Learning to "talk to the hand": Home Depot's evolving mobile and social strategy

Stephen Whiteside

Marketers have long been taught to appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers. But according to Trish Mueller, chief marketing officer of The Home Depot, the world's biggest DIY chain, they also now need to "talk to the hand" of their customers.

Speaking at the MMA Forum – an event organised by the Mobile Marketing Association and held in New York in May 2013 – Mueller argued that cellphones, tablets and other handheld devices are integral to the rapidly-developing world of "interconnected retail". "Mobile is the final piece that will help us connect with our customer," she said.

Focusing on mobile

Over a third of The Home Depot's online traffic was drawn from mobile over the course of last year, and this figure climbed even higher during key holiday periods, when the firm ramped up its marketing on this channel. Even more importantly, the way shoppers are using mobile devices is increasingly impacting the company's revenue levels.