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Heartland Mobile Council launches to represent Midwest interests

Industry leaders have joined forces to create the Heartland Mobile Council, further evidence of the importance of the mobile medium in the Midwest.

The HMC will represent the Midwest in its initiative to help grow the mobile marketing industry by educating the public about effectively using the mobile platform with the technology we have today. Founded by Hugh Jedwill, CEO of Mobile Anthem, the Heartland Mobile Council hopes to guide businesses and consumers navigate through the mobile world.

"Despite the huge press it receives, the mobile space is still a mystery," said Mr. Jedwill, who is executive director and founder of the Heartland Mobile Council, Chicago. "Agencies don't know what to do with it. The mobile technology companies they talk to don't know how to make mobile relevant.

"The MMA does the necessary work to build guidelines and structures with the carriers and mobile companies," he said. "But no one is talking to the marketers who will invest money into mobile campaigns.

"The HMC will address this gap and release the stop gate that prevents whole scale adoption of mobile into brand marketing plans."

The council intends to bring together major players in the mobile space to impact the growth of the industry, such as marketers, technologists, market researchers and film/artists with content they'd wish to distribute.

A main goal of the Heartland Mobile Council is to take the combined talents, ideas and code equips necessary to build a foundation of knowledge which can move Chicago and the Midwest into the forefront of the mobile marketing industry.

The HMC stands by and is driven by its mission statement: "Chicago, the heart of America, is the best place to prove mobile technologies with the average consumer because we bring real knowledge, real experience, to real people."

The HMC claims that mobile can be compared to the Internet 15 years ago, and that while there is great buzz around the possibilities of this new medium, there is also great confusion surrounding the space.

While Boston and San Francisco have the framework to create new technologies, Chicago and the Midwest contain a harmony of consumer package companies, retailers, market researchers and agencies, according to the HMC.

The council also believes that the Midwest is made up of average Americans, giving it the advantage in understanding mass market consumer behavior.

The three baseline objectives of the HMC are to educate by holding informative sessions, follow and investigate best practices by creating a case study library, and to set industry wide mobile metric standards.

"If you listen to media today you'd think that creating an iPhone app is all there is to mobile marketing," Mr. Jedwill said. "Our members will go out to educate but we will also offer the 101 to any others so that we can create a single, consistent message.

"We also will start speaking at conferences, not mobile industry conferences but ones that marketers go to," he said.

The HMC's first initiative in educating the community will be through educational speaking engagements such as ad:tech Chicago as well as through partnerships with Chicagoland professional associations.

The Council also intends to head up a Mobile Marketing University conference and publish a Case Study Library and Mobile Metrics standards.

"I see mobile encompassing the entire purchase cycle and lifetime value of a consumer," Mr. Jedwill said. "Imagine that I know you're interested in my brand and get you to text to my mobile club.

"Then I move you to consideration with valuable content, then to purchase intent and actual purchase," he said. "Marketers know the lifecycle of their products, so now I can re-message them at the right time for the next purchase.

"I can cross-sell, up-sell - all of which build new models of the consumer's lifetime value."