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Chicago mobile event highlights opportunities of mobile marketing

April 30, 2010

mobile-university1By Neysa Bennett

CHICAGO – Mobile University presented by Heartland Mobile Council addressed some of the challenges and opportunities that mobile offers.

Sponsors included Hipcricket, Acquity Group, Phenomblue, Artisan, 5th Finger, Interactive Mediums, AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions, Punchkick Interactive, MidAmerican Printing Systems Inc., Marketwire, Ruder-Finn, Paladin and Artisan.

“It’s not the year of Mobile but the time for it,” said Andrew Koven, president of ecommerce and customer experience at Steve Madden Shoes, New York.

Here are some of the show’s takeaways:

The event covered tracks on
• Building a strategic mobile foundation
• Technologies available for mobile marketing execution
• Basics for building an opted-in database
• Metrics for measuring success
• Case studies of mobile marketing successes
• Open discussion and networking

Some of the challenges that marketers face with mobile as a marketing channel are
• Figuring location out
• Privacy issues
• Redemption of coupons in a more sophisticated process
• Demystifying mobile marketing and mobile search
• Integrating traditional with mobile to enable better measurability
• Educating various audiences on what mobile marketing can actually do for them

2010 trends for mobile marketing
• Coupon space and customer redemption for retailers
• Location has been a buzz word for a long time and carriers monetized it. Now with so many apps available that is changing
• Local is going to be the search of mobile
• Fixation on Apple vs. Google has encouraged many more and different apps, and the customer will benefit
• Hyper local to market for local stores
• Mcommerce as a channel is coming
• Mobile marketing is complementary to multichannel and seamless

Here is what some attendees had to say:

Julie Krueger, senior vice president of ecommerce and direct at OfficeMax, Chicago
One of exciting things was all the possibilities both for the consumers and retailers, and how they can interact.

Dana Warszona, mcommerce global lead of the industry solutions group at Motorola Inc., Chicago
I am seeing a change from last year, more optimism from retailers. People are more educated and have realized how they can benefit from mobile marketing.

Zak Dabbas, cofounder and managing partner at Punchkick Interactive, Chicago
Mobile is getting its own legs and getting its own force. It is no longer just a line item.

Ryan Unger, cofounder and creative director of Punchkick Interactive, Chicago
Mobile is a distinct channel and it is different from any other channel. It’s getting its’ own legs and being integrated into campaign strategies.

Gary Schwartz, president/CEO of Impact Mobile Inc., Toronto
I consider the Midwest the vanguard of retail innovation for retailers to use mobile as a horizontal vs. vertical channel in order to enhance revenue path through cross channels.

Mobile marketing is a snack food vs. a dining thoughtful experience for higher conversation.

Paul Simmons, mobile solutions specialist at Microsoft, Chicago
The mood is very positive. I see an overall increase in interest, spending and increase in consideration for mobile.

More companies are looking at mobile marketing like the auto industry, CPG companies across all verticals and not relegated to any specific verticals.

Doug Stovall, senior vice president of sales at Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA
The mood is very positive. I am seeing lots of activity at the brand and retail level.

David Lawson, sales director of 5th Finger, San Francisco
The mood is receptive.

People in the Midwest are extremely knowledgeable and deeply engaged.

They’re looking for an opportunity for their brand although they don’t want to jump right in.

Need to get their arms around this space.

Poised to get into mobile marketing more than other parts of the country and they recognize integration is better for positioning.

Hugh Jedwill, founder and executive director of the Heartland Mobile Council and CEO of Mobile Anthem, Chicago
We are experiencing a seismic shift in the Midwest that started earlier in 2010.

With the new fiscal year, marketers, both retailers and CPG companies lifted their heads up from the recession.

They need to play and mobile marketing is at the top of their list.

So, mobile in the Heartland will benefit.

Neysa Bennett is CEO/founder of BennettBaker Ltd., Chicago. Reach her at

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