How the MMA is Driving the Mobile Marketing Community Forwards!

Paul Berney, Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Director for EMEA at the Mobile Marketing Association, joins us for a quickfire five question interview and tell us how the MMA is Driving the Mobile Marketing Community Forwards!

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Great of you to join us. I've got five quickfire questions for you today. Firstly, the MMA helps organisations and individuals to derive more results from their mobile marketing. Can you tell us a little more about the work that you do and what primary obstacles you typically see enterprises facing with regard to mobile marketing today?

P Berney: Big question to start off with.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Big opening question.

P Berney: The mission of the MMA is to make mobile an indispensable part of the marketing mix, so it's our job to make mobile marketing so effective that every organisation wants to use it in any campaign with any product or service. And we do that through concentrating our efforts on what we call five building blocks. So we work to promote the channel and individual member companies. We work to educate brands and organisations and agencies. We work to provide measurements, metrics and insights that help people make their investment decisions and know you should expect from mobile. We work to provide guidance on best practice and standards. And we work to protect the industry; in other words, public policy, to represent them.

I think you can summarise all that down, like any good trade association would do, to say we work to do two broad things, really, which are: we work to stimulate demand in mobile and we work to reduce friction. In other words, to make it easier for buyers to buy and sellers to sell.

If you look at the five main tasks that we do, they also address probably what we would see as the five main obstacles. So, if you turned them around and looked at them the other way around, promotion is there because we need to stimulate more demand in the marketplace. Education is there because there isn't enough understanding amongst organisations as to how to use mobile and where it fits. The measurement is there because people need reassurance in making their investment decisions. Similarly, the need for guidelines is there to make it as easy as possible for people to work together. And, obviously, in terms of protection, we need to overcome the obstacles of regulation that can impede the growth of the market.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Thanks, Paul. Now next we'd like to get your top tips. So, what would you say are the first three steps that you'd advise people to take who are trying to build momentum with their mobile marketing initiatives? If you can break it into three steps.

P Berney: Yes, I can. Maybe I'll start by saying, please don't make your first step we need an app. That is not the starting place. In fact, the starting point is not about technology at all. The biggest driver of mobile marketing is the way in which mobile as a device has changed us as consumers and as individuals. So, it's changing consumer behaviour. So, my first tip for any organisation is to consider what mobility means in the relationship between them and their target audience.

The second thing would be, having worked out what that is, to decide upon having a mobile presence before you restrict yourself to one particular technology. Think about the fact that, well, we need to do something in mobile and let's find our business goals and our marketing goals, perhaps, and our communication goals and then decide which mobile technology will help deliver that.

And I guess the third thing would be to accept that mobile is going to have to play a part in every single business in every single market in every vertical.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Thank you. Now, obviously you've been immersed in this market for a good while now. What do you feel that the supplier market can do to help drive the mobile marketing community forward?

P Berney: Yes, I think the best thing possible for actually all parts of the value chain or the ecosystem, whether you're involved in supplying technology or you're a handset manufacturer or you're a brand, an agency, a publisher, I think those things are fundamental to what a trade association is. We try to get people to engage with each other and to get into dialogue with each other about what their needs are. It's very often the case that different parts of a value chain or an ecosystem, depending on your terminology, simply don't speak the same language. And as a result, they find it difficult to communicate together. And, so, my request is for everyone to play an active role if they want mobile to work and be successful.

And I think that in the eight and a half years I've worked in mobile, the questions that I'm asked by companies who want to use mobile have changed from people asking me the question, why, to asking the question how and what and with whom. So, inherently, everybody gets the idea that all consumers are mobile consumers, but how do we take advantage of the channel?

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: So communication is key.

P Berney: Yes, absolutely critical, yes.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Quite ironic for the mobile communications industry.

P Berney: Yes, it is.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Moving forward, where do you see mobile marketing in, say, five years' time?

P Berney: I get asked that question an awful lot and normally my flippant answer is to say, well, actually, five years ago we didn't really have smart phones, and so you couldn't have predicted the massive impact on the world that the introduction of iPhone and Android phones would've made. So, in many senses, it's quite difficult to predict where the technology might go and how that might affect us.

But I think from a more consumer perspective, mobile is only likely to become more and more engaged and more and more embedded in our lives. I think there's going to be a greater amount of technology convergence, which means that the mobile device will have more and more functionality in it and start to take over from over devices. You've already seen that in many cases. It's had a massive upon all kinds of things, like the sale of alarm clocks, because people don't have alarm clocks anymore, the sale of digital cameras, the sale of video and the sale of radios. And I think it will continue to extend into many other parts of life as we get convergence.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: With the iPhone map, yes. It's fast expanding. It's a really interesting area. And, anyway, thank you for your projections there. So, final question - we like to ask this to all of our speakers - who is your all-time hero or figure of inspiration and why? And this can be work or non-work related.

P Berney: Oh, that's a really hard question to answer. Can I give you two?

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Yes, you can give two answers.

P Berney: In all honesty, my all-time hero is my dad for a whole host of reasons.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: A few people say that in answer to this question.

P Berney: Yes, and then my other would be - and this will betray my other major passion in life to all those listeners who would know - my other hero is a sporting one and it's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: And what do you derive from him? What kind of motivation?

P Berney: Be there to win right at the end, that's the main message you get from him. He perhaps gave me one of the greatest moments of excitement in my life by scoring the winning goal in the Champion's League final in 1999 for Man United. And he epitomised what the club and that particular team meant to me, which is to keep preserving with the strong belief that eventually you will come good. And that's a nice lesson to have.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange: Good example. Well, thanks, Paul, very much for your time today. It's been great to speak to you ahead of the event that you'll be presenting at.