Advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather has acquired a majority stake in the South African mobile marketing company Strike Media Proprietary, which is currently engaged in providing mobile consulting to some of the country’s best-known brands and organizations. Strike’s consulting operations include advising companies on mobile marketing, mobile payment processes, and mobile business integration. It will continue to operate as a separate company, while coming under the aegis of the international sub-brand Mobile@Ogilvy.
We’ve been advising MNOs for quite some time about moving up the mobile food chain in order to avoid ending up as proverbial “dumb pipes.” While we’ve mentioned cloud services as an excellent opportunity, there are plenty of others, such as enterprise consulting and mobile marketing – basically, any type of value-added service tied to mobile. Most operators should be looking to acquire these types of capabilities, thereby bringing them in-house (as opposed to through a partnership arrangement). Even if such services turn out to be just a small part of the operator’s business, they provide high visibility among desirable segments of the customer base. We ask ourselves, if an advertising agency can buy a mobile marketing company, why can’t a mobile operator?