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Citi exec: Do not forget user needs when crafting mobile campaigns

September 25, 2013

Mobile Chase

NEW YORK – A Citi executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s SM2 conference said that it is important for banks and marketers to get into the mindset of the consumer when rolling out mobile campaigns.

During the “Business Transformational: Every Moment is Mobile” fireside chat, executives from Citi and JP Morgan Chase discussed how their banks are embracing mobile. They pointed to benefits, challenges, successes and past mistakes.

“It’s really getting out of the conference room and getting into the mind of the consumer,” said Elyssa Gray, creative and media executive leader at Citibank, New York.

“We’ve done a lot of things, but how do we really weave it all together,” she said. “For all of us, it’s coming up with what’s going to be the learning agenda for mobile because we’re all still learning and set it out for the beginning of the year and make sure you stick to that.”

Consumer first
Ms. Gray cited a specific campaign Citi tried in the Los Angeles Grove shopping center. Citi has a physical location there, and the company thought that a geo-located campaign would be more successful there than in places without a physical presence.

The results of the campaign did not support that idea. There was no difference between campaigns around a physical location and ones without a physical location.

Looking back, Ms. Gray believes that Citi should have focused on what a consumer would want. If the consumer is in a mall, she may appreciate an offer to the Gap, for example.

Another Citi campaign that did take into consideration the consumer mindset looked at day-parting. The company realized that consumers were most on their phones earlier in the day when they were on the subway and catching up on email on the way to work.

By catering to consumer habits and device preference, Citi was more successful with that campaign.

Chasing consumers
Robert Tas, managing director and head of digital marketing at JP Morgan Chase, New York, agreed that banks need to focus on what the consumer wants.

There are so many different opportunities in mobile, and it is up to the marketer to determine what its audience wants.

Mr. Tas explained that Chase tries to be device-agnostic and let the consumer choose how he or she wants to bank. Some consumers are choosing mobile as a primary platform for banking, so it is up to Chase to ensure that that is possible.

It is about removing the friction for consumers and removing any obstacles for consumers regardless of the channel.

“Whether it’s using some basics like QR codes or SMS,” Mr. Tas said. “We have people that have moved millions of dollars via text message. You have to constantly go where consumers are.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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