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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