Mobile Change


Neilstrother
A new global leader promises change this year – no, not that
one – Mike Wehrs, the new head of the Mobile Marketing Association.

 

Recently, two colleagues (Thomas Husson and Mary Beth Kemp) and I spoke with Wehrs, who has some
big plans for advancing mobile marketing in 2009, and he’s likely to get most
of his agenda. Key initiatives he and MMA members will tackle this year:

 

  • Measurement – they’ll put a stake in the ground on standards for measuring mobile campaign effectiveness
  • Cooperation – they’ll work with other associations like the GSMA on global measurement standards
  • New programs – they’ll roll out efforts in the second half of 2009 to help boost the mobile channel, though he declined to give details

 

Much of this will be on the table this coming week in discussions at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

 

Implications

If you’re involved with or thinking about mobile marketing,
it's worth paying attention to these efforts. The fledgling channel needs some clarity
on measurement standards so all players can better evaluate the ROI. And cooperation
and new programs raising awareness certainly have merit. Taken together, these MMA moves signal growing maturity and progress.

 

Realistically, however, agreement on measurement standards
could be a ways off. Even now online marketers don’t always agree on
measurement standards – so how can one expect it to happen sooner for mobile?
Welcome to the messy world of mobile marketing.

 

In a refreshingly candid moment, Wehrs said this year is not the breakout year for mobile
marketing. There is still too much friction, although he did point to 2010-2011
as the most likely time frame for a bounce. Reasonable.

 

I applaud Wehrs for tackling tough issues in his first year
at the helm, and wish him well as he and MMA members push mobile marketing
forward. And it is moving forward, even if it might not seem so given the small
budgets now involved.

 

What do you think is in store for mobile marketing, and is
the MMA on the right track? Post a comment or send me an email at nstrother@forrester.com.

 

(NOTE: This is my first post here. So, a little bit about
me. I came to Forrester when the company acquired JupiteResearch last summer. My
previous research has focused on mobile marketing and media. Now as part of
Forrester’s Interactive Marketing Professional team, my focus will be on
helping clients navigate the choppy waters of mobile marketing.)

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