Conference Review: Mobile First Look 2013, NY – by Ken Kraetzer

The arrival of mobile marketing as a major driver of consumer activity was evident at Mobile Marketer’s January 17th conference in New York City entitled “Mobile First Look 2013” hosted by Mickey Alam Khan.

Some Highlights from the Conference:

Mobile / Retail Intersection
Johnna Marcus of Sephora, a women’s cosmetics company with 1,300 stores worldwide, discussed the phenomenon of customers using mobile extensively at various stages of the buying process in depth.  In speaking of the mobile and retail intersection phenomenon, she described the ways customers use a combination of mobile, tablets and desktops to research and complete purchases as a “Butterfly Trail” to research product information while in-store.  She also pointed out that Cyber Monday is largely irrelevant as customers are researching and shopping on-line constantly, “until they sit down to eat” on Thanksgiving Day.  

Customer Engagement
Several speakers discussed the value of engaging customers wherever they are through mobile. For example, Scott Cottick of Nissan described the product launches his company is able to conduct on-line and the involvement campaigns that can be run on “Second Screens” while customers are watching broadcast events such as an auto race on a big screens. Pointedly, he described the challenge of maintaining the quality of presentation across a variety of screens sizes and resolutions.  

Similarly, two well-known beverage marketers spoke of the opportunity mobile provides to engage customers and drive traffic to retail partners.  Tom Daly of Coca-Cola advised to “think across the mobile opportunities across the entire business” while admitting it can be a struggle to “crack the code on mobile apps” that generate prolonged activity.  Steve Mura of Miller / Coors described how their target market of 21-34 year old males now use smart phones as a “social planning tool.” Their percentage of website activity coming from mobile is now up to 27% and they found that 75% of the usage is coming from Android devices.  Miller / Coors is “leveraging Twitter and FourSquare” to drive customers to retail partners and keep them “in community afterwards.”

Creating Convenience
Lizzy Klein of Seamless, which serves two million customers in 13 metro areas, addressed the need to provide convenience to customers via mobile as a way to select meal delivery. In three years, orders coming from mobile grew from near zero to 40% totaling 4.5 million orders in 2012.  “Taking orders on-line is more accurate,” she noted when and continued that the consumer convenience of mobile ordering “provides better security for the account number billed as well.”

Building Relevance for Customers
“Always accessible, always on, always informative” stated Richard Char of Citibank as he described the value of mobile marketing to bank customers. He spoke of the value of Life-Event marketing, offering services to customers at the time they are changing habits such as when moving or getting married.

More to this point, Jonathan Stephen of Jet Blue supported the need to be personal and relevant through mobile. Mobile helps the airline “interact with customers when they are not on the plane” he said.  JetBlue expects that by 2015 “Over 50% of self boarding and bag drops will be done over mobile.” Stephen added that marketers must know what equipment customers are using so that the content they send works over a “multitude of devices, and is accessible, and consumable.”

Planning to attend some conferences this year? CBSI can help

If you and your organization want to network, expand your business or learn from some of the best experts in the industry, CBSI recommends the events below that may be of interest. We will continue to update this list as we become aware of any relevant additions. Be sure to sign up for the CBSI eNewsletter as we regularly update conference information each issue.



Jan 17: E-Signature Summit for Banking ExecutivesNew York, NY


Feb 5-7: 6th Annual Payments SummitSalt Lake City, UT

Feb 5-6: Loyalty in Banking and Financial Services 2013New York, NY

Feb 7-8: Appsworld Discover the future of multi-platform appsSan Francisco, CA

Feb 17-20: ABA National Conference for Community BankerOrlando, FL


Mar 11-13: Next Generation Customer Experience 2013 – San Diego, CA

Mar 13-15: 18th Annual Best Practices in Retail Financial ServicesCarlsbad, CA

Mar 18-19: DMA Loyalty Marketing 101New York, NY 


Apr 7-10: 25th Annual Card Forum & ExpoBoca Raton, FL

Apr 23-24: iStrategy Transform Your Digital StrategyMiami, FL


May 8-10: Customer Experience ExchangeSan Diego, CA


Jun 3-5: 7th Annual Mobile Banking and Commerce SummitMiami, FL

Jun 10-11: DMA Loyalty Marketing 101Chicago, IL

Jun 10-14: 14th Annual Call Center WeekLas Vegas, NV


Jul 12-13: The Corporate Social Media Summit 2013New York, NY


Aug 19-21: Customer Service Experience 2013New York, NY


Sep 13-14: 2nd Annual American Banker Regulatory SymposiumArlington, VA


Oct 3-5: ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum 2013Las Vegas, NV

Oct 12–17: The DMA Annual ConferenceChicago, IL


Nov 20-22: 18th Annual Small Business Banking ConferenceNew Orleans, LA


Dec 5-6: 11th Annual Financial Services Marketing SymposiumNew York, NY

Rise above the Planning Frenzy: How to Act Like an Entrepreneur in 2013 – by Jack Hojnar

Three years ago, a gallon-sized pot of chili served as salsa for my extra large bag of Doritos while I worked on a Business Requirements document for a high-profile development project I initiated. Re-runs of Cheers played in the background. An energy drink within arms reach. It was 2:30 am.

For days, weeks and maybe even months, this pattern of intentional disregard for a future self persisted. Work all morning. Supervise tedious conference calls in the afternoon with developers and marketers – which closely resembles marriage counseling – and then document the proceedings late into the night and early the next morning, accompanied by a bag-of-something-unhealthy washed down with a gallon of something-so-filled-with-caffeine-and-sugar that it  could jump start the dead battery of a tractor.

The morning following these events, I’d swear to change my ways. I’d go so far as to write down my new exercise and meals. All I needed was “The Plan.” My little road map to getting back in shape.Every morning I’d add to the plan. Cardio. Protein shakes. Weight training regimen. And every night, I’d grow closer to Chris Farley while “The Plan” would wait anxiously for me.But when I was diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia and told that my blood pressure had skyrocketed, I had no choice: I needed to change.The plans that worked before – the plans currently written like Gospel on post-it notes throughout my office – were not going to work.

My job requires me to leading development projects demanding a high degree of documentation from writing Scope Documents and BRDs to, in some cases, creating financial plans and models to justify the development project at hand. Planning and preparation is a must. That’s my job. It’s my career and I’m pretty good at those things that make a project run smoothly.

But no matter the amount of planning you and your organization develop, there is nothing quite as powerful as actually doing something.

But planning by itself can be a bit crazy and it often causes companies to stagnate.

No matter how many times I wrote about changing my unhealthy ways – or planned about changing my ways – nothing happened; I had no motivation. And when the scale moved in the wrong direction (for those of you not following along at home, that means I got really fat), I reached a tipping point.Instead of writing down what I was going to do, I just did stuff. Healthy stuff. Live-a-longer-life-away-from-managed-care stuff. Egg white omelets. Daily regimen of 45 – 60 minutes of exercise. I wrote down what I did, not necessarily what I was going to do.  I logged those things that worked. What didn’t. What I liked. What I despised. Overtime I modified my routine accordingly and kept pushing myself. And in 72 days dropped 32 pounds. The plan to not plan worked.Ok, so what does a weight loss journey to higher, healthy living have to do with business or business planning?Simple. I acted like an entrepreneur.

I am lucky with my career having worked for both large and small companies and having, with more relevance to this post, worked for five start-ups, some made it. Some didn’t. I even started my own.

The difference between those that did well and those that did not were as obvious as the size of my old waistline. The winners did the following, across the board:

1. Nimble.
While each company had SOME sort of plan, those that spent countless hours planning every move and detailing every thought crashed and burned. So much wasted time thinking about what to do and little time doing something. This does not mean that those that made it avoided critical thinking. No even close. Our success came from thinking critically quickly and then reacting to changes in clients, marketplaces and our own organizational structure with the speed of light.

NOTE: The development community understands this concept better than anyone. I’m convinced that Agile Software Development Method ( came about because marketers so frequently changed their minds and drove the tech community bonkers. Rather than intentionally create errors in the software – which I know many wanted to to – developers decided to create a methodology that allowed for marketers to be loopy and projects to still meet deadlines.

2. Driven
This is the hardest skill to discuss because motivation is such an individual attribute. You are or you are not. I’ve read several books and auto bios of entrepreneurs. I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s books several times. The Talent Code provides excellent examples. But none really explains how thoughts turn into actions. However …

3. Listeners
All of the successful start-ups had leadership that embraced listening. To peers. To sub-ordinates. To clients. To customers. To partners. By and through listening, these companies were able to:
– Motivate employees based upon employees interests
– Create new products and services
– Sell more products and services

The drive was infectious and contagious for those companies that succeeded and it was all possible because everyone – leaders especially – listened well.

Many of you will be planning something for 2013. Maybe you and your company had a 2013 planning strategy sessions back in October. You created budgets. Assigned resources. Invested in tools to make the job faster, smarter, easier.

That’s great. I’m suggesting, however, to really make a difference, throw the plans away. Or at least the details. Throw away the weeds of your plans and instead have an idea of where you want to go but know that you will absolutely need to change something along the way.

Here’s three things you must focus on in the first quarter of 2013 and be ready to make adjustments along the way

1. Product
Whatever you sell, make, distribute, create needs to be the best. That doesn’t necessarily require planning (hang with me for a second). It requires hard work to ensure it meets the needs of several groups.

2. Marketing
You HAVE to find a way to get the word out about your product. Social media. Sales teams. Advertising. Whatever works for you, do it (and if you’ve been paying attention AT ALL in this post, what works now may not work later so be NIMBLE). Modify it. Change it. Keep pushing. Failure is not an option, it’s a requirement so embrace it, learn and move on.

3. Money
Keep track of the dollars (this is where planning is important). Whether you are a large organization or just getting started, you’ll need to keep careful watch of the money.

Which leads to the final point (So let’s wrap this up because this is turning into a seminar) …

To act like a true entrepreneur for your organization, you will need help. No successful company I have encountered had one person running everything. It’s impossible. Won’t happen. That’s why Listening is so important. Spend 2013 using words like “we” as opposed to “I” and watch how your dynamic at work will change. How the people will change. Ok, sure. Some pains-in-the-donkeys will kick and scream self-promotion. Let ’em. It doesn’t last.

Enjoy the upcoming New Year. Plan on making no plans but having a great time growing your business!  Rise above the frenzy!

By: Jack Hojnar