The Mobile Marketing Association has extensive plans to boost itself–and the mobile marketing space–for the coming year, with a new leader, a soon-to-be home base in New York, and work on creation of updated best practices for U.S. marketers.

Mike Wehrs last week was named MMA’s new president and CEO. The former vice president of Nuance Communications, which is known mostly for its voice-recognition technology, seems to have hit the ground running. Reports indicate that he wants the organization to offer its members concrete ways that they can meet strategic goals. This includes the move to New York, home of Madison Avenue, making it easier for the MMA to interact with marketers and advertisers. It also includes educational initiatives, since as Mr. Wehrs said, “Right now it’s very difficult to put together a mobile campaign… there are lots of things an advertiser has to know just to do a text message campaign.”

(Note: We at mobileStorm understand this, and like the MMA hope to help mobile marketing newbies with the whitepapers titled SMS Or Die and Digital Marketing Best Practices For Geniuses, and with the webinar titled Making Money With Mobile Coupons.)

As far as growth, Mr. Wehrs noted the evolution of mobile marketing in new industries. Besides interest from consultant and content companies, he said, “Mobile banking is another example where we are seeing some of the banks coming to us and asking what can be done for their set of applications. Financial institutions in general are mobilizing.”

Meanwhile at the MMA’s Best Practices Forum, a diverse group of mobile industry professionals gathered to suggest what should be included in the organization’s upcoming set of best practices for the United States. The MMA releases updated best practices every June and December.

One of the biggest developments discussed at the forum was the CTIA’s plan to start monitoring every short code campaign, to check for compliance with both the MMA’s best practices and with individual carriers’ requirements.

Marketing experts also talked about creating not just standards, but also punishments regarding compliance with CBP and carrier requirements. They also noted that privacy standards will be more important than ever: As revenue from mobile campaigns increases, so will scrutiny into marketers’ behavior.

Sounds like the MMA is thinking ahead, not just for 2009, but beyond.

Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm

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