Monday, November 28, 2011

Views and perspectives from the recent MMA Forum in London

A guest post by Emmanuel Legros (twitter), Gemalto

This year’s Mobile Marketing Association Forum held in London was the usual hotbed of discussion around current and evolving market trends. As a member of the MMA, I both attended and presented at the event, speaking in a track session on ‘Doing More’, alongside Nokia, Eagle Eye Solutions, O2 and InMobi, hosted by Jonathan Kelly from Vodafone.

The presentation given by Babs Rangaih from Unilever was one I found particularly compelling. Outlining Unilever’s Mobile Manifesto, including the fact that the FMCG company has further committed to Apple iAd campaigns, as reported Ronan Shields and others, Unilever’s VP of global communications planning made some really intriguing points, including:

· No one is doing a great job in social media yet, which means there’s still an opportunity here

· It’s just the beginning for us and those in our industry, and we can all continue to learn and adapt.

· Mobile is a priority channel – if you lose your wallet, it may take you a day or a few hours to realize it. If you lose your mobile, you notice immediately.

Ultimately, his key message was that mobile marketing needs to be kept simple. It can bring great benefits or utility for consumers, for example through the delivery of mobile coupons.

Attila Weisz, digital marketing manager – IMC, at The Coca-Cola Company, raised a good point in his presentation too, talking about “mobile 3.0”. Even with all the development we’ve seen on mobile platforms, however, SMS still reigns supreme as a mobile marketing medium. Tens of millions of consumers out there haven’t made the leap to a smartphone platform yet.

It was interesting to hear how more and more big companies and corporations are investing in mobile. One major brand claimed it spent 70% of its time on above the line campaigns, 10% on innovation and 20% on mobile! If more companies adopted this investment in mobile, we would be significantly further down the line!

A third presentation that stood out was from the VP of digital products for The Weather Channel – Scott Jensen. In his eyes, mobile needs to be relevant – the keywords here are personal, local and social. Mobile marketing can only ever work if it offers the right message with the right content to the right person at the right time.

Which takes me on to my final thought which flowed through the entire conference, which is that permission-based marketing is the key to success. What marketers, who are embracing the mobile channel, need to be mindful of is that privacy and obtaining permission from consumers is what will determine whether their campaigns are successful or not. Access to this personal information is vital to creating that personalised experience, and consumers need to give you their permission to have that access. Also to note that permission is only granted on a temporary basis and has to be updated over time. People change so permission given once is not permission given forever.

It’s not all bad news though – those who manage to obtain permission stand to make headway with their target audiences. Gemalto has supported a Mobile Marketing Association whitepaper on Permission-Based Marketing (free pdf once you’ve filled in a short request form) which provides further guidance, case study examples and success stories. Worth a read if you want to learn more.