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Customer As CEO: 3 Keys to Mobile Strategy

  |  January 28, 2011   |  Comments

Your CEO is busy person, and so is your customer. Here are three reasons why you must approach them the same way.

It's just common sense, but we don't always put it into practice: marketing strategy must focus on the customer. I find this analogy helps you "walk the talk." Think of the customer as your CEO. Here are three reasons why it works.

1. You fear disappointing the CEO. Who among us has presented to the CEO without butterflies? Naturally, your career depends on it. There is no question that your needs are subordinate to the CEO's. To put this into practice for mobile strategy, you must fear disappointing the customer. Your priority is to serve and delight the customer, and cleverly interweave your agenda (to promote your company's products and services).

2. You understand what the CEO wants. From previous encounters and discussions with your colleagues, you have a clear picture of the CEO's preferences, dislikes, and quirks, and you build your presentation with them in mind. The first step for your mobile strategy is to understand what the customer wants. Look at all the data available to you to get the clearest possible picture of customer preferences and unmet needs:

  • Intelligence gained from social listening
  • Feedback from customer-facing employees
  • Popular and unpopular website features and e-mail content
  • Surveys and polls
  • Profile info
  • Purchase data
  • Appended data

Can't make sense of it all? In that case, you'll find a user experience specialist invaluable. UE specialists develop user personae, based on data analysis, that are your proxy for customer groups. Actionable customer insights are the foundation of great mobile experiences, and a focus on UE will take you there.

Getting back to your colleagues, are you getting their input? Do you understand their plans and strive to deliver one cohesive experience to the customer, regardless of the medium? The CEO would like you to collaborate and see the big picture.

3. Your CEO presentation is clear and well-designed. The CEO is a busy person, as is your customer. You would never go into the CEO's office with piles of documents and expect her to sift through them to reach the desired conclusion. Instead, you boil your message down to its essence. Mobile marketing, with its very limited real estate, must follow suit. Apple has set the bar high, with products that are beautifully designed and intuitive. As usability pioneer Steve Krug warns, "Don't Make Me Think."

Whether you are developing an SMS campaign, WAP site, app, or 2D barcode experience, think of customers as your CEO. Give them what they want, based on careful consideration of the data, and package it beautifully. It's too big a job to do on your own. Collaborate with colleagues, analysts, user experience designers, and usability experts. Fear not; your career is on a winning track.

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Melinda Krueger

Melinda Krueger is a senior marketing consultant with ExactTarget and a digital marketing veteran – starting with direct, moving to interactive, specializing in e-mail, and now charting a course for mobile marketing. Working with the best agencies in the business, she has helped Harley-Davidson, Miller Brewing, Sears/Kmart, CDW, and many others build their interactive marketing programs. Melinda holds an MBA from Marquette University and is a highly-rated speaker for professional organizations and business schools. As the Email Diva, Melinda answered questions on all aspects of the practice. Your questions about mobile are welcome!

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