Amobee's former MD Matt Hunt has resurfaced as founder and CEO of mobile media and tech startup Geronimo. The business has already secured a partnership with STW agency Ikon, which will see Geronimo used for all client campaigns.
To a certain extent the new offering sounds the equivalent to OMD's Airwave, IPG's Mnet and Inmobi, used by GroupM, but Hunt said the main difference is that it is “fully independent” and is integrated part of the agency’s strategy team.
Geronimo has built a launch team of six people, headed up Olivier Starck from IPG's Mnet division.
There have been some concerns raised over the increase in mobile vendors and questions over 'added' costs for running campaigns through mobile sections, particularly within agencies, but Hunt stressed that Geronimo is very much independent and vendor agnostic.
“We evaluate the market and have a framework by which we connect the most appropriate partners in the industry,” Hunt said.
“We don’t limit ourselves to media, we are working with NFC, beacon, augmented reality, virtual reality and mobile attribution technology partners also.”
On the specifics of building it to address the “specific needs of the country’s leading mobile advertisers and agencies” Hunt said this involves improving mobile creative; connecting advertisers with customers based on where they are; mobile measurement, analytics and attribution; ad fraud, viewability and ad blocking; and integrating mobile into their broader marketing mix.
With mobile advertising spend set to increase from $1.36 billion this year to $3,85 billion in 2018, Hunt agreed that Geronimo very much wanted a piece of that pie.
“Advertisers are following but most marketing directors recognise they need to accelerate the pace with which they adopt mobile first marketing tactics,” Hunt said.
“Geronimo provides advanced mobile strategy, product development and programmatic media tools to allow our clients to reach their audience on mobile, drive mobile commerce and increase brand awareness – connecting the unconnected.
“We need to create urgency now to help Australian companies market themselves better in a mobile world, and ideally lead the world in mobile marketing.”
Ikon does not have a stake in Geronimo and Hunt said there is no add on fee for the client. Geronimo ise retained by Ikon and rolled in as part of Ikon’s full service offering.
“Geronimo is largely self-funded right now and is completely independent,” Hunt said.
“That said STW and Ikon have been the perfect launch partner as they are deeply committed to mobile, and to us, and they are great people who are supportive of Australian entrepreneurs and startups.
Hunt wouldn't be drawn on specifics of Ikon's “dramatic uplift in results and interest in mobile after running over 50 campaigns”, but commented that the main reason it is seeing improvement in mobile adoption and results is because Geronimo is fully part of Ikon’s full service agency offering, part of the media strategy, part of the creative platform and part of the training and development of agency staff and for clients.
On the question of everything now “has to” go via Geronimo, Hunt said: “Geronimo has been engaged to bring mobile expertise to all client campaigns so we are across everything mobile in the agency. That said, clients do and should have control of everything they do from a marketing perspective.”
Managing partner Ikon Group Sydney, Pat Crowley, said mobile is critical to its clients’ success and it has been working hard to expand its mobile strategy and technology as part of its offering.
“That said, we wanted to move faster and made a strategic decision to bring specialist mobile skills to our team and partner with Geronimo. We’ve already seen a dramatic uplift in results and interest in mobile after running over 50 campaigns.”
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