7 Mobile Musts From Time Warner Cable and Wells Fargo

If there’s one thing marketers can say about the proliferation of mobile, it’s that it’s been, well, mobile. Analysts at digital marketing research firm eMarketer expect the number of smartphone users to jump from 1.75 billion in 2014 to 2.5 billion by 2017. They also predict that the percentage of mobile phone owners who access the Internet will rise from 48.9% in 2014 to 57.8% in 2017, giving billions of consumers access to prices, products, research, and reviews.

“Mobile consumption is changing the way we as organizations have to look at our customers,” Liz Miller, SVP of marketing for the CMO Council, said during a session at the 2014 SAS Premier Business Leadership Series in Las Vegas.

Despite its growth, mobile doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Like social, mobile is often viewed as the it channel. It’s hot; it’s now; and everyone wants a piece of it. But sometimes marketers can’t trace their mobile efforts back to their bottom lines. This lack of attribution, Miller explained, can be partially attributed to the poor practice of viewing mobile as a series of campaigns rather than as part of an integrated strategy.

“We continue to use campaign metrics,” she said. “What we’re not doing is looking at business metrics.”

Thankfully, marketers recognize the importance of monitoring more than just app downloads and mobile site visits. In fact Miller said 54% of marketers say that reaching beyond campaigns is a best practice for leading mobile engagement companies.

To help marketers infuse mobile into their business strategies, Miller interviewed Sean Coar, group VP of strategy and business decisions for the media division of Time Warner Cable, and Michele Kelsey, EVP and wholesale cross-sell and marketing strategies director for Wells Fargo. Here are just some of the lessons, advice, and strategies that they shared:

1) Consider an overall business objective, not just marketing.

“We don’t think about [mobile] in terms of marketing,” Kelsey said. “We think about it in terms of business.”

Wells Fargo has and continues to design its mobile strategy with the customer and money metric in mind. The financial institution launched its mobile banking capability in 2007 and then enabled customers to deposit checks via their smartphones as part of its CEO Mobile platform in 2011. The Wells Fargo’s 2013 annual report shows that the bank now has more than 12 million active mobile customers.

“Our customers need to do business wherever they are,” Kelsey said.

2) Understand that mobile means different things to different audiences.

Not every person uses a brand’s mobile offerings in the same way. For instance Time Warner Cable, Coar explained, has two kinds of mobile customers: those who use mobile inside of their homes to view video content, and those who use their devices outside of the home to access Wi-Fi hotspots while on the go. So the brand needs to ensure that its products and services cater to both audiences.

3) Solicit customer feedback.

Want to know what customers think of your mobile experiences? Just ask them. Kelsey explained that when building its CEO Mobile platform, Wells Fargo hosted more than 100 customer feedback sessions. And this insight can help marketers create new products. For instance, after realizing how difficult it was for business travelers to keep track of their receipts and manage their expenses, Wells Fargo enabled travelers to take pictures of their receipts via their smartphones and upload them to its CEO platform directly. In fact according to Kelsey, the financial company has added some sort of feedback-based enhancement to its CEO platform for the past 56 quarters.

4) Measure what matters.

If marketers want to view mobile as more than just a basic campaign component, then they need to move beyond standard engagement metrics, like site visits, and start tracking revenue.

“We don’t measure in terms of things like an SMS because that’s not how we think about our customers,” Kelsey said.

5) Educate your customers on what they should be thinking about.

Marketers often expect customers to know their brands as well as company employees. But that’s rarely the case. That’s why Wells Fargo sends its customers mobile messages about different banking topics they should be thinking about, like fraud protection.

6) Stay on top of emerging trends.

They way that shoppers consume content is rapidly evolving. And so, marketers need to morph with these changing behaviors to better suit customer preferences. Consumers, Coar said, are now snacking on shorter forms of content. They’re also spending more time on different devices. For example, he explained that the session time on a smartphone is much shorter than say that of an Xbox.

7) Offer various experiences for different devices.

Nowadays creating a single mobile experience isn’t enough. From tablets to phablets and beyond, there are a number of screens marketers have to account for. Many marketers,however, are still designing mobile experiences with just one screen in mind.

“We’re still creating one-size-fits-all,” CMO Council’s Miller said.

So to be the most effective, marketers must consider how their content will look across all screens—big or small.

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