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Citi exec: Mobile gives TV a direct action

June 12, 2013

NEW YORK – A Citi executive at the 2013 MultiScreen Summit said that while TV can still be used by marketers for branding purposes, enabling a mobile call-to-action gives consumers a way to act on the spot.

During the “Keynote Insight: The Wallet Goes 360” session, the Citi executive spoke about the different ways that financial institution uses mobile for both acquisition and retention purposes. Additionally, the session presented a few examples with statistics that show how Citi weaves mobile into a multichannel marketing approach.

“A lot of times brands and Citi in particular use TV to broadcast messages, to get our products top-of-mind for the customer,” said Alex Quintana, product manager of mobile commerce and contextual marketing at Citi, New York.

“It’s important to us that strategies have to change,” he said. “Approximately 85 percent of smartphone users are using tablets or mobile devices while watching TV.”

“Make [TV] your main reach for brand awareness, but it’s not enabling users to take a direct action, and so the trick is how to cross from TV to the devices that people have in their laps – a laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone – and how do you make the experience relevant to the customer so that they can act on it, especially with this mantra that we have now with instant gratification and customers wanting to redeem instantly and get instant action.

What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap between TV and mobile so that customers can act – no matter what device that they choose to use – to take action.”

Bank on mobile
Citi uses mobile to drive contextual relevance throughout the customer lifecycle, according to Mr. Quintana. The medium is used in all three parts of the customer lifecycle – acquisition, wallet growth and in driving education around mobile offerings.

One example of how Citi integrated mobile into TV was with a campaign that promoted the Citi Simplicity credit card.

A Web URL call-to-action at the end of the commercial encouraged consumers to go online for more information about the card.

The experience that consumers were taken to differed by device. For example, the laptop experience had a horizontal design, the tablet experience was stacked and the mobile design was even further stacked.

Targeted deals
Citi is also leveraging its trove of data to offer consumers targeted deals that ultimately urge them to spend money on Citi cards.

Citi is currently running a deals pilot called “deals just for you” that includes email, mobile and online components. The goal is to use transactional data to unlock additional value on a consumer’s Citi card, per Mr. Quintana.

When a consumer chooses to use a reward through any of the three channels, they receive an email that confirms the statement has been applied to their account. The trick with this though is to make sure that the offers served to consumers are contextual.

Another idea that Citi is exploring – although it is not live – is around geo-located mobile notifications that alert consumers about their account information. For example, a consumer inside an international airport terminal might be pushed a message that they have a Citi card without foreign exchange fees that they can use.

Consumer education
Citi also uses different marketing channels to drive awareness of its app, which gives the brand a permanent presence on a consumer’s mobile device.

For example, to drive awareness of its iPad app, Citi has used screen overlays that pop-up when consumers visit the brand’s site via a tablet.

This resulted in a 10 percent lift in daily app downloads, per Mr. Quintana.

Additionally, the company used an email campaign, knowing that roughly 60 percent of the company’s emails were opened on mobile devices.

When a consumer opened an email on a targeted mobile device, they saw a banner that prompted them to download the company’s app. This became the company’s best-performing channel to drive 30-day active mobile users, with roughly a 30 percent lift in daily downloads during a pilot program.

Citi has also learned that online banners and messages do not work on mobile devices. For instance, a mobile-specific banner that blended into Citi’s app performed 30 percent better than another mobile campaign that essentially mirrored the same messaging from desktop.

“The customer is no longer sitting in front of their PC waiting for us to push out email to them to tell them about these great services and products,” Mr. Quintana said.

“So we’ve got to think about the different and contextually-relevant ways to reach them and market to them,” he said.

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