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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Why Comcast Is Ditching The ‘Mobile-First’ Marketing Mantra

After just a couple of years, the irresistible marketing strategy "mobile-first" needs reworking. At Adobe Summit in Las Vegas on Thursday, Rob Roy, the senior vice president of digital at Comcast, argued on stage that lots of marketers have misunderstood the nature of mobile. In the process, they’re missing multi-device opportunities created in the wake of the smartphone.

"Mobile is extremely important, but it’s not exclusive," Roy said. "It’s really about thinking 360 degrees, not just from that small device."

Consumers might start an interaction with a brand on a smartphone, only to continue it on a desktop or tablet. Yet they expect personalized experiences that are consistent, regardless of the platform. Failing to link the touchpoints, Roy said, can make your messaging seem tone-deaf.

If mobile has been oversold, it’s easy to see why. It’s a powerful indicator of intent—¬the spark that ignites the customer journey. According to a study by Google and Nielsen, 84 percent of consumers who perform a mobile search take some sort of action within five hours. Sending the appropriate message within that window is the challenge facing today’s marketers.

The goal for Comcast, Roy said, is assembling these disparate digital interactions to know for certain that it’s engaging with one consumer, not three.

"If I’m on my mobile phone on the subway, I might be thinking about something different than when I’m sitting at my desk, on my laptop, visiting that same brand," Roy said.

Focusing on the customer, rather than the visits, allows messaging to adapt to the device and the context.

On the backend, Comcast is aggregating its data into one repository to facilitate a 360-degree, omni-channel approach. This is anything but a one-off migration.

"It’s a cycle, not a set and forget," Roy said. "It’s ever-evolving."

Comcast began by collecting and coordinating its data sources, both first and third party, on- and off-site, into a single bucket; an enormous digital bucket. From there, it builds out customer segments, refines them into collections that it can message and then feeds everything back into that same repository.

This dynamic approach is critical because of how frequently consumers jump between segments.

"What you’re seeing them do today on mobile may not be consistent with their intent tomorrow," Roy said. "People move and change."

As a company, then, you need to both track and adapt to new consumer behavior.

"Understand their intent, and then get that back into the system," he said. "Just like our campaigns and our websites, our data needs to be progressive as well."

This article was created for and commissioned by Adobe, and the views expressed are their own.