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Mobile or not, relationship is what matters

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BtoB spoke with Michael Becker, North American managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association, to get his breakdown of what mobile marketing is and isn't.

BtoB: What does mobile marketing encompass?

Becker: To start, the mobile phone is actually eight different media channels, not just one: SMS [short message service]; MMS [multimedia messaging service] e-mail; voice [live agent and automated interactive voice response]; mobile Internet/Web; content; proximity [Bluetooth and Wi-Fi]; and applications. Crossing all of those media channels are enablement technologies, including location, mobile advertising, commerce and social. Finally, there are three major approaches to marketing via mobile: through the mobile channel directly; indirectly, which involves the mobile enablement of traditional media, with mobile calls to action added; and building mobile into your product or service and delivering the experience via mobile.

BtoB: How is mobile marketing different—and the same?

Becker: It's like any other traditional marketing activity; you need to take a step back and look at what you want to accomplish. The whole idea that b-to-b marketing has been about big-ticket items is certainly true. But what's interesting about mobility is that it is driving b-to-c marketing practices into the b-to-b environment because mobile is such a personal device.

In the end, it's important for all b-to-b marketers to realize, whether you're talking about mobile or not, that business is about people and the relationships we have with people. Although we've seen very little mobile marketing happening right now in b-to-b, where we are seeing it increasing is in the social side of things. Mobile is an important way to create and maintain customer relationships.

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