Dave Barker of global mobile media company Enpocket sent me a question the other day. He asks, "What are your views on mobile marketing and acquisition and retention using the mobile phone? In Europe this is big business. How do you see the U.S. market developing, and do you see customers demanding technology that incorporates both email and mobile?"
It's clear to me that, first, our customers do expect us to provide mobile marketing at some point. Second, the technology behind each channel has some major overlap. And third, the integration of the channels likely will drive synergistic response rates.
There are reasons, however, that these channels will remain separate for a while. The ownership of email is tending more toward the relationship- and direct-marketing side of marketing, whereas mobile tends to come more from the acquisition side. In most marketing organizations these are very different people. Clearly, email can be used for acquisition and mobile can be used for relationships, but I think both are currently centered in different areas of the marketing department.
Overall, I think convergence is inevitable. But it's going to be years before the majority of solutions for either email or mobile marketing come from the same vendors.