Group Plots Future of Mobile Search

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has formed a Mobile Search Working Group to establish guidelines for search marketing on mobile devices.

With a goal of creating a mobile search “ecosystem” that works for consumers, advertisers and content providers, the group aims to develop common business models, operating procedures and technology interfaces. The idea is to help individual carriers bundle branded mobile search into their service packages, while also enabling the monetization of out-of-garden content.

“We really felt like overall, for a lot of subscribers, having a mobile search solution is something that was strongly needed in the industry,” said Eric McCabe, vice president of marketing for JumpTap, and chairperson for the Mobile Search Working Group.

Carriers have begun looking for solutions including branding existing search engines like Google. McCabe said JumpTap became involved with the MMA’s working group because the company has technology to aid carriers. He feels service providers can get more value from a carrier-branded search engine.

“We want to make sure we create the best experience for mobile operators and the consumer,” said McCabe. “We are in favor of a carrier-branded solution, but we know there are lots of options.”

At the time of formation, McCabe said there are seven companies who want to be involved in the Mobile Search Working Group, and he expects to add additional parties to its roster. The companies involved in the group’s initial stages were not disclosed. Once the group gets bigger than 15 or 20 members, MMA executive director Laura Marriott said the organization would form sub-groups.

“It allows us to achieve the deliverable much faster,” said Marriott.

The Mobile Search Working Group will begin with MMA members from U.S. interests, though the committee is open to MMA’s many international chapters. Other countries can offer perspective on search and monetization. Each country will offer different experience, and also express different requirements of mobile search implementation.

In February, the MMA set up committees to create best practices and ROI metrics for the wireless industry. The organization expects to add additional chapters to its international roster early next year.

“It’s all around just trying to help the ecosystem, and have the best guidelines in place to help out the subscriber,” said Marriott. “And that’s our mantra.”

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