Mobile marketing’s new era is explained in this second of two podcast interviews with MMA’s Michael Becker. A leader in the mobile marketing industry, Michael is head of the North American division of Mobile Marketing Association.
Michael has over 15 years of technical and business development experience, with a special emphasis on wireless multi-channel messaging communications technologies, including SMS, email, IM, MMS, EMS, the Web and the mobile Internet.
Prior to iLoop Mobile, Michael founded and ran a marketing consultancy, acted as Director of Marketing at Ecrio Inc., and worked at Hewlett-Packard as International Business Development Manager. He’s also spent a number of years living in Tokyo where he worked for A&D Engineering.
Michael holds a BS from Saint Mary’s College and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Business Administration from Golden Gate University and is focusing on the emergence of the mobile channel in the United States. He’s also an adjunct professor of International Business Strategy at Golden Gate University.
Before Direct Marketing Education Foundation awarded Michael the 2009 Rising Stars Award, he won the 2007 Mobile Marketing Association Innovation of the Year award.Michael is the founder and co-editor of the MMA International Journal of Mobile Marketing, contributor and co-author of Mobile Internet and Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.
He’s written over 70 articles and conducted hundreds of seminars on mobile marketing.Michael acts as the Global and North American Vice Chairperson for the MMA and is a member of the Direct Marketing Association’s Mobile Advisory Council.
iLoop Mobile iLoop Mobile is a leader in mobile solutions and services for interactive mobile marketing and mobile content distribution. iLoop Mobile’s software platform enables brands, agencies, direct marketers, content owners and other companies to create compelling and effective mobile marketing initiatives worldwide. Its resource centercontains a wealth of information on mobile marketing.
Michael Becker – Passionate about Marketing and Mobile
When Michael isn’t cooking “mean lasagna” for his friends, he’s either flying, speaking or writing about mobile marketing, growing iLoop Mobile, one of the preeminent mobile companies in the world or advancing best practices via the Mobile Marketing and Direct Marketing Associations.
To Michael, mobile is the foundation of all communications going forward–whatever the mobile device, for personal use or commerce. He speaks of the “untethered engagement” as the central focus of one-on-one relationship marketing with mobile phone consumers.Unlike earlier days, he denies the previous paradigm (“if we build it, they will come”).
Mobile Marketing and Engagement
While reading Michael’s writings–some academic–you quickly sense his desire to change traditional marketing thinking (i.e. “tell consumers what they need; then convince them to buy it”) to “listen to what consumers tell us they want and engage them in a conversation”).
“We are entering a new era of marketing, one where the traditional rules and models are losing their effectiveness and one where customers have awakened to their new found power and control.” Doesn’t sound like General Motors, does it?
According to Becker, the Internet and wireless technologies have shifted control to the customer. Customers are part of “value delivery” and high participation. Marketers must create “mutual value delivery” as interactive media, such as mobile, forces marketers to listen to consumers in real time.
Michael believes marketers must develop “collaborative conversations” with individuals who identify themselves as a target market. (Michael has 65 YouTube videos awaiting your viewing. You’ll find the videos well worth your time.)
Multi-Modal Communication Channels
Interactive media provide multiple modes of communication. Each mobile device, per Michael, is a different channel of communication that influences consumer response to marketing messages. An iPhone is not a BlackBerry; an LG feature phone is not a Nokia smartphone.
The operating systems, browsers, cameras, mp3 players, screen sizes are all different and affect direct response and other user behavior. Today’s consumers choose their preferred communication channels–mobile, email, Web, broadcast, or contact center.
If Michael were to re-phrase Marshall McLuhan’s well-known phrase “the medium is the message,” Michael would probably say that “the iPhone is the message” or “The G1 is the message.” (The mobile phone has the highest adoption rate of any communication channel inhuman history, now at 4.1 billion and growing to 5.5 billion handsets by 2013.)
Worldwide mobile Internet use has risen to 24% and substantially higher in the United States due to smartphones–the fastest growing segment of the mobile handset market. With newspapers in decline, consumers ditching land lines for mobile (80-85% U.S. penetration), brands are shifting their marketing budgets where consumers hang-out. And, in most cases, consumers are with their phones, accessing the mobile Internet, engaging with mobile applications and talking to their friends.
This doesn’t mean that mobile as a marketing channel stands alone. Smart marketers allocate their marketing and advertising budgets to achieve the higher response rates mobile provides as part of integrated marketing campaigns.
The Mobile Ecosystem
Mobile as a marketing tool is relatively young. To some marketers, mobile’s ecosystem of brands, ad agencies, mobile marketing firms, website designers, publishers, carriers, aggregators, ad networks, mobile email providers, application developers, regulators and end-users appears complex and challenging.
However, Michael says the mobile ecosystem is not more complex than the Internet’s except, perhaps, the addition of carriers. The mobile ecosystem began in 1983 when Motorola introduced the first cell phone and the GSM standard was established in Europe.
According to Michael, when the ecosystem began, it was naturally immature. Since then, the mobile ecosystem continued maturing similar to the Internet’s development.
Listen to an expert, visionary, entrepreneur and educator discuss the history and new era of mobile marketing.
Links: Michael Becker and iLoop Mobile Online
“Getting Started with Mobile Marketing – A look at where to begin”
“Mobile Marketing Budgeting: A Look at Mobile Marketing Cost Centers and Timeline”
“MMA Best Use of Mobile Marketing, Relationship-Building Award—iLoop Mobile Finalist” (Obama webpage development)
“How Nonprofits can raise funds through the Mobile Channel” (Mobile Marketer)
iLoop Mobile on Twitter
Mobile Marketing Association
The MMA is the association representing global mobile marketing. You’ll find a wealth of information from case studies to code of conduct, a newsletter, industry links and even aWiki explaining key mobile marketing terminology. The MMA has a North American branchas well.