Increasingly ad agencies are incubating high tech startups under their hood. It’s a way to stay close to the action, and to see first-hand how products and companies are born. It’s also a new business strategy, as the companies being born could become clients someday. The agency might also help fund and advise the company. There are a lot of possibilities.
But why let agencies have all the fun? Clients want to play!
Take P&G, a particularly well-heeled client with the need to make significant advances in mobile and shopper marketing, which new technology enables. According to Ad Age, Sonny Jandial is P&G’s Silicon Valley ambassador. “He doesn’t work out of a P&G office, but rather rotates among P&G’s startup partners, sitting alongside the entrepreneurs with whom he operates. While he’s typically working with between five and 10 startups at any given time, his desk at Shopkick is where he spends most of his time.”
Here’s a promo video from Shopkick, which helps explain the shopper-perks service:
Ad Age argues that Mr. Jandial’s presence at Shopkick underscores the importance to P&G of being ahead of the curve on mobile. While Shopkick’s user base is still relatively small (6.5 million users in June, as reported by Nielsen), it’s the fourth-most widely used shopping app after eBay, Amazon and Groupon in terms of unique audience.