Integration necessary to realize mobile potential

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I am a late-adopting iPhone user and, while I like it, there is one element of the device that is simply too smart for its own good — that is, the autocorrect of e-mail spelling, which has a habit of interpreting my rather basic vocabulary choices as arcane proper nouns. For example, a slowly typed “which” will sometimes translate to Whig, “have” becomes “Han,” and the word “paying” for some reason morphs into “Latin.”


In my life, I have little need to allude to the pilot of the Millennium Falcon or a defunct 19th century political party, but iPhone begs to differ – and who knows, maybe it's right. As the January 12 DMNews feature on the “Cell phone evolution” pointed out, the prominence of these devices in our lives might lead us to new discoveries that are led by the very functions and innovations they offer. In other words, we are living in a world increasingly informed by our mobile devices, and there are multiple elements that are converging in the interest of that development.

This concept is underscored by the press release about the appointment of Mike Wehrs as the new president and CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association

(MMA). Within six paragraphs, the world “ecosystem” was invoked three times — like in a quote from Wehrs, which explained, “I look forward to working together with MMA member companies…and other industry leaders to ensure a vibrant and healthy mobile marketing ecosystem for all.”

“The classes of companies that are involved in the MMA are not just carrier organizations,” Wehrs told me in a follow-up interview. “For mobile marketing

to flow, you need carriers, content providers, ad agencies, major brands, handset manufacturers, infrastructure providers — all the constituent players together need to solve this problem.”

The problem Wehrs refers to is that of “locked revenue,” in the form of marketing programs that are languishing in the ether, rather than exploding onto the landscape and driving greater integration and innovation across the mobile landscape. Wehrs plans to bring more of MMA's intellectual capital to bear on this issue, including insights into designing mobile campaigns, and consumer best practices. He is also refreshing MMA's consumer feedback offering. The association's site includes a button for reporting “unsolicited or inappropriate marketing messages.” That doesn't mean just the porn offers, but rather any offer that seems untargeted or irrelevant, and not intended for the specific recipient.

There is a level of sensitivity to mobile marketing misuse that might be partly responsible for that locked revenue problem, making marketers shy of entering the fray where consumers are ultrasensitive to unwanted messages on their most personal of devices. Consumers don't just have to take what they are sent, and encouraging this kind of reporting is a step in the right direction.


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