Analysis & Opinion

10 Takeaways from the MMA’s Mobile Marketing Forum

November 23, 2010 MullenLowe

So you didn’t make it to the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile Marketing Forum in Beverly Hills, CA last week.  Fortunately, I’ve summarized the 10 hour event in 10 key takeaways (on the 6 hour flight back to Boston).

1. Jamie Foxx is cool. The conference began with a keynote via Skype from Jamie Foxx.  I’m not completely sure what he said or how it related to mobile, but he is famous and he looked good.  Reason enough to believe.

2. Even Elmo is mobile. Who better to follow Jamie Foxx than Sesame Street. Surprisingly, Sesame Worldwide has embraced mobile communications more than a lot of big brands.  They view mobile as a key channel to educate and entertain children.  Sesame has built sophisticated mobile apps, mobile sites, and podcasts.  If mobile is intuitive enough for Elmo, major marketers need to be active in the space.

3. Mobile is about action. One of the most insightful presentations was conducted by Jamie Wells at Microsoft.  According to his research, one of the distinctions between mobile and the PC is that mobile is about immediate action.  70% of mobile searches lead to action within one hour vs. one month for 70% of PC search users to take action.

4 Chacha is more than a dance. The answers driven company called Chacha is reinventing search.  They are an SMS, app and site that has real people answering questions for users.  Their site is the fastest growing in the Comscore top 100 sites.  Users feel such a connection to the service that they are actually wishing it good night.  An important player to consider in search conversations.

5. Big spenders on mobile devices. M-commerce is not just about low ticket items.  Eve Richey from Dell told us that three out of five of their top selling products from a mobile device are laptops.

6. Mobile is racing. Dan Rosen from AKQA inspired the audience by discussing the Real Racing GTI app created for client VW.  The entire budget was spent on working with developers to make the app a great user experience, with self-perpetuating social elements built in.  Oh, and it actually worked.  200 cars were sold to players, half of which were new customers.

7. MySpace is crashing. Literally, the presentation shut down every five minutes.  They are putting some energy behind their redesign though and envision mobile to be a big part of that.  Not sure I buy it, but 25 million MySpace mobile users isn’t too shabby.

8. Adapt or die. Jeffrey Hayzlett, author and “celebrity CEO” brought a lot of energy to the stage.  He encouraged making mistakes if it meant taking bigger risks and learning.  Ultimately, he said, be bold because at the end of the day no one is going to die. This is marketing, not the ER.

9. Yellow pages live on.  As LBS becomes a real component of mobile campaigns, it’s important to consider players like Where and YP, or AT&Ts yellow pages reinvented.  These guys can provide scale to hyper local initiatives and drive traffic to retail locations.  AT&T has seen 4-5x higher CTRs for geo-enabled banners than standard banners.

10. Asia is where it’s at. I was completely blown away by Rohit Dadwal’s discussion of the mobile marketplace in Asia and how it is exploding.  People are selling mobile devices on buses, using them for basic survival needs and actually responding to mobile advertising.  An AXE mobile voice campaign over there generated 680 million incoming calls.

For more perspectives and a chronicle of the event visit #MMAF2010LA through