MMA Forum: Mobile marketing grows, trust is key

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Mobile marketing represents 1.8% of all marketing expenditures in 2009, and while this may seem like a small number, the average mobile marketing budgets are growing by 26% per year, according to research by Peter Johnson, VP of market intelligence and strategy at the Mobile Marketing Association, presented today at the MMA Forum in New York. This growth, it should be noted, is happening when marketers are seeing a 7% drop in their average marketing budgets.

Because consumer mobile adoption is growing significantly, the growth in mobile marketing makes sense. But it is still an area that needs a lot of testing and experimentation, as it has its challenges — many brands simply tack mobile onto their marketing programs, rather than integrating them into an overall push. Another snag is that consumers on their mobile phones do not necessarily want to hear from marketers.

One major trend that was discussed at the event was the issue of trust. “The trust relationship between brand and consumers is really important for the mobile channel, and needs research,” said Becky Wu, VP of research at Luth Research.

Gloria Wood, VP and editorial director at Advertising Database, said that trust is the key to building out a mobile marketing relationship with the consumer. “Instead of just getting a business message or an offer, there has to be something of value to the consumer,” she said. “Engagement marketing has got to be important in mobile to help build trust with consumers.”

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