Digitas, AvantGo in Development Pact

AvantGo is gaining increased traction for its mobile platform as a marketing platform, inking a new deal Thursday with interactive shop Digitas.

San Mateo, Calif.-based AvantGo provides a platform for mobile applications that run on wireless phones and PDAs. Based on that system, Digitas will develop wireless marketing applications, such as loyalty programs, promotions, surveys and advertisements.

The goal is to be able to create branding, direct marketing and consumer relationship management products to resell to each firm’s clients. As part of that agreement, Boston-based Digitas and AvantGo will jointly market their services to businesses interested in extending their Web-based marketing solutions to mobile devices, including handheld devices and smart phones.

“With today’s market conditions, more emphasis is being put on retaining customers and extending customer relationships,” said AvantGo Chief Executive Richard Owen. “AvantGo and Digitas are creating new customer touch points that enable companies to increase the lifetime value of their customers through exciting, cost effective, highly measurable mobile solutions.”

AvantGo already includes advertising on its main, portal-like information service, which includes “channels” of information from media outlets and Web portals. However, the new deal potentially could bring in revenue from Digitas’ clients. The i-shop’s roster includes some well-known offline advertisers, including American Express, Delta Airlines and General Motors.

Meanwhile, Digitas gains additional leverage in its mobile efforts — its executives have publicly praised emerging media as a useful conduit for commerce and marketing — while potentially exposing its advertising clients to AvantGo’s two million reported subscribers.

“AvantGo shares our conviction that information and technology can be used to create value at the point of need,” said Digitas Vice Chairman Kathy Biro. “Our intention is to work together to develop customer solutions that are relevant and resonant, in the process, helping our clients manage their customer relationships one at a time.”

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