Build Social Compliance Bridges, Not Blockades — For Your Own Sake

Nick Hayes

Compliance pros, try to recall your last interaction with your marketing peers about social media: How did it go? Was it productive? Who initiated the conversation?

If you’re like many organizations today, your answers go something like this: “Not well,” “no,” and “not me.”

Do you see a pattern? Now to be fair, marketers’ responses end up looking pretty similar. Just check out the questions my colleague Erna Alfred Liousas asked her marketing peers: Even hearing the word “compliance,” marketers shiver, sigh, or break into hives (or all three). This is the problem. Compliance turns into a roadblock, and you become the pariah vetoing valuable, brand-boosting marketing initiatives. Worse yet, the projects don’t go away; they come back and create more work, more reviews, and more wasted time and resources.

You can turn this around, and the benefits go far beyond work reduction. How? By building strong marketing partnerships and compliant initiatives early on. This allows you to:

  • Eliminate burdensome future compliance work. Social marketing initiatives that avoid compliance either result in live scenarios that put the organization at risk of costly fines or they end up on your desk at the last minute. Either way, you end up with more work. Or, you can partner with marketing at the beginning, identify compliance issues and propose suitable alternate strategies that reduce future friction.
Read more

Forrester’s Annual Benchmark On The State Of US Consumers And Technology In 2017 Is Here!

Gina Fleming

Forrester’s annual report on the State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2017, US reveals the most important consumer technology trends that marketers need to know. Since 1997, Forrester has surveyed more than three million households worldwide. And during the latter half of that time, we have published an annual benchmark report that reveals the impact of technology on consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and expectations. This data-rich report is a graphical analysis of a range of topics about consumers and technology and serves as a benchmark for US consumers’ level of technology adoption, usage, and attitudes.

What did we find this year? For mainstream US consumers, smartphone and tablet usage is commonplace: three-quarters use a smartphone and half use a tablet. Users of these devices are no longer early adopters; rather they are typical US consumers. 

We identify early adopters of new technologies who experiment with and rely on technology. In 2017 this means that 14% of US online adults use a fitness tracker, 8% use a smart speaker with a personal assistant and 7% use Apple Pay. Since age is a strong predictor of technology adoption, this report examines consumers’ technology behaviors through an age cohort lens.

Read more

Bypass Branding No More: Why It Matters More than Ever For Today's Customer-Centric B2B Marketer

Steven Casey

Have you heard anything like this recently? Maybe you've even said it, or it just sounds familiar:

  • “I know I need to do branding, but how will it help me fill the funnel?”
  • “I can measure my conversion rates to three places to the right of the decimal point. How am I supposed to measure the impact of branding on that?”
  • “Of course we have a brand promise. We’re the world’s leading innovator of XYZ solutions.”
Read more

Victim Blaming Won't Stop Global Ransomware Attacks

Jeff Pollard

The security industry has an accountability crisis. It's time to talk about it, then fix it. Whenever a massive cyber attack occurs inevitably a chorus of voices rises to blame the victims.  WannaCry on 5/12 and Petya on 6/27 yet again kicked off the familiar refrains of:

“If users didn’t click on stuff they shouldn’t….”

“If they patched they wouldn’t be down….”

“This is what happens when security isn’t a priority….”

“Now maybe someone will care about security…”

I have yet to meet a single user that clicked a malicious link intentionally – beyond security researchers and malware analysts that is. I have yet to meet anyone that delights in not patching as a badge of honor. There are great reasons not to patch, and terrible reasons not to patch. As always context and situation matter.

Except when we discover that Petya contained EternalBlue and EternalRomance, and can spread laterally via WMI and PSExec. Now our familiar refrain of blaming IT, the business, the user, is foiled. The malware author created the tool to use multiple attack vectors. Yes, patching helps, but this malware also captures credentials. So, if an organization has a single system they can’t patch for legitimate business reasons the malware can land, capture credentials, and then move laterally through the environment.

Here’s what S&R pros should take away from this:

  • Productive conversations usually don’t begin with accusations. Source: My significant other.
  • Geopolitics & cyberproliferation are emerging topics for CISOs.
  • Despite all the technical advances in the world, basic security hygiene will lead to wins.
Read more

The Forrester Sales Force Automation Wave Marks A New Era In Sales Technology

John Bruno

The CRM market is mature and the subsection of that market focused on sales, sales force automation (SFA), is even more mature. This market has lumbered along for the past 20+ years, but the dynamics between buyers and sellers today has brought upon the need for a new evolution. We’ve included 10 vendors in the Forrester Wave: Sales Force Automation Solutions, Q2 2017 who have initiated and are driving the next evolution of sales via CRM.


Why now?

Today’s buyers’ experiences are being shaped by the digital tools around them and experiences the have in all aspects of their lives. And although everything would be done via self-service in an ideal state, the fact of the matter is that just isn’t feasible in today’s world. So what are we left with? We’re left with buyers who have heightened expectations working with sellers who are left leveraging outdated technology.


What does this evolution look like?

It’s time for companies to look at SFA through an entirely different lens. This means the focus of new investments must be made based on the needs of your customer engagement professionals on your front line: your sales reps. For far too long your sellers have been overburdened and under supported, and the impact is your customers notice because the experience is not up to their needs.


How does this evolution happen?

There is no magic wand to wave and transform your sales technology strategy into one marked by employee and customer obsession. In our evaluation, we saw the following three trends stand out to help improve both the employee and customer experiences: 

Read more

It’s time to rethink customer effort

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

CX as a profession is putting a lot of effort into reducing effort (pun intended). With good reason: too many companies make it so hard for customers to do business with them, that customers are super frustrated and give up.

But reducing effort is not the road to CX differentiation (see below). Which means companies that want to differentiate their CX need to rethink effort or ease as a CX metric. 

My wonderful colleague Anjali Lai, conducted new and exciting research (PAYWALL) using Forrester’s Customer Experience Index data. Anjali found that:

  • Quick and simple functions are not enough to retain consumers — instead, they can weaken the quality of CX. Anjali also points to studies (Non-Forrester log in required) that found that ease does not necessarily breed product affinity like many assume. Instead, companies often misinterpret the positive emotions associated with "easy" experiences as a consumer enjoying the product or service.
  • While digital and automated brand interactions trigger positive consumer emotions like happiness and delight, individuals are still most likely to feel valued — one of the most powerful, loyalty-inducing emotions — when participating in an exchange with another person.
Read more

Now Accepting Entries For Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017

Fred Giron

With Xiaofeng Wang

Jointly hosted by Forrester and CMO Innovation, the inaugural Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017 aims to inspire marketers in Asia by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.

Read more

ICICI Bank Offers Better Mobile Banking Services Than Its Peers

Arnav Gupta

Ever-increasing smartphone adoption has fueled the use of digital banking services by Indian customers. Forrester data shows that, in 2017, more than half of online banking customers in metro India predominantly use mobile devices to quickly complete simple banking tasks such as checking an account balance and viewing recent transactions. But more interestingly, online banking customers now also use mobile devices for serious and time-consuming banking tasks such as searching for and buying financial products and services. The need for enhanced digital banking services is not just restricted to metropolitan India, but is also emerging in smaller cities.

We recently concluded our 2017 India Mobile Banking Benchmark, which assesses the mobile banking offerings of seven large Indian banks: Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India, and Yes Bank. Of the seven, ICICI Bank received the highest overall score by delivering services that are both useful and usable. The bank has substantially improved its mobile app over the past two years, in the process overtaking the other Indian banks. Some highlights from our report:

Read more

Automation Technologies, Robotics, And Artificial Intelligence In The Workforce

JP Gownder

Last week, McDonald's shares hit an all-time high, bouyed by Wall Street's expectations that investments in automation technologies will drive business value: As part of its "Experience of the Future" initiative, McDonald's announced plans to roll out digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 of its locations. The company will also extend its customer self-service efforts, deploying mobile ordering at 14,000 locations. Given McDonald's bold bet, where does your company currently stand in its use of automation technologies to transform your workforce and reshape customer experience? 

The forward march of automation technologies -- which include hardware (e.g. robots, digital kiosks), software (e.g. AI), and customer self-service (e.g. mobile ordering) -- continues to reshape the world economy. Automation has already begun to reshape every company's workforce, including yours. Leaders across all roles, companies, and verticals are taking note; right now, my report The Future of Jobs, 2027: Working Side-by-Side with Robots is one of the five best-read among all reports at Forrester. We forecast a world in which automation cannibalizes 17% of US jobs by 2027, partly offset by the growth of 10% new jobs from the automation economy. Most importantly, we see human-machine teaming as a key workforce trend in the future, as more and more human employees find themselves working side-by-side with robotic colleagues.

Read more

The State Of Retail eCommerce In Brazil

Lily Varon

The economic decline in Brazil has hit the retail sector hard , but eCommerce is still growing. To understand the state of affairs in retail eCommerce in Brazil, in 2016 Forrester surveyed online retailers in Brazil together with industry partner e-Commerce Brasil. Here are a few findings from the research:

  • Retailers are feeling the pain of operating in the midst of Brazil's economic recession. Nearly 60% of online retailers say slowing consumer spending with be a significant barrier to their eCommerce growth over the next 12 months. Furthermore, more than half cite the operational constraints of keeping up with constant regulatory change.
  • Online retailers are increasing their eCommerce technology budgets. Despite the pressure to reduce costs during turbulent economic times, 64% of Brazilian retailers we surveyed are increasing eCommerce investments to help them weather the storm.
  • Investment priorities include marketing, mobile – and uniquely! - marketplaces. Retailers this year are focusing on marketing and mobile, much the same as in the US and other global markets. Unlike many other markets, however, Brazilian digital commerce pros are also prioritizing marketplaces. Why? Third party marketplaces are a relatively simple way to sell direct to consumer online. And retailers like Magazine Luiza and Walmart Brasil are prioritizing launching marketplaces on their own retail sites as a source of new revenues.
Read more