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MEF North America launches mobile commerce education initiative

Mobile Entertainment Forum North America has launched a new mobile commerce initiative designed to help brands, content producers and retailers better understand how to leverage the mobile phone to drive customer acquisition, retention and conversion.

The first phase of the initiative will produce an educational and informative webinar and M-Commerce Guide that will contain commercial best practices, benefits and case studies designed to demystify and simplify the mobile commerce landscape.

“There is a pent-up demand in the mobile market for clear ROI and conversion,” said Gary Schwartz, Toronto-based CEO of Impact Mobile and vice chairman of MEF North America. “Brands, retailers and content owners that have dabbled in mobile CRM are now looking for tangible return on their mobile investment.

“Every second article on mobile is about m-couponing, m-commerce, m-ticketing—the focus has become close-loop programs that can end in some form of conversion,” he said. “However, there is option paralysis in the market—so many commerce solutions, where to start?

“It is clear that cookie-cutting online assumptions to mobile will not drive revenue or conversion.”

The Mobile Entertainment Forum is the global trade body of the mobile media and entertainment industry.

Mobile commerce opportunities
M-Commerce Services make it feasible for businesses to handle an extremely large volume of low cost sales.

In addition to purchases such as ringtones, music tracks and games, the growth in micropayments has come from the purchase of items and services such as car parking and cinema tickets.

Additionally, mobile is beginning to impact commerce at bricks-and-mortar POS through incentives and mobile couponing programs driving sales and customer retention.

“The MEF has been a partner in the market since the inception of mobile commerce,” Mr. Schwartz said. “The MEF developed policy and guidelines for premium SMS and the ringtone revolution and now is expanding this market leadership into other areas of mobile commerce.”

It represents the companies throughout the entire mobile entertainment value chain and works on behalf of its diverse membership to facilitate industry growth, shape regulation and deliver competitive advantage to its members.

The mobile connected device can be leveraged to effectively enable all types of commerce, not just for services and content consumed on the device but also for the purchase of physical products and services.

The M-Commerce Guide, to be published next month, will include sections on the mobile state of the union, planning, case studies, things to consider and what the future holds. It serves as a primer which will be developed as a living document over time.

The guide has been authored with the leadership and invaluable support of the following MEF member companies: 2ergo, AdoStrategies, Billing Revolution, Boku, Engage2Mobile,  Impact Mobile, KPMG, mBlox, Motorola, Netbiscuits, Nokia, Polar Mobile, Playphone, RIM, Samsung, Sybase, Synergy Affinity, T-Mobile and Zong.

“This MEF Mobile Commerce Guide is the first resource in an ongoing commitment to lead revenue and business models for the mobile value chain,” Mr. Schwartz said. “We are excited to be able to help drive ahead mobile commerce adoption in North America and globally.”