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Supporting the Mobile Marketing Association

There is a feeling that mobile marketers could do more to support their trade association. Start by attending tomorrow?s Mobile Marketing Forum.

While the association has struggled to grow its membership in a global economic downturn and been through leadership changes, it is still one of the only bodies that can lobby for mobile marketers? interests to the outside world.

However, the Mobile Marketing Association needs its members to ramp up their commitment. In unity lies strength, and it wouldn?t serve anyone?s interests by standing outside the ring when the fight is clearly inside.

For those following the news, Congress is set to legislate on behavioral advertising online and on mobile. The federal regulatory agencies are also looking at wireless carriers for their practices on approvals of mobile applications and also their stance on Net Neutrality.

Add to that the several patent lawsuits over claims ? some spurious, some not ? that may jeopardize the economics of SMS campaigns.

And then there?s the fratricidal war between Nokia, Apple, Adobe, HTC and Google over handset hardware and software where one ruling could derail an entire company?s product offerings.

Someone needs to knock some sense into these marketers? heads.

Pitching for unity
If the baby is not nurtured in its infancy, the adult will not be strong enough to handle the tough pitches that life throws.

Mobile marketing is still in its early growth phase, full of promise and vigor. But, like other new technology over the decades, it faces challenges from within and without.

Now is the time for some esprit de corps from the key mobile players to talk to Washington. To sit down with those privacy advocacy groups, who never seem satisfied with any progress but always seek validation through constant stroking.

Now is the time for the industry to back the association to quickly resolve the many lawsuits over several SMS patent challenges.

Now is the time for volunteering on committees and making a difference beyond self-interest.

And now is the time to induct fresh blood into the association ? new members, new leaders, new ideas.

This is mobile?s time in the sun. All those with an interest in ensuring that marketers deliver a fair experience to consumers through their mobile devices must stand together at the Mobile Marketing Forums and also at various Mobile Marketing Association meetings.

Take a look at other associations.

Find a voice
Start within the wireless industry. The CTIA is tireless in promoting the interests of carriers. Its stance on Net Neutrality ? ensuring equal access to the Internet on mobile devices without variable pricing for marketers delivering the data ? is quite clear: No, thank you.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is equally tireless in its opposition to overly zealous bills in Congress that would endanger the future of online advertising if too many curbs are imposed on legitimate behavioral targeted ads.

Equally worried about the negative fallout of Washington?s new-found fear over data abuse is the Direct Marketing Association. It lobbies hard to ensure that marketers have the right to target offers to their customers and prospects based on insights gleaned through legitimate means.

Sometimes these associations get their point across, other times they don?t. But at least their members are united behind their efforts to convince lawmakers that marketers, by and large, follow the law in ensuring that consumers are delivered favorable marketing experiences.

Wouldn?t that be nice if Mobile Marketing Association members spoke up for SMS? Wouldn?t it be nice if these marketers stood up for Net Neutrality ? after all, they don?t want their content, commerce or marketing to suffer from tiered-pricing Web access for those who deliver these services?

And wouldn?t it be nice if these members mediated between the feuding Apple, Google, Nokia and others of the same cloth and asked them to set aside major differences for the good of mobile marketing and the consumer experience?

Don?t let this week?s Mobile Marketing Forum be yet another clubby get-together for the old guard of mobile. Let the forum do its job ? not just educating, but exchanging ideas, bold and even out there. Speak up and speak out.