Wanted to recap the MMA Forum now that I have gotten some rest and burrowed out of my email inbox after a week on the road. As always, the MMA Forum provided awesome face-time with clients and prospects, a chance to see the Waterfall team in SF and, most importantly, a week of foraging knee deep in MMA activities and mobile concepts.

Some specific thoughts and feedback from the show (in no particular order):

  • Good mix of brands and agencies this year, which is very encouraging for the industry.  Looks like folks are ready to invest in mobile as they send dedicated teams to the top shows to learn and hone their 2013 mobile strategies.
  • Everyone is buzzing about Passbook. Overall, people who don’t know about it want to get educated, and people who do know are actively testing and learning.
  • Many are positioning Passes as “mini-apps” for folks not ready to invest in apps but looking to do something quickly and easily in mobile space (that still has the rich media appeal and engagement of mobile apps).
  • The Push Notification Task Force Committee launched at the MMA Forum. Great attendance by vendors/brands/agencies, as all seem genuinely interested in nurturing this new channel to become the next great messaging outlet.
  • SMS is the non-sexy workhorse of the mobile industry, with tons of vendors/brands/agencies using the channel to deliver real ROI.
  • Cross-channel communication is clearly the holy grail that everyone is talking about, but we are in the very early days as marketers are still trying to master each of the channels individually (namely, email, mobile and social).
  • That said, many marketers have made internal resourcing decisions to fold mobile/social under the same groups that own email.  So perhaps cross-channel is not as far off as we think.
  • The industry needs more brand case studies to help break any companies who are struggling with inertia or analysis paralysis. (Side note for brands: help us help you and share your successes and failures more openly so we can move the industry forward).
  • Only heard “Is this the year of mobile?” on one panel this year. Big change from previous years.

All things considered, the Forum was a great way to kick off 2013 and I am incredibly excited and encouraged by the discussions and content shared. Let me know if you have any questions about the show by posting to the comments. I’d be happy to answer them.

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