be siloed around specialist areas of practice.
“As agencies we were set up for channel conflict,” she said, citing: “Mobile specialists, social specialist, search specialists… there’s a specialist for everything in our industry. We’re not set up for the totality of media.” Set aside the whole notion of communications planning, etc., Kim has a valid point.
To which moderator Lon Otremba asked what the solution might be – “media Darwinism?”
To which Chen quipped something that is, and has long been an important industry truism: “Whoever has the best tickets to sporting events.”
Industry graft and patronage aside, the “Money Gap?” panel raises some important questions about the economics of mobile marketing as it relates to advertising budgets.
Ansible’s Kim pointed out that time spent with mobile has grown tremendously – doubling recently – while the total time spent with overall media has barely grown.
To which fellow panelist, Andy Wasef, head of mobile & emerging technologies at MEC, said you cannot apply analyst Mary Meeker’s argument that ad dollars should directly follow time spent with media, but that agencies and brands need to figure out the right share of media spending to put behind it.