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What's Mobile Marketing?

  |  February 8, 2007   |  Comments

Three experts share three differing opinions.

Ask most folks what mobile marketing is, and you'll get a wide range of responses: mobile advertising, mobile search, mobile messaging, ring tones... Every individual interpretation of mobile marketing is different. At the recent Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Asia Pacific chapter (APAC) launch in Hong Kong, I spent some time with the region's leaders to understand why there's confusion and what the interpretations are. Today, I'll outline the discussion around the different perceptions that may be affecting the industry's overall speed of growth in some regions.

Jawahar Kanjilal, director of multimedia experiences at Nokia Asia Pacific, told me mobile marketing may be confusing because it's new. All the players are evaluating and discussing mobile marketing with their own personal biases and experiences. It's still early days, and there are multiple visions and approaches to connecting with marketers. "Mobile marketing provides lots of options, including cross-media interactions, that the world has not seen today," said Kanjilal.

The mobile marketing bias tends to center around what a marketer believes will be successful. According to Kanjilal, mobile marketing is personal marketing. When you're personally engaged with a message or experience, marketing on the mobile context includes the ways you're engaged with the consumer. He believes mobile is the "first [time] a media has gone personal."

Sandy Agarwal, Asia Pacific managing director for Enpocket and MMA APAC chairperson, also believes mobile marketing means different things to different people. Interpretation and communication really depend on what part of the ecosystem you're in. Mobile advertising enablers focus on selling mobile advertising solutions and spin the mobile marketing definition to focus on advertising. According to Agarwal, the "key is to understand the means by which to use the mobile medium to build a one-on-one effective communication with the consumer."

Finally, a perspective from Geoffrey Handley, director of new business, Asia Pacific, for The Hyperfactory. According to Handley, brand owners believe they have the hardest job. They have a constant barrage of different people from the mobile ecosystem presenting single components or solutions to them without understanding the brand guardian must view the mobile channel as part of the overall media strategy. Handley views mobile marketing as using the mobile channel in whatever way best reflects an individual brand's needs and objectives when speaking to consumers. Decisions on which media assets and tactics should be leveraged are based on knowledge and demographics.

Three experts, three opinions. And they're all right. These individuals are deeply engaged in mobile media across geographies and solutions. Although their definitions may vary slightly, one thing remains clear: a mobile media strategy is unique to the brand and the consumer being targeted. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, hence the need for experts. Education and evangelization about the types of opportunities available to the brand are paramount. There are lots of options, depending on brand goals.

If you're still wondering what the mobile channel can do for you, get engaged. The mobile channel isn't reckless creativity, it's iterative refinement. Try it, for all the reasons outlined above. It will maximize your consumer message and engagement.

Good luck!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Marriott Laura Marriott is executive director of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), which works to clear obstacles to market development, to establish standards and best practices for sustainable growth, and to evangelize the mobile channel for use by brands and third-party content providers. The MMA has over 250 members worldwide, representing over 16 countries. Laura has over 14 years' experience in the high-tech industry. Prior to joining the MMA, she served as Intrado's director of marketing, where she was responsible for the development and delivery of Intrado's mobility products and service. Laura previously served as director of business development at Cyneta Networks and Cell-Loc Inc.

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