In a deal of the sort analysts expect to be replicated soon and often in the mobile space, U.S. mobile application service provider Air2Web is merging with European mobile marketing firm MindMatics.
Munich-based MindMatics is best known for the mobile marketing functions it has contributed to European campaigns for clients like Unilever, T-Mobile, Procter & Gamble and Budweiser, and for a TV-based SMS voting system that’s supported U.S. shows like Deal or No Deal. Air2Web is better known for its service implementations and transaction capabilities for customers like The Weather Channel, Procter & Gamble, Traffic.com, AT&T and UPS. By bringing the two companies together, executives hope to broaden their collective footprint in the U.S. and Europe and to fill gaps in each other’s offerings, according to Bill Jones, chief marketing officer for Air2Web.
“We’re making a concerted effort to establish the broadest set of mobile marketing capabilities [and] multinational operations for marketers,” said Jones.
The merger of mobile marketing firms is certain to recur, according to Frost and Sullivan mobile analyst Gerry Purdy, as advertisers demand the full spectrum of mobile features and create campaigns for multiple countries. Purdy said the deal gives “notice that global is now happening in mobile marketing. It’s been more regionalized before now; watch for much more global activities in mobile marketing to go on, either companies combining or offering services.”
Michael Dickerson is SVP of e-marketing solutions for Premiere Global Services, a sometimes partner to both firms. He said while Air2Web has demonstrated scalability and strength in the U.S. market, it lacks marketing capabilities. “The MindMatics guys are really good at that,” he said. “They tend towards an interactive agency in that regard.”
The merger of Air2Web and MindMatics is expected to close within the month. The merged entity will operate under the Air2Web name, but may launch a re-branding campaign before the end of the year. Financial details were not disclosed.
Air2Web CEO Sanjoy Malik will serve as CEO of the combined company, while Ingo Lippert, CEO of MindMatics, will serve as managing director of its European business. Both will sit on the board of directors.
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