My Take On The Mobile Marketing Forum

We heard that mobile should be “iPod simple.”

What about conferences such as the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile Marketing Forum that was held last week in New York?

The MMA mixed so-called “101” content with more advanced discussions, satisfying many and leaving others with the feeling that they had heard the points earlier and often.

Like the Tribune telling us that consumers have mobile devices and we need to follow them there. You think?

It was Lou Paskalis, vice president of global media, content development and mobile marketing at American Express, who made the “iPod simple” remark.

Mr. Paskalis had other great points, including the continued need to evangelize in-house, to build applications to provide “value and utility and to re-establish the mission that customers have already come to expect from your brand.”

There was new and compelling information from Live Nation president Russell Wallach who gave data to back up the claim that mobile is the “perfect storm” for concerts.

Mr. Wallach said that mobile is the glue for commerce, content and community at the venue. The numbers to back it up? Mobile interaction at concerts: 47 percent text or email, 66 percent take photos and 32 percent update Facebook.

Other memorable moments?

• The research from Adobe Omniture that says that 79 percent of iPad owners spend 30 minutes a day or more reading news.

• The conversation from our industry’s privacy experts saying that we must learn how to protect the individual’s privacy to gain his or her trust, confidence and permission to engage.

• The advice from Citysearch to build simple apps – there is that word again – and to nail a few useful things. 

• The statement from Alexander Mars, CEO of mobile agency Phonevalley, saying that the claim that any year before this one was the year of mobile is “bulls--t.”

Which brings us back to the question of whether mobile conferences should be an “introduction to the medium” or more sophisticated and full of case studies that include learnings and repeatable actions.

A Gartner executive said during the show that mobile ads are expected to generate around $3.3 billion worldwide this year. That is real growth.

Still, according to a May survey by King Fish Media and reported by eMarketer, only one third of marketers have a mobile strategy.

A quarter of respondents said that mobile advertising was not meeting expectations. Remarkably and regrettably, 34 percent had not measured a mobile program that they had run.

This is the current state of mobile – some have been in and are realizing the medium’s potential. Others are newbies and in need of baby steps. Still more will come in either willingly or not – more than six in 10 North American marketers plan to have a mobile strategy within the next year.

Mobile veterans will need to pack patience along with their charging cords and latest gadgets.

(Article first appeared on Mobile Marketer --