Starcom Mobile Exec Heads To The Hyperfactory
Based out of the company's Chicago office, Steele will help clients develop long-term mobile strategy and The Hyperfactory create new mobile marketing programs. "We want to deliver innovation that can scale beyond campaigns into longer-term platforms across brands and geographies," Steele said.
Hyperfactory clients include Toyota, Motorola, Vodafone and Coca-Cola. The firm last year gained widespread attention and industry accolades for a campaign developed with Ogilvy Hong Kong on behalf of Motorola that allowed travelers to use mobile phones to post goodbye messages on large screens in the new Hong Kong Airport. The Hyperfactory also launched an entertainment-focused division with an investment from Rich Frank, former president of Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Television Group.
Steele spent eight years at Publicis--most recently serving as vice president and mobile activation director at Starcom, as well as U.S. regional director for Phonevalley, a mobile marketing firm that Publicis acquired in July.
As Starcom U.S. mobile expert, she created mobile programs for clients such as Sara Lee, Nintendo, United Airlines, ESPN and Disney. She also led broader media and marketing efforts at the agency, including a cross-media promotion behind the launch of Nintendo's Wii gaming console.
Agency executives on a panel at ad:tech New York this month suggested that mobile ad budgets would shrink as marketers cut back on more experimental spending because of the worsening economy.
But Steele argued that the performance-based aspect of mobile advertising should make it an attractive media buy in difficult times. "It's a very accountable medium," she said, pointing to direct-response options such as click-to-call and text-message shortcodes. It can also help tie together cross-media campaigns, she said.
"Suddenly, you can take an out-of-home billboard and make it interactive by allowing people to respond via shortcode, and they use that information to gauge which other elements of the plan are generating the greatest response," she said.
While a lack of established metrics for mobile media remains a problem, Steele said she would help Hyperfactory clients determine what their key performance indicators, or KPIs, are for a given campaign. She added that the agency's reporting capabilities would make it easier for clients to track campaigns and conversions.