Driving the Mobile Marketing Community Forward

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Niamh Madigan

The biggest driver of mobile marketing is the way in which mobile as a device has changed us as consumers and as individuals, it's changing consumer behaviour. Paul Berney, Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Director for EMEA at the Mobile Marketing Association, shares tips on how to decide on the best mobile technology to deliver the best results for your business.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange (EME): What primary obstacles do you typically see enterprises facing with regard to mobile marketing today?

Paul Berney: The mission of the MMA is to make mobile an indispensable part of the marketing mix, so it's our job to make mobile marketing so effective that every organisation wants to use it in any campaign with any product or service. And we do that through concentrating our efforts on what we call five building blocks to:

  1. Promote the channel and individual member companies
  2. Educate brands, organisations and agencies
  3. Provide measurements, metrics and insights that help people make their investment decisions
  4. Provide guidance on best practice and standards
  5. Protect the industry; in other words, public policy, to represent them.

In summary, we work to stimulate demand in mobile and we work to reduce friction. In other words, to make it easier for buyers to buy and sellers to sell.

EME: What would you say are the first three steps that you'd advise people to take who are trying to build momentum with their mobile marketing initiatives?

Paul: I'll start by saying, please don't make your first step "we need an app." That is not the starting place. In fact, the starting point is not about technology at all. The biggest driver of mobile marketing is the way in which mobile as a device has changed us as consumers and as individuals. So, it's changing consumer behaviour. My first tip for any organisation is to consider what mobility means in the relationship between them and their target audience.

The second thing is, having worked out what that is, to decide upon having a mobile presence before you restrict yourself to one particular technology. Think about the fact that, well, we need to do something in mobile and let's find our business goals and our marketing goals, perhaps, and our communication goals and then decide which mobile technology will help deliver that.

I guess the third thing would be to accept that mobile is going to have to play a part in every single business in every single market in every vertical.

EME: Thank you. Now, obviously you've been immersed in this market for a good while now. What do you feel that the supplier market can do to help drive the mobile marketing community forward?

Paul: Yes, I think the best thing possible for actually all parts of the value chain or the ecosystem, whether you're involved in supplying technology or you're a handset manufacturer or you're a brand, an agency, a publisher, I think those things are fundamental to what a trade association is. We try to get people to engage with each other and to get into dialogue with each other about what their needs are. It's very often the case that different parts of a value chain or an ecosystem, depending on your terminology, simply don't speak the same language. And as a result, they find it difficult to communicate together. And, so, my request is for everyone to play an active role if they want mobile to work and be successful.

And I think that in the eight and a half years I've worked in mobile, the questions that I'm asked by companies who want to use mobile have changed from people asking me the question, why, to asking the question how and what and with whom. So, inherently, everybody gets the idea that all consumers are mobile consumers, but how do we take advantage of the channel?

EME: Where do you see mobile marketing in, say, five years' time?

Paul: I get asked that question an awful lot and normally my flippant answer is to say, well, actually, five years ago we didn't really have smart phones, and so you couldn't have predicted the massive impact on the world that the introduction of iPhone and Android phones would've made. So, in many senses, it's quite difficult to predict where the technology might go and how that might affect us.

But I think from a more consumer perspective, mobile is only likely to become more and more engaged and more and more embedded in our lives. I think there's going to be a greater amount of technology convergence, which means that the mobile device will have more and more functionality in it and start to take over from other devices. You've already seen that in many cases. It's had a massive impact upon all kinds of things, like the sale of alarm clocks, because people don't have alarm clocks anymore, the sale of digital cameras, the sale of video and the sale of radios. And I think it will continue to extend into many other parts of life as we get convergence.