P&G Looks to Mobile Marketing in Bid for 'Next Billion Customers'

09 October 2008

WARC Online's editor Carlos Grande (pictured) reports from the Mobile Marketing Forum 2008 in Budapest ...
BUDAPEST: Procter & Gamble's mobile marketing chief has called on agency networks to gain more expertise in wireless campaigns or miss out on the company's plans to increase its mobile expenditure.

Khurram Hamid, P&G's global head of mobile marketing, said the household goods giant aimed to put mobile communications at the centre of its drive to reach “its next billion customers”, particularly in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa where mobiles outnumbered fixed lines or television sets.

However, speaking at the Mobile Marketing Forum in Budapest, Hamid said planning agencies had been as slow to embrace mobile marketing as they had once been to recommend clients use the web.

P&G then turned in frustration to smaller specialists to create its early internet campaigns Eventually, larger agencies had become digital experts and P&G had used them more to help grow its interactive media expenditure to its current $350m a year level.

Mr Hamid said the same situation could occur in the mobile market unless mainstream agencies put the mobile medium into more of their planning and strategy briefs.

Mr Hamid warned: “If you're (the agency networks) not going to be there, we're going to bypass you.”

He added that the whole process of launching a mobile campaign, which typically required advertisers to work with several agencies, technology groups and mobile operators, needed to be simplified.

He said: “There is a whole vast value chain and we have to make so many choices. Make it easy for us and you will get the money.”

Mr Hamid was one of several speakers during the event to argue that mobile marketing would be most important to multinational advertisers in the emerging markets of Africa, the Middle East and central and eastern europe. 

To read WARC Online's full report on the mobile marketing forum, click here.

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