IAB Launches “Mobile Marketing Center Of Excellence” To Drive Industry Growth

It was announced today that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has launched what it’s calling the “Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence,” which is an independently funded and staffed unit inside the IAB, charged with driving the growth of the mobile marketing, advertising and media marketplace.

The new initiative from the IAB will devote resources to market and consumer research, mobile advertising case studies, executive training and education, supply chain standardization, creative showcases and best practice identification in the burgeoning field of mobile media and marketing, the organization said in its release.  “The Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence will serve as the industry-wide resource for innovation in mobile advertising,” said Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO of the IAB.

Sixteen IAB member companies have committed financial support to the association’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, marking the first time the industry trade group has directed enhanced resources to a single platform.  Eight IAB member companies have provided advanced support and will serve on the Center’s Board of Directors, including AT&T Converged Services, Cars.com, Google, Microsoft, The New York Times, Univision Interactive Media, Weather Channel and Yahoo.

“The IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence will provide the next phase of leadership required for continued growth in the mobile advertising industry,” said Greg McCastle, Senior Vice President for Advanced Ad Solutions at AT&T.  “Consumers want their information and entertainment on-the-go, and this trend is only going to continue, bringing enormous opportunity for advertisers to stay connected to their audiences.”

What’s interesting is that this sounds almost exactly like the original goals of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA).  In the beginning, the MMA was formed to educate brands, publishers and others on mobile marketing and advertising concepts, while also creating structure and regulation.  In its press release, the IAB says the formation of the Mobile Center of Excellence “is the latest addition to the IAB’s ongoing work to educate the marketing and media ecosystem about mobile advertising.”  Interestingly enough, both the IAB and the MMA recently released “Mobile Web Advertising Measurement Guidelines” that provide a framework for governing ad impressions through mobile devices.