February 9, 2011, 4:49 PM

Mobile groups eye streamlined text messaging programs

In the works are uniform mobile marketing guidelines across wireless carrier networks.

Two mobile trade groups have joined forces with the aim of  making it easier for marketers to develop and operate text-message marketing campaigns across multiple wireless networks while also ensuring consumer privacy.

To that end, the Mobile Marketing Association and CTIA-The Wireless Association have formed a mobile marketing task force to develop uniform guidelines for running Common Short Code-based mobile marketing programs. A short code is a truncated telephone number operated by a company, such as a retailer, to send and receive text messages.

“It is essential that we increase the operational efficiencies around short codes to make it easier and more effective for marketers to integrate message-based mobile campaigns into their marketing mix,” says Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association. “Our partnership with CTIA is the latest example of the MMA’s continued commitment to providing the mobile ecosystem with industry-standard guidelines and best practices necessary to expand the mobile marketplace while at the same time protecting the consumer experience.”

The task force will work to promote best practices in text message marketing across the multiple players in the industry, including retailers, advertisers, ad agencies, Common Short Code aggregators that send short code marketing messages on behalf of advertisers, and wireless networks, a spokeswoman for CTIA says. “We’ll look at the processes being used in CSC mobile marketing programs, and bring these players together to see how we can make the processes better and faster,” she says.

The task force will also work with short code operators to promote recommended practices for enabling consumers to opt out of receiving messages, the spokeswoman adds.

The CTIA and MMA decided to develop a task force now because of the growing popularity of using text messaging for marketing and in areas such as fundraising, the spokeswoman says.

“With the tremendous success that text-based mobile marketing programs have already had in the U.S., this is an important next step so that businesses of all sizes can continue to benefit from these kinds of campaigns,” says David Diggs, CTIA vice president for wireless Internet development. “The joint task force will help to streamline the process so we can be agile and responsive. At the same time, we will ensure those businesses that properly follow the rules can continue to engage with the public and consumers can trust those businesses.”

The CTIA was formerly known as the Cellular Technology Industry Association and then the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association before changing its name several years ago to CTIA-The Wireless Association.

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