The wireless realm provides a one-on-one opportunity for marketers to reach consumers, and advertisers are increasingly tapping into the mobile channel to capitalize on this relationship. As mobile continues to evolve, many Advertising Week attendees will be eager to hear the latest developments, trends, and research that surround the topic.
For those attending the Mixx Expo, the “Deep Dive Sessions” offer several discussions regarding the mobile front. There are perhaps few speakers better acquainted with the world of wireless than Laura Marriott, Executive Director of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), who will be contributing to the discussion of “Research Perspectives on Mobile Marketing Opportunities.” ADOTAS recently had a brief chat with Laura to get the inside scoop about her background, her thoughts on mobile, and what she has in store for her Mixx session. Check her speech out yourself on September 25 at 4:45 pm.
Hi Laura. So just to get started, what is your background prior to the MMA, and what brought you to the association?
OK, so I am a Canadian, and I have been involved in high-tech for the last sixteen years of my career. About nine years ago when I was in Calgary, I got involved in telecom and in wireless, and just absolutely loved it. I have been at wireless startups in Canada, California, and Texas, and then here in Colorado in marketing, business development, and product roles.
At my last job, I was running the messaging business for Europe and Asia for a company called Intrado and I ended up becoming a member of the board for the MMA. So I actually sat on the board of directors. At that time, and that was only January of last year, January of ’05, the MMA was only twenty-eight members. In July, I talked to the Chairman and the Vice Chairman and we decided that I would take on the role of Executive Director and I started at the MMA in July of last year.
So the MMA is your primary focus right now?
Yes, I am the first full-time staff person of the MMA and we’ve grown the association from one full-time staff person, we now have four with a bunch of contractors. We have close to four hundred members worldwide, so up from twenty-eight last January, and we’re truly a global association today. So the number of initiatives and the number of things we’ve done have just greatly increased.
Tell me a little bit about your day-to-day responsibilities within the MMA as Executive Director.
If you think about our mission statement, one of our main initiatives is to educate and evangelize on using the mobile channel. So what does that mean? That means talking to agencies, so both traditional, digital, and mobile agencies about what the mobile channel can do for them. It’s educating brands on how to get involved.
And then it’s really talking to all members of the ecosystem about the power of the channel. You know, who are the partners they should select to get into mobile. It’s working with the committees which are made up of a number of volunteers to develop the guidelines and best practices around our space. So what are the rules that a brand or agency should follow in engaging the mobile channel. And then I do a lot of speaking. We actually have a big webinar today. So yeah, a lot of member interaction and communication as well.
Since the mobile industry is such a hotspot at the moment, are there certain trends that you are noticing a lot recently? Is there a particular direction that you foresee mobile heading towards?
I would say that a lot of emphasis of late has been put around mobile advertising as one of many areas, but we’re seeing uplift in text messaging campaigns, short code campaigns. We’re seeing a lot of energy and enthusiasm around mobile video and television. We’re also starting to see a lot of focus placed on mobile commerce. So, that means loyalty programs and ticketing and couponing, which are all ways that a brand can further improve their engagement model with their consumer. It’s really that we’re seeing roads across the mobile channel on every front.