From the desk of Karen Moritzky
Last week I attended the Mobile Marketing Association's Forum in San Francisco. This was the second MMA Forum I have attended and I truly enjoyed the entire experience, especially all the new information I absorbed. It’s always great to see old friends and meet new mobile folks as well. This year, I was fortunate enough to participate as a member of the Mobile Coupons Ad Unit Standards Committee, where we had our first in-person meeting of the year.
There were a couple standout sessions I thoroughly enjoyed. Specifically, Urban Airship is working with Pepsi Co on some game changing mobile marketing that struck a chord with me. Their combined creativity converted Pepsi cans into a boom box of sorts utilizing a mobile phone and music giveaways. Urban Airship is also working with Rip Curl to expand their brand in the mobile community. I was also able to spend some time to gain a better understanding of how Passbook will be used by consumers since not every brand will need or want their own app. For example, Sephora has 375,000 loyalty members that they are working to link to Passbook. Coupons.com has also experienced success with Passbook, having converted 70% of their customers, and even United Airlines has linked their mobile app to Passbook so that travelers may access their boarding passes via Apple’s app.
My favorite session by far was Google’s, regarding their upcoming Universal Analytics tool. This tool will help me view where all of my unique users are visiting/shopping - brick & mortar, catalog, web, mobile web, mobile app, etc. The mobile analytics model tracks each step in the process, allowing subscribers to gain information on customer acquisition, engagement and ultimate outcome. This toolset will also be fully integrated with Google Play in the near future. One other session I enjoyed was presented by Sean Bartlett from Lowe's and Jeff Hasen from Hipcricket. Their companies partnered to reach Lowe’s customers via their mobile handset fulfilling Lowe's “Never Stop Improving” promise and it's commitment to mobile. Wow, Lowe’s is a company that GETS IT! It was very impressive. They arm their employees with mobile handsets and a custom mobile app that helps them provide on-the-spot, accurate, and comprehensive support for customers anywhere in the store. It's obvious they understand the importance of bridging marketing and operations and how they go hand-in-hand! Lowe’s also has Free WIFI in all of their stores, making it easy for employees and customers to connect. Simon Malls apparently gives Free WIFI to customers as well if you are willing to opt into their mobile program.
Our committee met and focused on creating standards for mobile marketing, specifically couponing, and how those can be quantified for ad units. We also discussed the need for best-demonstrated practices. The goal, ultimately, is to reduce barriers and increase usage of mobile handsets to reach customers, and establish standards to guide advertisers and protect consumers. Our committee published a white paper last week on The Current State and Promise of Mobile Couponing, you can access our white paper here: (http://www.mmaglobal.com/mobile-couponing).
Of course, all the sessions were valuable and informative. It’s always great to step outside the box and obtain first hand knowledge and experience of how our market is growing, developing, and innovating. As always, it’s a great opportunity to network and spend time with partners and potential partners as well. All in all, my trip to San Francisco for the MMA Forum was very valuable.