Q&A: Greg Stuart, CEO at Mobile Marketing Association
Greg Stuart, CEO of Mobile Marketing Association, discusses the advantages and challenges of the mobile medium.
Q: Why is mobile a good fit for direct initiatives?
A: Mobile is evolving to work incredibly well for direct response because of the immediacy that it provides. With direct response advertisers, when they find something that works, they will bring wheelbarrows of cash to support it. Brand advertising is more challenging because you have to sample an attitudinal shift and relate it ultimately to sales. I find that many marketers don't have the systems or sophistication to be able to really measure that.
Q: How will mobile marketing change in 2011, as well as the next five years?
A: For one, I see better systems and better platforms for analytics, meaning a better understanding of the food chain of advertising and marketing exposure related to action, transaction and loyalty. There will ultimately be an understanding of the advancement of analytics across the entire consumer experience. I think mobile is still caught in its "468 by 60" moment, which is a reference to the smaller banners for advertising on the Web. Another trend is the proliferation of tablets. That scale and larger screen lends itself to what can be a very powerful advertising experience.
Q: What is the biggest mobile marketing trend happening now?
A: There are two trends. One is the proliferation of apps and the difference those make to the entire mobile ecosystem. The second one is the migration of the Internet to mobile. Those concepts are somewhat tied together but they have different characteristics. When I talk to weather sites, they tell me they get more traffic through mobile phones than they do from the non-mobile Internet. There are a lot of apps — many built for filling in and taking advantage of life's otherwise underutilized moments. Sometimes that's for entertainment purposes, and sometimes it's for utility or productivity.
Q: Are brands deciding between mobile apps and the mobile Internet? Or should they use both?
A: I don't know whether that's a valid question at this point. I don't know how critically that matters. I do know that what apps do is provide a real strong case for task and utility. Eighty percent of businesses don't have a mobile presence at all. Many websites are not oriented for the mobile Internet. There's also a sorting out of sites; some brands that are very significant mobile players have 200 versions of their mobile site or an application for all the different mobile environments. Over time, I'd love to see the MMA take a role in creating the same kind of ubiquity that HTML did for browsers.