The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) has a lot of different members. Hundreds, in fact. Mobile advertisers all over the world have an MMA membership. But Premium Membership, the highest tier, is very very exclusive: it is available only to those companies that are so large they can create their own markets. Each Premium Member can enter an area where their service is not provided, and create an entire market from scratch. And today the MMA announces it’s 4th Premium Member – the Tribune Company.
The Tribune Company?
The Tribune Company is a massive, employee-owned media company in the States that has huge properties in TV, radio and newspapers. It comprises some of the biggest newspapers in the country (Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, etc.) as well as multiple radio stations and over 20 TV stations.
As a Premium Member, it will be able to access a huge amount of advice and information to help with it’s mobile efforts. It will also be doing mobile work for the MMA – in this case, helping to advance the field of mobile publishing.
The other three Premium Members also have specific tasks they work on. Microsoft Advertising works on cross-industry and cross-channel marketing. Alcatel-Lucent is developing opt-in and preference-driven mobile marketing. And Coca-Cola is concentrating on education programs, to support the MMA roll-out of marketing and education certification programs in 20 countries.
What we think?
The goal that the Mobile Marketing Association has set itself is pretty big: to ensure that mobile becomes a completely indispensable part of the marketing industry. That process is currently underway, but the challenges that face it are still legion. One of those problems is fragmentation. There are so many small companies working on so many different types of mobile marketing that industry as a whole closely resembles a large crowd of people all running in different directions, shouting as loud as they can.
But large companies like the Premium Members can provide a lot of direction in a market. I’m particularly interested in where the Tribune Company goes. The future of the newspaper is in serious peril, and there are strong arguments to be made for mobile being it’s eventual home.