NEW YORK Angela Steele, the former lead U.S. mobile executive at Publicis Groupe, has jumped to independent mobile shop The Hyperfactory. Steele joined the eight-year-old company this week as svp, global strategist. Hyperfactory works with brands like Toyota, Sara Lee and Nike.
She comes aboard after a brief stint as regional director of Phonevalley, the French mobile firm Publicis purchased in September 2007.
At Publicis’ Starcom USA, Steele was mobile activation director and served as Publicis’ top U.S. mobile expert. She moved to Phonevalley in July to lead its expansion to the U.S. market. All told, she spent eight years in the Publicis camp.
More clients will look to firms with mobile expertise rather than rely on digital agencies to extend their Web skills into that medium, Steele predicted.
“Because of the technology and complexity, you need people who are experts,” she said. “Digital agencies just aren’t that expert.”
A key challenge in her new role, Steele said, is convincing clients to move mobile programs from last-minute campaign add-ons to integral parts of their marketing.
“It’s now becoming permanent,” she said. “Clients want to build out long-term strategies.”
Like all emerging channels, mobile is at risk for cutbacks if stuck in experimental budgets. Steele said mobile’s accountability is a key attraction, particularly its ability to serve as a response vehicle to hold traditional media like print and out of home accountable.
“Clients are looking more for response than fuzzy brand metrics,” she said.