Jason Young, Senior Vice President, Marketing at T-Mobile, discussed his company's "un-carrier" strategy, and how it was used to put the customer first, during a keynote address to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2015 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Fall Event in San Francisco on Nov. 10.
Jason Young, Senior Vice President, Marketing at T-Mobile, discussed his company's "un-carrier" strategy, and how it was used to put the customer first, during a keynote address to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2015 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Fall Event in San Francisco on Nov. 10. In his presentation, "Disrupting a Category by … Putting the Customer First," Young explored T-Mobile's customer-centric approach and how it redefined a wireless revolution.
According to Young, data and analytics are a lynchpin for wireless carriers. In addition, he used a fox-hedgehog analogy to describe how today's organizations approaches to data and analytics. Young pointed out hedgehogs view problems through one defining lens, while foxes view problems through a spectrum of experiences and a variety of thoughts. Although the hedgehog perspective initially won out among marketers, Young said today's marketing professionals are forced to consider things from myriad perspectives, i.e. use the fox approach.
Breaking down paradigms and finding the connections is essential in everything marketers do, according to Young. T-Mobile has become the "uncarrier" in the wireless industry by doing so. His company is in the midst of a renaissance around the customer experience, Young said, and is constantly exploring ways to bolster the customer experience.
"When you start off on a journey and you create a manifesto and focus it all around the customer and all around change, you'd better be ready to execute on that."
T-Mobile recently has been "punching above its weight," Young said. His company was once America's fastest-shrinking wireless company three years ago, and things looked bleak, Young noted. However, Young pointed out an uncarrier approach to the customer experience led to a wireless revolution.
"We really had to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves … 'Why do we exist? What do we stand for in this industry?'" Young noted.
A fundamental shakeup of not only T-Mobile but also the wireless industry was essential for a rebound, Young said. Since that time, T-Mobile has added 28 million customers and dominates the news in the wireless industry, Young noted, thanks to its uncarrier strategy.
Young shared T-Mobile's manifesto, which led to the development of its uncarrier strategy.
"We said, 'We're a new company for a new mobile era. We're not like other wireless companies," he said, citing the manifesto.
Young said his company wanted to show customers it had "the guts to change." This led to a customer-centric approach that redefined T-Mobile and the wireless industry as a whole.
Listening to the customer and engaging consumers, Young said, plays a crucial role in the uncarrier approach. He pointed out his company rarely knows how customers will respond to new products. But collecting customer feedback, Young said, and having the ability to respond to customers in real-time has helped T-Mobile bridge the gap between the company and its clientele.
What drives choice? Young said this question was a main focus to develop the uncarrier approach. T-Mobile wanted to find out what drove customers to select his company over rivals, Young said. And by doing so, Young said his company was able to identify common challenges among its clientele and help its customers resolve such issues.
"When we started, we said, 'Customers: What are the pain points?" Young said.
T-Mobile identified contracts, data overages, the inability to upgrade devices and excessive bills were some of the major challenges customers faced, Young said. He also pointed out his company wanted to minimize these challenges, and instead, focus on finding ways to delight customers.
"When you start off on a journey and you create a manifesto and focus it all around the customer and all around change, you'd better be ready to execute on that," Young added. "And you can't stop if that's what you stand for."
T-Mobile launched nine uncarrier, momentum-shifting moves, Young noted. These moves consisted of social components and were constructed to engage consumers throughout the uncarrier journey, Young said.
"We said, 'We're a new company for a new mobile era. We're not like other wireless companies."
Rather than shy away from its competition, T-Mobile embraced the role of the challenger, Young said, and "went to bat for the consumer." By doing so, Young said T-Mobile first blew up contracts, eliminating the biggest pain point in the industry. And Young pointed out T-Mobile's competitors have followed his company's lead as well.
T-Mobile also found that it had to be faster than its competitors, according to Young. The company has been prepared to continuously explore ways to improve the customer experience, Young said, and has been able to adapt to clients' needs quickly and efficiently.
"We just can't make bold moves," Young noted. "What we've learned is you can't just make a move and stop. If you're gonna keep going, you've gotta tune your company, you've got to tune your partners to operate quickly."
And with this uncarrier approach, Young said T-Mobile has revolutionized the way the wireless industry operates.
Jason Young is Senior Vice President responsible for T-Mobile's emerging product and value-added services portfolio,. Located in Bellevue, Wash., Young has been at T-Mobile since 2003 where he’s held executive roles in product management, marketing and business-to-business, as well as serving in product management at Microsoft and Siebel Systems. He has an MBA from the University of California’s Haas School of Business, a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, is a Teach for America alumnus and chairs the board of City Year Seattle.