We’ve all seen the headlines:  2010 2011 2012 is the year of mobile!  Mobile marketing spend will outpace email search display!  Jump on the bandwagon now or else!  

. . . And while I’m bullish about mobile marketing — I better be, since it’s my primary coverage area these days — the importance of having a sound strategy and the right partners to execute often gets lost in all that hype. That’s why I’m extremely proud to have just published The Forrester Wave™: US Digital Agencies — Mobile Marketing Strategy And Execution, to help marketers identify the right agency partners to develop and build smart mobile marketing strategies that deliver real business results.

You’ll notice from the (rather long) title that I focused specifically on US-based digital agencies. Admittedly, this is a narrow view of a very wide array of service providers that help marketers create mobile programs.  However, to deliver the kind of value people expect from Forrester’s trusted Wave methodology, it was necessary to zero in on just one part of the market to ensure a level field for all players.  

Even with this focus, we screened scores of agencies for this study and ultimately ended up with nine agencies to evaluate:  AKQA, iCrossing, Ogilvy, Possible Worldwide, Razorfish, Rosetta, SapientNitro, TribalDDB, and VML. These top performing agencies were included in our evaluation because they all:

• Offer comprehensive mobile marketing services.
• Met – and mostly exceeded — a minimum revenue requirement from mobile marketing offerings.
• Have more than 5 years of proven mobile marketing experience for enterprise clients.
• Appear frequently as a competitor for new business and on marketers’ short list during agency selection processes.

The evaluation criteria includes the agencies’ methodologies for strategy development and program execution, their approaches to and technology for measurement and analytics, and the strength of their company vision for mobile. What was particularly interesting was hearing from each agency’s customer references, whose feedback helped shaped our impressions and, ultimately, the scores.  

Being included in a Forrester Wave is a little like being nominated for an award:  just being included means you’re already a top performer. But Forrester clients who’d like to see how the agencies scored can check out the complete report here. And like all Forrester Waves, there’s a downloadable tool that you can use to customize the weightings to your own needs.