“We need to go beyond audience and channel in mobile strategy”: Q&A with MOMAs judge Russ Lidstone, CEO, Havas Worldwide London

Ahead of this year’s judging of The Drum MOMAs (Marketing on Mobile Awards), we catch up with one of the judges, Russ Lidstone of Havas Worldwide London, to discuss developments in the mobile space and his favourite mobile campaigns of 2013.

What is the most exciting event in mobile that you expect from 2014?

Wearable – it will be the release of smart wearables – smartwatches, smart specs and what apps the developer community can make for them.

Africa – the African nations are actually ahead of the western world when it come to doing business and personal transaction via mobile.

4G – and also a bigger uptake in 4G, as video consumption is going through the roof and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Google Glass – is it overhyped or worth the excitement? Why?

Any innovative new technology is exciting, even if the first release isn't the one that changes the world. Let's see how Google Glass does – I think price point will be more significant to its success than features. Nevertheless, it will open the door to a raft of new wearable technologies. I'm excited about the advancements in smartwatches coming out in 2014. I wear a watch already, I don't wear glasses.

According to the IAB, media agencies are diverting on average 15 per cent of digital spend towards mobile – how do you see that trend developing over the coming months?

The reallocation of budget to mobile will continue – we are only at the start. With the ubiquity of mobile devices, we are starting to see clear patterns in use, with desktops and laptops for work, smartphones for communication and tablets for consuming media. We need to go beyond audience and channel and define strategies by type of device, usages, time of day, location...

Mobile can be a problem for many marketers when it comes to judging how much to spend – is there any advice you would offer to them in determining how important it is for their marketing communications to run across mobile devices?

It clearly depends on the objectives and the business or category, but invest disproportionate time and plenty of money...

What was your favourite mobile campaign or event of 2013?

I really like Third Eye project that StarHub did in Singapore. It's a great example of how technology can connect people and their innate altruism to help society. Third Eye crowd-sources volunteers to help the visually impaired through their mobile phones. A visually impaired person can take a picture of something that is then shared with the volunteer community who describe it back in text, which is then converted into speech. It's simple but has a powerful impact on everyone involved.

Oh and I like the 3 mobile donkey too.

What mobile devices do you own?

IPhone 5, iPad mini 2, iPad, blackberry curve (yes I love my blackberry!)

If you could or planned to upgrade or change – which ones would you choose?

Can I wait for the iWatch? Otherwise, 2013 was the year that Samsung established a clear lead in the handset market with its Galaxy SII, and the shine came off the iPhone. Sorry Apple.

Russ Lidstone is joined on the MOMAs judging panel by the likes of Jon Mew, director of mobile and operations at IAB UK, Telefónica Digital’s Charlie Hunter-Schyff, and Indy Saha, director of creative strategy at Google Creative Lab, to name just a few.

The Drum MOMAs, which rewards effective mobile marketing campaigns and strategies, is now open for entry with a deadline of 28 February. All information on Awards registration and entry can be found on the The Drum MOMAs website.

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