Mobility, the World of Senses and Where We Go From Here

It’s difficult to explain an experience like the MMA CEO/CMO summit in words. It takes all of the senses to truly appreciate the opportunity. However, what can be shared is the knowledge that was imparted. Marketers, publishers, technologists, futurists and researches shared their thoughts and visions as to how we got here, exactly where we are and where we might be going with the world, mobility and the role of marketing.

There’s a rich and enticing world around us. When and wherever we are, there’s something to see, hear, taste and touch. In other words, there’s something for us to sense. When we sense something, what happens next? We take the input from our senses in order to make informed decisions to determine our next actions and reactions to what’s around.

Last month, my senses were bombarded with rich and exciting input while attending the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA) first ever MMA CEO/CMO Summit in the Dominican Republic in July.

First of all, you know you’re in the right place when you find yourself in the proximity of over 150 of the leading executives in the mobile marketing industry. I mean, how much more fun can life get? However, when you find yourself surrounded not only by great people, but also at a venue like the Casa De Campo (a plush resort surrounded by crystal clear ocean, white beaches and jungles), with impressive food and entertainment (including donkey polo, golf, swimming, dancing and more), as well as two days of thought provoking presentations and roundtables you know you’re in for something special, even if you can’t take it all in due to sensory overload. Sadly, I missed the donkey polo, but I heard that it was great fun.

It’s difficult to explain an experience like the MMA CEO/CMO summit in words. It takes all of the senses to truly appreciate the opportunity. However, what can be shared is the knowledge that was imparted. Marketers, publishers, technologists, futurists and researches shared their thoughts and visions as to how we got here, exactly where we are and where we might be going with the world, mobility and the role of marketing. For example,

• Scott Harrison, founder and president of Charity:Water showed us how a small group of people can change the world and improve the life of millions by helping them tap fresh water that exists right under their feet.
• Barry Judge, CMO of Best Buy and Mike Kelly, CEO and president of The Weather Channel talked separately and both explained how and why mobile is playing a central role in their 360-degree consumer engagements strategies.
• Nicholas Wallen from MIT Mobile Experience Laboratory shared how it’s creating hybrid cities and are connecting people, places and information.
• Jessica Kahn from Disney’s Tapulous shared the “nine things that worked,” covering the nine things that helped Tapulous become one of the leading mobile gaming platforms with over a billion games played.

The above presentations and more (click here to download a few) were just the beginning. Another speaker, Fabian Hemmert, PhD candidate at the Design Research Lab, Berlin University of the Arts, showed us even more. Mobile devices and their sensors — the camera, gyroscopes, accelerometers and more — are becoming an extension of our own sensory capabilities, such as the ability to see the world and commerce differently though augmented reality (check out the iButterly YouTube video), but this is just the start.

As Hemmert’s work points out, by adding pressure, moisture sensors and using existing sensors in new ways, entirely new experiences through mobile are possible. Just think, you can squeeze your phone and virtually shake someone’s hand, or give your phone a quick peck and blow someone a kiss. Who would have thought? See Hemmert in action on Ted.

Also, a few weeks following the summit I was fortunate enough to be able to meet Chander Chawla, director and general manager, personal mobile devices at National Semiconductor. Chawla shared what he called “software-enabled hardware” that his team is experimenting with. For instance, by extending and exposing a simple UV light sensor off a chip that’s present in most phones, the phone can monitor the level of UV exposure and alert you to put on sun screen. You can also tweak how sound waves are generated. By adding a few additional speakers you can take a traditional flat sounding device and turn it into a surround sound experience like none other. Finally, Chawla is experimenting with new visual display experiences that latterly add a new spectrum of color that I did not know existed.

If you weren’t able to attend the summit this year, I encourage you to visit the MMA events website and download the presentations. I also encourage you to consider attending next year, or any of the numerous mobile and marketing gatherings that are happening throughout the industry such as Mobile Monday’s, Mobile Marketing Week in New York (being put on by Mobile Marketer), Advertising Week, CTIA Entertainment, MMA LA Forum, ANA Annual event and so many others. I’m sure you won’t be able to make them all, but there’s really nothing like being there in person to meet and exchange ideas with the people around you and to fully embrace and stimulate your senses.

5 Pillars of the Mobile Marketing Industry

All emerging industries reach a point where their ecosystem’s members find common and fundamental concepts that help them organize their thoughts and actions in order to ensure the long-term growth and success of their businesses. For mobile marketing, those fundamentals have emerged and can be boiled down to five verbs: promote, measure, educate, guide and protect.

All emerging industries reach a point where their ecosystem’s members find common and fundamental concepts that help them organize their thoughts and actions in order to ensure the long-term growth and success of their businesses. For mobile marketing, those fundamentals have emerged and can be boiled down to five verbs: promote, measure, educate, guide and protect.

In September, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) refined its messaging along these five pillars to improve its ability to efficiently communicate with the market and to forge forward with its mission to help foster a growing and sustainable mobile marketing industry. The following list highlights the measurable objectives of each of these pillars:

  • Promote. Promote mobile marketing best practices, standards, thought-leadership and industry leaders (e.g., brands, agencies, media companies, application providers, etc.) to foster innovation and industry development.
  • Educate. Provide structured, evidence-based curriculum to educate brands, agencies and consumers about the full scale and scope of mobile marketing practices to highlight their advantages and benefits and to ensure that all players can develop a common understanding of each other’s goals and motivations so that they may efficiently and effectively co-create value between them for their mutual benefit.
  • Measure. As we enter into the “digital age,” where all engagements, moods, preferences, interests and intentions can be digitally imprinted, the key to successful mutual value creation between marketers and consumers will be achieved through the teasing out of insights and knowledge from the vast amounts of data that’s being managed by consumers and marketers alike. In today’s digital world, consumers have as much information as marketers; both need to measure their activities (e.g., total spend in industry, effectiveness of one medium versus another to accomplish one’s goals) to ensure they’re optimizing their time, energy and money.
  • Guide. We all need guidance. By continuing to amass thought-leadership, best practices and self-regulatory codes of conduct, mobile marketers can continue to foster and grow the industry.
  • Protect. Protect consumers and your businesses. All mobile marketers need to pay special attention to the needs of each constituent in the marketplace, and ensure an even playing field for all to help maximize public and industry confidence in mobile marketing, lower barriers to entry and minimize noneconomic costs of doing business.

More than words
These five pillars aren’t just shibboleths. They’re designed to provide the mobile marketing industry with actionable concepts that are key for maintaining growth.

Here’s a real-world example: A recent MMA survey of U.S. advertisers and ad agencies shows strong confidence in mobile marketing’s reach and effectiveness — so much so that they plan to increase their spending 124 percent to more than $5.4 billion by the end of 2011. This projected increase reflects advertiser and agency plans to shift their budgets out of media such as print and outdoor and into the mobile channel.

The “measure” pillar plays a key role by providing the confidence that in turn enables this kind of growth. It’s easier for brands and agencies to justify those dramatic increases and strategy shifts when they have access to independent, primary analytics showing consumer interest in and adoption of mobile services.

But measurement is possible only when everyone is using the same baselines and definitions. The MMA recently worked with the Interactive Advertising Bureau to define what constitutes a mobile ad impression.

Another example of measurement is via independent research. An April 2010 survey conducted by the MMA and one of its official research partners, Luth Research, found that nearly one in four U.S. adult consumers uses mobile location services. Nearly half of those who noticed any ads while using location-based services took at least some action, indicating that consumers respond well to ads through location-based services. That’s the kind of actionable intelligence that brands and agencies need to make the most of the mobile opportunity.

The “promote” pillar plays an equally important role in helping drive industry growth. Case studies, for example, explain how and why certain campaigns are highly successful. This information gives brands and agencies the actionable insights necessary to develop and execute their own strategies, and it complements “measure” by providing additional confidence that the mobile channel will put their marketing budget to highly effective use.

Effectiveness depends partly on the actions of the industry as a whole. That’s where the “educate” pillar comes in. The MMA’s certification program is designed to educate marketing professionals about how to use the mobile channel effectively and appropriately.

That process starts with protecting the consumer experience and the efficiency of the market’s systems so that all players can grow their businesses in a sustainable fashion. Industry-standard guidelines such as the MMA’s “U.S. Consumer Best Practices” and “Code of Conduct for Mobile Marketing” are part of the “guide” pillar, which enables the self-regulation that helps grow the mobile opportunity.

The MMA’s role as guide includes providing a framework so that the mobile industry can create these kinds of documents, which ensure that brands, agencies, developers, carriers and other ecosystem members are all on the same page — and moving forward.

Promote, measure, educate, guide and protect. Five verbs that provide focus and momentum to the ongoing development of a burgeoning industry. Everyone can contribute, you just have to find the area that excites you the most, jump in and get engaged.

Michael Becker’s Inside Mobile Marketing: Playing Off the Success of Mobile Marketing

One sure sign of success is the company you keep. With household names such as Best Buy, Disney, Google, Kodak, Microsoft and MTV among the speakers at next week’s Mobile Marketing Forum, it’s clear that mobile marketing is a roaring success.

One sure sign of success is the company you keep. With household names such as Best Buy, Disney, Google, Kodak, Microsoft and MTV among the speakers at next week’s Mobile Marketing Forum, it’s clear that mobile marketing is a roaring success.

But success requires innovation and insights. Does adding a location-based component to a mobile ad increase its effectiveness, for example?

Absolutely. Nearly half of consumers who notice ads while using mobile, location-based services take at least some action. That’s roughly 12 percent more than those who notice ads while sending and receiving text messages, and almost twice the rate of those who notice ads while browsing websites.

Those figures come from a recent survey conducted by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Luth Research, and they’re just one example of the types of actionable insights available at next week’s Mobile Marketing Forum.

Held June 7 through June 9 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, the Mobile Marketing Forum is a convenient, concise opportunity for agencies, brands, operators and technology companies to hear from some of mobile marketing’s leaders, including Microsoft Advertising, Alcatel-Lucent, Millennial Media and The Weather Channel.

Executives consider the Mobile Marketing Forum a must-attend event. In fact, 68 percent of attendees at the 2009 forum held positions of vice president or above. As one attendee put it, “The MMA Forum delivers on crucial industry needs in an open, engaging and interactive environment that truly fosters a real sense of community within the mobile marketing industry.”

Here are just a few examples of what’s on the agenda this year:

  • Keynotes from CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Microsoft Advertising, Best Buy, Electronic Arts, ESPN Mobile, Google, Kodak and the United Nations Foundation.
  • Presentations on the role of ad networks, mobile-enabled loyalty programs, going beyond banner ads, measuring campaign success, couponing, applications, hyperlocal marketing and premium content.
  • Success stories that provide models to follow.
  • An agency panel offering tips on using mobile to build brand recognition.
  • Battle of the regions: The MMA’s regional managing directors face off, presenting case studies from Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and North America, to prove which region is leading the way in mobile marketing.

There’s also a pre-event workshop, held June 7, that features a crash course on mobile marketing, including an overview of the types of companies that help facilitate campaigns and strategies for building awareness and participation. Also on June 7, qualified agencies, brands and retailers can participate in a newly added preconference Agency, Brand & Retailer Roundtable, which is followed by a cocktail reception. (To find out if you qualify, simply email your complete contact information to forum@mmaglobal.com.)

Another first for the MMA Forum, the “Adopt-a-Brand” program offers a convenient, cost-effective way to introduce more companies to mobile marketing opportunities. “Adopt-a-Brand” lets MMA members subsidize the cost of a pass for agencies, brands and retailers that want to attend the forum.

Finally, this year’s Mobile Marketing Forum marks the debut of the Mobile Experience Lab, an interactive opportunity to hear from the industry’s thought leaders, experience mobile campaigns firsthand and interact with brands using mobile as part of their integrated marketing strategy. Each mobile campaign features a booth that provides attendees with an interactive, hands-on opportunity to experience the campaign from an end user’s perspective.

For the latest updates on this year’s forum, follow @MobileMktgForum on Twitter and visit www.mobilemarketingforum.com.