Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB is beefing up its mobile marketing capabilities by aligning with specialist MobileBehavior, also part of Omnicom.
Six-person MobileBehavior, which provides strategy and user experience consulting for brands, will continue to serve its own clients. Now, it will move into Tribal's New York office to serve as its North America center of excellence for mobile. Tribal already has mobile specialty offerings in Hamburg, Germany, and Tokyo.
Clients have increasingly asked for mobile strategies, said Rich Guest, Tribal U.S. co-president, with a particular surge of interest in the past six months. Tribal has devised and executed mobile programs for clients -- the High Five League iPhone app for Bud Light and Big Pak for Wrigley's Orbit, for example -- but it needed dedicated expertise, he said.
"We had a lot of people with it as a side job," Guest said. "[But MobileBehavior president] Alan [Rambam] and his team live and breathe mobile every day."
The shop hopes the alignment, under which MobileBehavior will operate as a Tribal company, allows it to jumpstart a mobile capability rather than build one from scratch. Some Tribal competitors, such as AKQA and R/GA, have built up mobile practices over several years.
Rambam will continue to lead MobileBehavior while also assuming the role of chief mobile officer at Tribal. He will evaluate whether the shop needs to add developer capacity, or if it should rely on outside talent for execution. MobileBehavior remains focused on strategy and user experience, he said.
"We focus clearly on what a particular consumer is going to engage with," Rambam said. "We didn't want to be a factory."