How local can global go?
Publicis Groupe's mobile marketing agency Phonevalley may not be planning global mobile domination quite yet, but it certainly has a worldwide plan. Since its acquisition by Publicis in 2007, Phonevalley has brought mobile expertise into 30 of the company's agencies in 10 countries. If 2009 was the year that most media companies got mobile religion, then Phonevalley best demonstrated what it means to share the best practices across borders but respect the regional differences in media usage.
Its award-winning Puma F1 campaign introduced the brand to China by leveraging that culture's mobile habits of gaming and viral distribution. It brought Nestle's Crunch Cereal into France by understanding how important sms and gaming were to its teen target. Share what you learning globally, but act locally - that seems to be the mantra, and the model, for bringing agencies onto the platform and for evolving mobile marketing beyond its startup phase. The company launched over 1,000 mobile projects in 2009 for major clients like Diet Coke, LaCoste, and Lancome and it spread the move beyond mobile advertising and establish a real beachhead here.
"For the next two years all clients will be asking us to build their m-dots, says CEO Alexandre Mars. "All big brands need a mobile site. It is more and more around concepts, ideas, creative."
In order to execute creative ideas globally, Phonevalley has partnered with Yahoo, Google and now Microsoft Mobile Advertising to bring packaged solutions for client to 14 countries. It is helping the technology companies advance innovative ad units and application design that reorient our focus on the unique mobile interaction with the consumer, not just another extension of brand onto another platform. "We started with the media agencies, and it moved into the digital agencies," says Mars. "And now we are in with the creative agencies. When you bring an idea to the digital and creative agencies, and add their clients' expertise and skills to ours in mobile, there is a great result."