U.S. Cellular CEO: Small operators must innovate or lose

LAS VEGAS--Building upon her experience at McDonalds, PepsiCo and Quaker Food, Mary Dillon, president and CEO of U.S. Cellular, told rural carriers attending the Rural Cellular Association conference here that they need to look for ways to drive grow in their business by segmenting the market and innovating with their services.  

"You have to innovate or you'll lose share," she said.

During her keynote address, Dillon touted the company's Belief Project, a campaign launched last fall that recognizes consumer loyalty by offering incentives and rewards. For example, customers can get faster upgrades or additional lines without having to renew their contracts. "This was a risky program, and it was in the process before I got to the company, but I endorsed it because it reflects how we think about customers," she said.

As part of the ongoing campaign, Dillon said U.S. Cellular will launch a new advertising campaign Friday that will focus on U.S. Cellular's superior network, phone selection and perhaps, most importantly, its satisfied customers. "We have the happiest customers in wireless," Dillon said. "And we have a new advertising campaign in development that leverages their happiness."  

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