Time Warner Cable’s 5 Tips for Keeping Up With the Always-On Customer

The old adage is true: The one constant in marketing is change. And no channel has shaken up the industry in recent years quite like mobile.

Cable, Internet, and phone provider Time Warner Cable (TWC) first recognized the mobile movement in 2011 when it noticed that 10% of its traffic was coming from mobile devices—a steep climb from zero.

“This was a wake-up call [for us] to say, ‘We need to adjust the way that we are operating to meet this always-on customer,’” Sam Henning, Time Warner Cable’s senior director of e-commerce, said at the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in New York.

TWC knew that it had to start reevaluating the needs of its always-on customer, as well as its business priorities and competitive landscape on a regular basis.

“This really is about setting ourselves up to evolve with those changes and being ready to address the next change that is coming,” Henning said.

To help other marketers prepare for the next wave of inevitable change, Henning shared his five pillars for delivering to always-on customers.

1. Look for technology that will evolve your marketing capabilities. Time Warner Cable wanted a tool that would allow it to better segment its customers, drive deeper insights, and deliver results based on those findings. So TWC looked for a baseline solution that would allow it to do all three and expand its marketing capabilities. It found its desired toolkit in the Adobe Marketing Cloud.

2. Put the customer at the heart of everything. Rather than sticking with its channel-centric marketing approach, TWC switched gears and took more of a customer-centric approach—one that focused more on the customers’ needs and less on which channels the brand used to communicate. 

“All of the tools are here so that we can better understand who they are, what their needs are, [and] move from one-to-many to one-to-one,” Henning said.

3. Understand that customers will not come to your site on one device. The company knows that its customers are visiting its site via multiple devices in the same day—sometimes in the same session. And Henning said that these customers expect to pick up right where they left off. So, it’s critical that TWC delivers a seamless experience to avoid dissatisfaction or lost conversions.

4. Baseline your technology stack to facilitate the unknown. Today’s technological providers always promise to provide the latest and greatest tools in their field, and marketers often can’t help but follow the shiny new object. Henning warned, however, that it’s important for marketers to vet all solutions to ensure that they can actually do what marketers need them to do—not provide only attractive features. Doing so can also help marketers troubleshoot problems that they may have otherwise missed.

5. Invest in the human relationship. When it comes to investing in new technology, there are always a lot of parties involved—including in-house marketers, IT specialists, agencies, and vendors. That’s why Henning insisted it’s vital that everyone is on the same page when it comes to implementation, benefits of the technology that’ll help the business, and future plans to enhance the customer experience.

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