NEW YORK—Laura Marriott, the outgoing president of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), thinks of herself as a hunter. Now, she said in an interview, the 3-year-old organization needs a farmer.
Marriott announced her resignation prior to the opening of the Mobile Marketing Forum in New York City Tuesday. She expects to step down by the end of the year, after a recruiting committee finds a replacement.
Marriott, who started the MMA in 2005 out of her basement, said she has accomplished her main goals. The first was establishing the MMA as a brand with clearly defined best practices and guidelines for mobile marketing and advertising. Next came the creation of a global organization with offices and programs in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
The MMA also plans to open an office in New York City, in addition to its headquarters in Denver, Marriott said.
Marriott described her role in starting the association as one of a hunter. “There are hunters and farmers [in the evolution of organizations],” she said. “I was a hunter. Now it is time for a farmer.”
The new president’s challenge will be to manage the global organization with different regional priorities and initiatives, she said. “We now have a truly global organization and are leading in the areas of privacy, mobile advertising and we’re working on mobile commerce guidelines. We need someone now to manage the differences around the globe.”
Although there has been a lot of hype surrounding mobile advertising, Marriott said she has been surprised by the growth over the last 3 years. Still, regions like Latin America have just started to get into the medium, she said.
“What’s really different [in the last 3 years],” she said, “is how mobile marketing is being talked about now. She added that while mobile advertising has generated the most public attention, it is mobile marketing that has generated the most return. Big brands have realized that and now are not just thinking about mobile advertising.
One of the trends she is pleased with is that big brands have started talking about their mobile successes. When the MMA started, it was difficult to get the brands to talk about what they were doing, but now companies like BMW, Proctor & Gamble and Coca-Cola are citing their mobile successes, she said.
Marriott’s not sure what she will do after the MMA, except that she will take personal time off to spend with people who matter to her. After that, she likely will get back to an entrepreneurial role.