Forget Sexting, The Killer Mobile App May Be Bankexting (Please Come Up With A Better Term For It)

Wells Fargo marketing chief Alan Gellman is providing a pretty comprehensive overview on the evolution of a pretty sophisticated mobile marketer’s transition from the clunky, early days of the medium to, well, you know…

Noting that Wells Fargo has been involved in mobile marketing for a decade, he conceded that the early days weren’t so great, and showed pictures of the technology available at that time (ie. Palm Pilots). The big change, he said, was the emergence of smartphones and applications. That said, apps are not the killer mobile app – so far. Texting is.

And Gellman has the numbers to prove it.

Noting that Well Fargo is focused on three core mobile marketing platforms – texting, mobile Web and apps – he said bank texting (or what I referred to as bankexting – someone please come up with a better term for it!) was by far the most popular feature among mobile customers.

Asking the audience how many texts Wells Fargo receives each month from mobile customers, Mobile Insider Summit attendees said, “20,” “30?”

“Thirty is about right,” Gellman said, noting that 27 texts per month is actually the current average. That’s significantly more than the frequency of mobile Web banking, he said, citing about a dozen visits per month on the mobile Web.

Gellman did not cite the frequency of mobile apps, but he said what Wells Fargo is learning about the difference between mobile Web and apps is “fascinating.”

The bottom line, he noted, is that it’s not one or the other, but how consumers are interacting across mobile platforms.

“They’re going back and forth,” he said. “They’re not sticking with one thing. It’s about what’s right for me right now.”

In conclusion, Gellman said that it’s not about getting online banking on a smaller screen so much as it is about understanding customer experience across the screens.

“It’s about mobile and optimize,” he said, “not miniaturize.”

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