Digital CMO Series: T-Mobile USA

This week Dennis Haugan, Senior Director, Digital Strategy, T-Mobile USA describes how the customer is only a click away and “own your brand” as true advocates, a marketing agency and an honest voice of the brand. Read our one-on-one interview with Dennis below and check out the video of his interview and full presentation with Danielle Nohe, Director, Telecommunications & Media, Compete on our YouTube channel.

Describe the digital content ecosystem.

Within digital everything is a click away and it becomes very noticeable to the consumer because there is no other media out there that brings everything together and brings your lifecycle movement from awareness, consideration, and purchase. It’s a seamless movement it’s all online, it’s all in clicks. So the consumer is moving continuously through this evolution vs. in a lot of other media you bounce between the media. So you see something on TV and it’s separated from you going over to the website or you saw something in the newspaper"¦or you went to an event. Whereas within digital it is a much more fluid experience so I think when you are inconsistent in that experience it is much more noticeable to the consumer. I think the other thing is that from my background I have done e-commerce, I have done self-service I have run online advertising, paid search, organic search and social media. So, when it comes to digital I have actually run all aspects of it and I think it gives you a different point of view because you are aware of how each one of the components comes together"¦

How do you build brand loyalty and customer trust through digital marketing?

I think that our retail stores have been so successful because our retail reps don’t try to push one particular phone that we are trying to sell onto a consumer; they right fit the consumer and make sure their recommendation fits the consumer needs"¦on the web we just do it virtually. So we have virtual sales reps and the approach that we take in selling offline, we take the same approach online.

What role do consumers play in the big brand theory?

Brand is dialogue that it is a conversation and"¦ the consumer owns your brand and they are your branding agency, not you and not the agency you pay a lot. Our customers and prospects are having more ongoing dialogue on our brand and our products and services than we are. We actually have a ton of brand advocates out there talking and representing our brand on a daily basis in the online world. And our job as marketers is how do we bring those people together, how do I actually bring those advocates who believe in our brand and have an authenticity that I don’t have per se"¦You can’t capture the energy of a real human talking about something that was meaningful for them. I am a big advocate of using user generated content and using the consumer because in the end if it is an emotional brand, they will bring that brand forward and other consumers will relate to that. So I think they are probably our biggest branding agency.

What does the evolving digital space mean for the future of digital marketing?

It started in the 1.0 a pure publishing model, a broadcast out in a very controlled manner and then you get into 1.5 where the dialogue started to occur. But everything was still happening on the brand site. Then you started seeing companies wanting to optimize"¦ so they started doing micro-sites and little niche sites and so then you started seeing a fragmentation that was no longer the primary sites. Then they started to embrace official social sites"¦and so each one of those sites is building your brand and representing your product. But in most cases and in most companies they are not looking at it holistically but the consumer is moving between all of them. Where we are at now is that a lot of companies are starting to recognize that they need to connect the dots more"¦ Hear more from Dennis Haugan on our YouTube channel.

About Kristen Renda:
Kristen Renda serves as Marketing Manager for Compete. Since joining the company in 2008, she has been fully immersed in all aspects of Compete’s marketing programs; developing and executing both online and offline campaigns. Most notably, she plans and manages all company events including the annual Digital CMO Summit.