Arun Sudhaman 31 Jan 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
LONDON--Netbiscuits, the mobile web development platform that counts eBay, Google and Coca-Cola among its clients, is significantly stepping up PR efforts after hiring its first global communications chief.
Deborah Thomas, who joined the German company last year as VP of global corporate communications, has hired Bite to lead an aggressive public relations effort in North America and the UK.
Thomas, who previously worked at Polycom and Corel, is also poised to begin a PR agency search in Netbiscuits' home market of Germany and said that an Asia-Pacific tender will follow within six months.
The arrival of Thomas, along with the PR agency appointments, signal a more expansionary marketing outlook at the 13-year-old company, which raised $27m in financing last year. 2012 also saw Netbiscuits name its first CMO in Daniel Weisbeck, who had previously worked with Thomas at Polycom.
"It was clear we had quite a bit of a challenge here," Thomas told the Holmes Report. "It’s a new position and new department."
Bite secured the UK and US briefs following separate pitches in each country. In London, Bite prevailed over six other contenders, while the New York review involved four agencies.
Thomas said that the agency had devised a global strategy that included specific local campaigns for each market, in a bid to position Netbiscuits as a mobile consultant rather than just a platform creator.
In addition to thought leadership, the programme will also include a major influencer marketing element, along with a specific focus on lead-generation.
"Gone are the days when PR relies purely on brand awareness, profiling and point of view," said Thomas. "I want to see us actually having quantifiable lead generation results and I’ve actually taken on a lead generation target."
Netbiscuits' growth is driven by the global surge in smartphone usage. The company is a leader in the 'hybrid mobile web', using HTML5 to build mobile web platforms and apps on mobile devices. While native apps remain popular on Apple's iOS system, Gartner has estimated that, by 2015, 80 percent of all mobile apps will be either hybrid or mobile web-based.
Bite Communications director Kelly Hall said that, while the market is crowded, Netbiscuits hopes to benefit from a belief that the "user should drive the experience of the web."