Mobile Marketing Research Association (MMRA) Debuts as New Global Trade Organization

It’s been announced that the  mobile marketing industry now has a brand new global trade organization known as the “Mobile Marketing Research Association,” or MMRA.

Launched this month, the MMRA was founded with the mission of uniting and serving the industry by developing professional standards and ethics to advance the use of mobile devices for marketing research.  According to its press release, the MMRA says it’s an “action-oriented organization designed to establish mobile research guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, develop research and advocate for issues that grow the industry, provide quality education and evangelize the mobile marketing research channel for use by clients, researchers and participants.”

Why does the industry need a trade organization dedicated to mobile marketing research?  First a little background on where the MMRA got its start.  There was a conference held last year in both Berlin and Atlanta, GA called “Market Research in the Mobile World,” which was organized by the Merlin Institute.  The event turned out to be relatively successful, with over 170 attendees at the Atlanta event alone.  Following the conference, Jasper Lim, founder of the Merlien Institute and Mark Michelson, a veteran in the marketing research industry, discussed how this so-called  “fast developing and complex industry” needs a unifying body, a single voice, and a place to exchange the best and most innovative of ideas.  In September 2011 they decided to work together to create the MMRA, which is making its formal debut this month.

As mobile marketing and advertising continues to gain unprecedented momentum, there’s a variety of issues stemming from what information and data is collected from mobile users, how it’s used and how the entire process should be regulated.  “Consumer privacy is a concept that research participants seem willing to sacrifice, at least in part, to receive valuable offers that are tailored towards their likes and interests,” explained the MMRA.  “Millions of consumers have already downloaded smartphone apps that use GPS to track their location so they can obtain discounts, coupons or cash incentives for answering a few questions about their experience when they are in specific stores. These apps are becoming more popular every day.”

Among other initiatives, the MMRA wants to design studies that take advantage of  new mobile technologies and changes in respondent behavior, explore ways to make sense of complex data and set guidelines for ethical use of personal information.  The MMRA said it will accomplish this through the “cooperative efforts of the best professionals in the industry who want to make research more meaningful for clients and enjoyable for participants.”

Launching just this month, the MMRA is putting a call out to relevant organizations to join its cause.  The first 300 member companies to join will have special certification recognizing their permanent status as a founding member.  “The business world recognizes innovators and leaders who get in on the ground floor; that kind of foresight is recognized, repeatedly and in so many ways,” said Michelson, who has founded and worked with other marketing research related trade associations in his career. “Founding Members stand out to their prospects, their peers and others key influencers in the business world.”