With 109 million customers and counting, “uncarrier” T-Mobile is one of the top mobile communications providers in the U.S. The company always puts the customer first, which it achieves by delivering the right experiences and content to the right customers at the right time. But with different sub-brands and business units, T-Mobile’s marketing and content workflows were complex—and often inefficient and disconnected.

Executive visibility is key for T-Mobile

To ensure the best customer experience, T-Mobile’s C-suite participates in all overarching marketing strategy and marketing campaign decisions. However, when critical decisions were pending, manual workflows and disjointed tools made it nearly impossible for senior leadership to see everything in one system or retrieve information efficiently.

The marketing operations team knew they needed to create a more seamless work management system to support its content supply chain.

“We realized leadership didn’t have the right information at their fingertips to make decisions in the moment. We knew we needed to pull together a leadership dashboard to show all of the given campaigns in real-time.” Ilona Yeremova, Head of Marketing Tools, Operations and Analytics Team, T-Mobile

Like many other large companies with complex marketing organizations, T-Mobile turned to Adobe Workfront to streamline its content supply chain, help connect teams, plan and prioritize content creation, ensure compliance, and manage assets and customer data.

Scaling Adobe Workfront activation throughout the organization

T-Mobile started implementing Adobe Workfront on the creative side of the house. One of its 25 groups, T-Studios, was using Workfront, but it was siloed from the other 24 groups. “We quickly realized that work management has to happen centrally within the organization. Data has to connect, people need to connect and collaborate, and we need to start talking in the same language,” Yeremova said.

T-Mobile did an inventory of the things they really wanted to accomplish with customer-focused content marketing efforts, and evaluated how they could orchestrate a seamless customer journey across the platform in a way that would aid in that delivery. They started with the customer in mind and then walked it back to the technology, applications, and processes. The key questions they asked themselves were:

  • What are those journeys we’re trying to orchestrate?
  • How are we trying to talk to those customers?
  • What are the trigger points?
  • How does that all come to life in a connected way in Adobe Workfront?

When T-Mobile first started using Adobe Workfront five years ago, it was a basic project management system for 60 employees. Today, it is regarded internally as a transformational business technology used by 6000+ employees as part of a content marketing strategy to achieve business objectives. Overall, T-Mobile has realized a 47% increase in its productivity on the marketing side since optimizing Adobe Workfront, without adding any additional headcount.

IBM helps unlock more value from Adobe Workfront

Once T-Mobile achieved a more mature state with Adobe Workfront, they wanted to better understand the ROI realized with Adobe Workfront and how to connect with other platforms. That’s when T-Mobile turned to IBM.

“IBM, a primary partner for content supply chain strategy and enablement, helped augment the T-Mobile team in a very seamless way,” said Yeremova. “[They are helping us] accelerate the onboarding of teams and connecting platforms.”

IBM drove change management for several departments, including the Technology Customer Experience (TCX) and Career Development teams, two of the largest groups at T-Mobile, both of whom were previously operating in Smartsheets.

“[We brought in IBM as an] outside party for change management because internally there’s just so much passion and inertia and you’ve got to take the passion out of it,” Yeremova said.

In addition to change management, IBM conducted a Value Realization assessment of Workfront for the two groups and found that the career development team realized a 90% decrease in time spent manually setting up and managing projects and 93% decrease in time creating or managing reports. The TCX team saved 11 hours a week by eliminating unnecessary meetings and improving automated workflows. T-Mobile now has all 25 marketing groups operating in Workfront, an effort for which IBM has onboarded and assisted with configurations. 

Yeremova says, “It’s all iterative. Tomorrow is going to be different than today. T-Mobile now has a fairly robust environment that is Adobe-centric, and everything is integrated within the platform.”

Looking forward to an AI-powered future

T-Mobile strongly believes that creating the right guardrails and building a strong foundation with Adobe Workfront has helped them prepare for the innovation that is happening today, as well as the AI-powered future of tomorrow.

“We are very diligent about governing the platform we have. And it’s critical for us to have clean data in the system.” Ilona Yeremova, Head of Marketing Tools, Operations and Analytics Team, T-Mobile.

As her team ingests data, they are constantly studying it and verifying it – because if your data is stale, nothing else will be accurate.

T-Mobile is currently focused onunifying taxonomies across the enterprise. Yeremova says, “The team did a lot of work and [the creative taxonomies] are like an A plus now – but next up, we’re focused on unifying taxonomies in the whole marketing organization and then even looking upwards to the enterprise.”

The combination of a mature work management strategy and a focus on change management, governance, and clean data sets T-Mobile up nicely to supercharge Workfront with new features and generative AI capabilities. “If you’re not onboard with AI, you’ll be left behind,” Yeremova says. IBM is currently helping T-Mobile evaluate different use cases where they can leverage generative AI, like enabling sales reps to make recommendations more quickly to customers in its more than 6,000+ retail stores.

“We’re going to be much quicker at doing things and it’s exciting to envision that future where folks are happy doing more of the purposeful work and less of the manual busy work,” Yeremova said. “I watch how much administrative stuff that my team does, and I know that there’s a better way to do it. If we can have GenAI technologies like IBM® watsonx™ do some of those repetitive, mundane tasks for us, I bet we’ll incrementally gain that benefit of more meaningful work. My team is small but mighty and we are incredibly lucky to have partnership from our Adobe and IBM teams.”

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