Would you trust a team of students to improve your marketing?
When T-Mobile U.S. wanted to better understand who was visiting its website — people who were already customers or those who were just researching phones or plans — it asked university teams for help.
The company also wanted to know whether website visitors already owned a mobile device but wanted to switch networks, and improve its understanding of which parts of a web page people were interested in, both crucial for improving the chance of a sale.
"If a customer was looking at a page on the website that actually had two or three different topics on it, it's sometimes difficult to work out what the thing that they were interested in that we should start pivoting around. We knew this area of our digital experience wasn't … as good as it needed to be," T-Mobile's vice president for digital journeys Giles Richardson told CNBC by phone.