In mobile marketing, some ad agencies partner with outside shops as needed while others build the discipline internally from scratch.
The argument for using outsiders is that they’re more leading edge and can adapt quicker to changes in technology. Well, one Chicago agency is taking the outsider approach—with a twist.
Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) has taken a 15 percent stake in a mobile marketing startup, Captivate Mobile Engagement Solutions. The outsider, however, will have space within SCC’s office in Chi-town to facilitate daily collaboration. More specifically, Captivate chief product officer Stephanie Dressel will sit inside SCC, while CEO John Anthony works mobily out of Princeton, N.J.
The deal has been in the works for a year and stems from SCC’s interest in a new app that Anthony and Dressel first developed at mobile messaging firm 4DK, from which they have broken away, according to SCC CEO Tim Condon. In short, the app links businesses with consumers who favor them or the products they sell. And that one-to-one connection opens the door to further exchanges, such as geographically targeted promotional offers that can drive traffic into stores.
"It's great to be able to join up with somebody that has been in the race for a while and understands the territory," Condon said. "They'll be helping us in the consumer side mobile space and we'll help them to market the app."
The app, Condon added, is a "potential game changer" for small retail businesses and "has the ability to scale up to large enterprise organizations." Under the new partnership, Anthony and Dressel will work closely with the half-dozen developers on staff at SCC.
In the big picture, the investment rounds out the service offerings at the independent agency, which in recent years has developed capabilities in social media marketing and digital media buying as hunger for online content grows. Top accounts at the 100-person shop include ConAgra Foods, the National Pork Board, Solo cups and the Chicago Cubs. Total revenue is estimated at $16 million.