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Newly Launched MMRA to develop standards and ethics for rapidly growing global industry

Wednesday, January 18, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sheila Gidley
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Newly launched Mobile Marketing Research
Association to develop standards and ethics for
rapidly growing global industry

Press Release, January 18, 2012 – Atlanta, GA – The rapid evolution and increasing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets is creating unprecedented opportunities for the marketing research industry.

With mobile marketing research, it is possible for researchers to see user-generated videos, photos, and text messages from participants. In addition with mobile devices such as smart phones, it is possible to track participants’ whereabouts and listen to the actual voice of the customer while they are in the moment of buying, where it matters most to marketers.

This brings up the issue of privacy in many countries around the world. Consumer privacy is a concept that research participants seem willing to sacrifice, at least in part, to receive valuable offers that are tailored towards their likes and interests. Millions of consumers have already downloaded smart phone apps that use GPS to track their location so they can obtain discounts, coupons or cash incentives for answering a few questions about their experience when they are in specific stores. These apps are becoming more popular every day.

The Mobile Marketing Research Association (MMRA) is a new global trade association launched January 2012. The mission of the MMRA is to unite and serve the industry in developing professional standards and ethics to advance the use of mobile devices for marketing research. The MMRA is an action-oriented organization designed to establish mobile research guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, develop research and advocate for issues that grow the industry, provide quality education and evangelize the mobile marketing research channel for use by clients, researchers and participants.

Last year two successful and provocative conferences, Market Research in the Mobile World were held in Berlin and Atlanta organized by the Merlien Institute. At the Atlanta conference, well over 170 attendees met to discuss the state of the industry. Following the conference, Jasper Lim, founder of Merlien Institute and Mark Michelson, a veteran in the marketing research industry, discussed how this fast developing and complex industry needs a unifying body, a single voice, and a place to exchange the best and most innovative of ideas. In September 2011 they decided to work together to create the MMRA.

Mr. Michelson, acting as Executive Director and Mr. Lim, Director of Development and Events, have been working together diligently since to establish the foundation for this niche association. To date they have hired Ms Sheila Gidley as Director of Operations and recruited a "who’s who” in mobile marketing research for the Board of Directors and also tapping exceptionally well-qualified individuals for committee and regional chair positions.

MMRA Board Members include representatives from clients such as General Mills, marketing research firms such as Nielsen, TNS, Brainjuicer and Blauw Research, mystery shopping firms such as Bare Associates and AQ Services and technology providers such as OnDevice, Revelation, EthOS App and CivicCom.

Board Member Andy Dybvig, Manager of Mobile Research for General Mills, believes that collectively, MMRA members will help carry the mobile research industry to loftier heights.

"We are building a collaborative organization that is focused on understanding and sharing best practices for mobile as, together, we push the industry forward,” he said. "There are so many opportunities with mobile, many that have yet to be discovered, and that is what will make being on the leading edge of this so much fun. There is no doubt that we’re all going to enjoy the ride as we move the industry forward.”

The MMRA is actively building a foundation for education, conducting studies and creating communications for this growing industry.  MMRA plans to foster education not only among members but also with individuals and online communities who participate in research studies including shoppers, consumers, and business professionals.

Learning to design studies to take advantage of the new mobile technologies and changes in respondent behavior, exploring ways to make sense of complex data and setting guidelines for ethical use of personal information is what the MMRA is about. MMRA accomplishes this through the cooperative efforts of the best professionals in the industry who want to make research more meaningful for clients and enjoyable for participants.

Board member Justin Bailey, who focuses on the mobile device user experience for global research firm Nielsen, said MMRA will be the leading voice in carrying the potential of mobile research to continually higher levels.

"While we have created an initial foundation of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to mobile data collection and research, we still need to develop well-tested standards and guidelines that can be applied industry-wide,” Bailey said. "This can be done through rigorous testing and increasing our understanding of how we can best leverage mobile devices to conduct research. I look forward to working with MMRA and its members to move our industry forward.”

The MMRA transcends all industry sectors and is open to anyone with an interest in marketing research using mobile devices. MMRA members include end-user clients, marketing research firms, technology developers, marketing consultants, mystery shopping providers, merchandising companies, educators, students and trade media.

Board Member Michael Bare, President of global mystery shopping firm Bare International, believes MMRA fills an immediate need in the emerging industry.

"Whenever something powerful, exciting and complex emerges – such as marketing research via mobile devices – it creates huge excitement, but also potential confusion, initial pushback and legitimate questions,” he said. "MMRA has come along at the perfect moment – to establish guidelines and rules of engagement for this research to be implemented in a credible and respected way. MMRA gives us a framework from which to operate and a set of ethics to guide us.”

MMRA is launching this month with a Founding Member drive where the first 300 professional, academic or corporate members to join will have special certification recognizing their permanent status as a Founding Member.

Benefits for joining include networking with industry leaders, exclusive discounts to events such as the acclaimed MRMW conference, exposure on the MMRA website, and most importantly to help create the standards, ethics and education that will shape the future of this industry.

"The business world recognizes innovators and leaders who get in on the ground floor; that kind of foresight is recognized, repeatedly and in so many ways.” said Michelson, who has founded and worked with other marketing research related trade associations in his career. "Founding Members stand out to their prospects, their peers and others key influencers in the business world.”

MMRA will recognize the first 300 members who register as Founding Members. Memberships are now being accepted at

Contact: Thomas J. McFeeley
Tel: +1 203 249-6005

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