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As budgets tighten, mobile investment delivers positive ROI: AKQA exec

NEW YORK ? An executive from AKQA at Mobile Marketer's Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 offered a new perspective on building a mobile strategy, claiming that although many are concerned about the significant costs involved, the ability to provide new digital services helps trim expenses elsewhere. 

During the panel session, Ad Agencies: Defining Their Role in a Rapidly Evolving Mobile-Influenced Advertising and Marketing Environment, the executive challenged the traditional thought that mobile is an expensive aspect of a marketing budget with the very real idea of the tech replacing expensive jobs for customer service. While in the past companies needed to shell out a significant budget to keep on call centers and other large departments, now these things can be accomplished through social media and mobile technology. 

"Just from a pure utility and cost reduction standpoint, mobile is a really great way to drive down the utilization of assisted channels such as retail or customer care call in channels," said Ryan Parkhurst, group strategy director at AKQA. "In that sense we are looking to bring utility that was once served by a human, through the technology of the screen that is in your pocket. 

"For us we have seen it as times tighten that it is actually an investment that has a very positive ROI for our clients," he said.

Mobile-cost cutting
Mobile has now become a highly advanced form of technology, which makes many believe that any form of business endeavor through the platform can be costly. However, in reality mobile has eliminated many high-priced business expenses. 
Within the past few years mobile has become an integral portion of marketing and retail, but many businesses are still thinking of it as an emerging technology. Brands need to realize that traditional silos, which put mobile in one ad-spend category and traditional forms of marketing and business in others can be detrimental. 

The segmented business model is highly outdated in the modern mobile-centric world. Everything in business and retail must be a cross-channel multiplatform experience, because that is how users area accessing their devices. Brands need to think about how each idea can be translated across all these various platforms to create an omnichannel experience for consumers. 

Smashing the silos

"We all know the marketplace has flattened in these distinct silos in how we used to think about the market place, such as mobile, search or desktop," said Warren Zenna, executive vice president and managing director at Mobext. "It has flattened, it is really all one thing now. 

"But, operationally and structurally they are inclined to buy media that way, spend money that way and look at the world that way," he said. "So we are forced to have to respond to those delineations and sometimes it is counterproductive because the flattening of the media and marketing world has created a different way in which we can approach things."