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At ‘BtoB's' mobile forum: Agencies adjusting quickly to the mobile marketing world

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New York—Even as b-to-b marketers puzzle over adding mobile programs to the marketing mix, b-to-b agency executives find that the topic is often misunderstood. “If someone says they have a mobile strategy because they have a Facebook page or that people read their email on an iPhone, I'd say, ‘Well, not really,' ” said Phil Johnson, CEO of PJA Advertising+Marketing, at The BtoB Forum: Mobile Marketing. “Mobile marketing must be an end-to-end play, leading customers through the mobile pathways and seeking interaction,” Johnson said in a panel presentation titled, “Emerging Trends in Mobile Marketing.” “Many are just getting started with this, but it's worth understanding how to do it right.” The dynamics of mobility are as important as the channel, according to both Keith Loell, executive creative director at gyro New York, and Brandon Berger, chief digital officer at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York. “I prefer to define mobile as a psychological state,” Loell said. “Yes, it's different screens, like smartphones, laptops and tablets. But the laptop will become more officebound because it's relatively heavy. Mobile is about lifting a nimble, mobile object.” Berger agreed. “Mobile isn't about a marketer's customer moving around physically,” Berger said. “Whether you like it or not, your customer already is mobile. You don't have a choice about it. So it's not a question about whether or not to get a mobile strategy. You need one whether you like it or not.” Johnson said agencies should be equally aware of the readiness of their marketer clients in adopting mobile in their marketing mix. He said PJA clients can be divided into those that are completely committed to mobile, those that are experimenting with it with a small budgetary slice and clients that are “reactive”—seeing initial success deciding to ramp it up. “One of our technology clients had an out-of-doors campaign located at airports,” Johnson said. “They unexpectedly saw 25% of all activity coming from mobile devices and reacted to that by building a mobile site.” All panelists agreed that mobile must be integrated throughout the sales and marketing function, with marketers perhaps even equipping sales reps with tablets for quick access to collateral and data. Each panelist also agreed that mobile marketing must be integrated with other channels. Trade shows seem to be a particularly fertile ground for mobile support, according to Tom Stein, president-CEO at Stein+Partners Brand Activation, New York. “We're seeing huge success here,” Stein said. “There are lots of ways to do it, such as with mobile gaming or asking people to create content at an event. You might even award points for attendees taking certain actions, such as going to a booth to scan the QR code on a sales rep's badge. “People get jazzed about this, especially salespeople,” he said.
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