Nokia’s growing ad business underwent a change in leadership in August. Mike Baker, who headed the Interactive Advertising business unit after the acquisition of Enpocket, exited early last month. He’s replaced by Tom Henriksson, a longtime Nokia executive who moved from Helsinki to Nokia Interactive Marketing’s headquarters in Boston last December to help with the integration.
ClickZ News spoke with Henriksson about Nokia’s ad business, and where mobile marketing is headed.
Q: Have you made any major decisions or changes since taking over in August?
A: We make decisions every day, but major changes, no, we haven’t. We have exactly the same mission and strategy: Build the biggest mobile audience, but the biggest premium mobile audience; build reach for our publisher network both on the European side and in the U.S.
A: If you take the ultimate, real volume of publishers, the number of European publishers is larger; they are usually country-specific. But if you take the number of impressions, the U.S. is larger or even. Sprint is exclusive to Nokia [and a U.S.-based carrier], and Hearst just joined the network. When you take a look at our impressions [the U.S. and U.K. are about even] and the Asia Pacific region has a smaller share. The network is evolving.
Q: What is the criteria when looking for sites for the network?
A: We focus so much on premium and high-quality experience. [Mobile is] still small potatoes compared to online; that’s why we’re focused on premium.
Q: Before its acquisition, Enpocket used to build custom experiences and ad campaigns. Has that service gone away?
A: We have our solutions team, which create the experiences post-click. It’s a fairly low percentage [of our business], however it’s something that’s really needed. That’s why we’re in that area of the business. For a brand’s perspective, with the exception of a few, it’s an educational situation. We do consulting… [often] they don’t have the mobile infrastructure and we help them with that. We don’t need to become a big agency. We work with smaller and bigger players to make that happen, but it is needed today to help the brands in the space and we are proud of this team we have.
Q: What are some examples of those experiences?
A: For the Audi RS8 there was a print ad that was all black. The ad said to send a text message to a shortcode to hear the engine, and you could hear the engine rev and use it as your ringtone.
We work in the U.K. with Vodafone a lot. The brand solutions team built an experience, “Shoot to Score.” In the campaign you have the goal post in the posters, users take a picture, target the goal post, send the picture, and get a message back saying if you scored or not. It’s another very simple way of giving the brand opportunity [of engagement].
Q: Would you talk about Nokia Ad Labs?
A: Nokia soft-launched that in the summer… We bring in the biggest brands and their agencies, or vice versa, in lab fashion to transfer knowledge… Here we have mobile up front on the table. How can we use mobile to connect with other components of the campaign? For instance out-of-home or outdoor [or] display advertising. How can you link other elements through mobile?
Q: Android was just unveiled this week. What are Nokia’s plans?
Q: Ha ha.
A: Android is another opportunity where we can show our ads, and another place for the consumer experience.
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