Why we teamed up with Flipside


I spent this week in London doing something I love about this business — partnering with people who have both bold vision and the wherewithal to bring it to life.

The people in this case are the principals of Flipside, a pioneering mobile agency joining Weber Shandwick. The addition helps us address the pressing need to rethink marketing and communications as mobile remakes our world.

Analysts have touted “it’s the year of mobile” for years. And in many ways it’s indeed here. According to comScore data released this week, mobile overall is now the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for two-thirds of digital media time spent.

But there’s another lens in to confirm that we’ve arrived.

As the market matures and consolidates within platforms like Facebook, Google and Apple, business-at-large is still in its infancy using mobile as a transformational, creative tool.

So in that way a big gap exists between understanding the shift and going all-in to win here. We see two simple reasons for that:

  1. Speed — Taking small, incremental steps in context of dynamic, rapidly evolving platforms.
  2. Attachment — The impulse to emulate or extend what is already known, like treating mobile as a smaller version of desktop.

Look at media and advertising in this context. To a large extent, marketers consider mobile simply as another medium to drive awareness-building, advertising-minded tactics onto smaller screen.

If typical industry conversations are any indication, the new marketing agenda still centers around optimizing prepackaged content, media spending and programmatic placements.

Done right, it’s all unquestionably part of the new deal. But we can do better.

(Image source: Benedict Evans, Mobile is Eating the World)

Leaders like Flipside use the smartphone’s functionality to create all-new, mobile-native experiences, utilities and media. The opportunity to build and extend real brand value here — versus exclusively communicate it — is huge.

We continue to strongly believe that every company must now be a media company, and more than ever, make mobile products central to communications and customer engagement strategies going forward.

Stewart Brand, the famed author of The Whole Earth Catalogue and respected ecologist, said once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road.

It’s unquestionably clear what’s driving tech forward. Partners like Flipside will continue to help us and our clients use its force and creative potential to best advantage.

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