Without a doubt the current humanitarian crisis in Hatti is on a scale far beyond our imagination. The international response underway is heroic and well intentioned. With persistence and time the vital supplies will reach those in need.
The supplies headed to Haiti cost money and the Red Cross has done an exceptional job using mobile phones as a donation channel for collecting revenuer. Mobile devices, and mobile carriers, first collected substantial contributions during the south east Asian tsunami that impacted banda Ache Thailand.
The $25MM dollars in fund raising is significant because it is all coming in through a single traceable channel. Mobile Accord, the company behind the sms campaign, and the individual carriers are bale to see who is donating what and the Red Cross should be able to collect demographic information for future analysis.
Going forward large scale events like this open up eyes to the potnetial of using mobile devices as channels. What is not happening is the use of mobile devices as marketing channels - just collection channels.
Mobile marketing is advancing, but it still has to contend with the very personal connection that people have with their cellular devices and the belief that their cellular phones are no to be used by marketers for advertising products. New smart phones with GPS make delivering 'just-in-time' cupons and marketing messages easier, but there is a risk of getting a chilly reception from the customer if it is unwanted and seen as spam.