M&C Saatchi Mobile’s DeAngelis Creates Ads for Mobile First & Foremost

M&C Saatchi Mobile was founded in 2006, predating the iPhone and proliferation of both handheld devices and apps that have dramatically changed the marketing and advertising landscape.

There have been a lot of changes since then, and M&C brought in Steve DeAngelis, VP of the Americas, about a year ago to prepare the agency for the challenges ahead. He discussed the firm’s outlook with OMM’s Robert Gray…

OMM: M&C SAATCHI MOBILE was among the vanguard of the mobile-first ad agencies, how are you differentiating yourselves from other agencies?
DeAngelis:
In its infancy, Mobile marketing was like the Wild West. There was little standardization within the ecosystem for the first few years. Unlike desktop where conversion tracking was easily determined through the use of cookies, tracking conversions across all mobile paid media was a big challenge to any mobile marketer. 
With mobile protocols now in place and as consumer behavior embraced having multiple screens, we expanded our services into other digital channels, such as Desktop and Paid Social, so that we can target a client’s target audience wherever they may be. 
However, at the heart of everything we do is a mobile-first approach. Smartphone penetration both in the US and globally is at a point where a brand must be active in Mobile if they want to reach consumers. 
With now over 9 years of Mobile marketing experience, we have a distinct advantage over competitive agencies that only recently started to invest in Mobile. 

OMM: I understand you’re working on building out the agency’s platform—looking at different ways to be mobile first without staying inside a label. What’s your strategy?

DeAngelis: Today, Mobile is a pervasive part of modern life. No matter where we go or what we do, our phones are always with us. This is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that, we believe, necessitates a new way of thinking about any multi-channel marketing campaign. Consumers spend more and more time engaged with their Mobile devices, often at the expense of other screens. This means that brands, regardless of their target audience, must have Mobile at the heart of their marketing plans.
In the past, in many instances, Mobile as a marketing channel was simply an afterthought. Some advertisers have a tendency to take the campaign concepts and creative that they’ve done for the more traditional marketing channels and simply apply it to their Mobile activity, often with less than stellar results.
We take the opposite approach. Mobile is at the forefront of any recommendation we give a client, as we believe it is easier to take a Mobile concept and translate it for TV than it is to take a TV concept and adapt it for Mobile. In short, if the advertising strategy works for Mobile, it will work for the rest of a marketing mix.

OMM: What’s the biggest change for advertising that’s just over the horizon and may surprise many people? DeAngelis: Most likely, the amount of data that will become available once the IOT becomes the norm and the granular ad targeting that this will enable. 

OMM: What’s one thing that many people don’t know about M&C Saatchi Mobile?
DeAngelis: This year the agency has put a lot of effort into growth. We took a lot of leaps and moved to expand our offerings. We ran ads on Pinterest and used Accelerator to better serve the marketing needs of our clients. We expanded our Paid Social team, boosted our Strategy team and built out a full Creative team to push our boundaries in the industry. Additionally, we moved to larger offices in San Francisco and New York.