If you are the CMO of a large company, you are probably wondering what the hell Pokémon Go means. If you're not up-to-date, this "played on a smartphone" game has taken the world by storm over the last three weeks. In the game you collect characters (a Pokémon) by physically travelling to where they are geo-located, capturing them, and then using them to battle the teams of other players. Pokémon are located in specific places; there are "Pokéstops" where you can acquire special powers; and there are "Gyms" where you can fight other teams. My screen shot to the left shows me (the backpack guy) in my office building and the thing that looks like a tower in the upper right hand corner marks the bowling alley in front of my office which is a Gym. Needless to say, Lanes and Games is really, really happy to have digitally-generated foot traffic.
The game has generated massive followership in the days since it became available -- here's what resulted in Central Park when a rare Pokémon showed up there on a recent Saturday night...
None of this was making sense until I read Forrester's latest report on the changing consumer. Here's a link to the report (summary if you're not a client).
When I read the news of Unilever buying Dollar Shave Club I couldn't help but think of an advisory session I did for a big CPG firm with colleagues Melissa Parrish and Brigitte Majewski a few months ago. One big topic of conversation was how to build a brand today in a media and marketing world that is so fragmented. We had used Dollar Shave Club as an example of how the rules have changed in the post-digital era.
I can't help but read from this the end of the mass marketing era whose rules P&G is rightly famous for codifying and rigorously training its brand managers in. My conclusions from this example include:
The end of product innovation. Really interesting story about how Gillette's 5-blade razor bombed. Basically, products reach a point of development that no further improvement is needed. Or at least the added cost of the innovative product didn't bring commensurate increase in performance to justify it. The model of continuous product innovation hit the wall -- certainly a product strategy driven out of a lab and corporate goal to merely increase price and profits hits the wall. DCS listened to customers and innovated not the product, but the pricing and distribution model to solve a different problem than delivering a "better" shave.
I started my corporate career in financial services – working for several large, global high street banks in Asia. During my time “in the trenches” of wholesale and mass affluent consumer banking, I watched a number of ambitious and well-intended new product and service ideas rise through the ranks of budget approvals and stakeholder support only to make it to market and then die a slow death on the vine when customer adoption or planned value failed to meet expectations.
Notwithstanding, the ideas were good – many smart people worked on these projects. However, equipped with the clarity of time, I reflect back on some of those projects today and see a common thread between them. Fundamentally, those shipwrecks all shared one thing in common – they were never properly vetted with the customer before they were commercialized.
Today, while financial institutions are getting smarter at collecting quantitative data around channel experiences; the qualitative validation piece, the ethnographic research piece, the co-creation with customers piece is still missing in most organizations. In some cases, it’s only happening at the bleeding edge. While agile methodologies and minimum viable product-quick-to-market thinking has closed the gap on aligning with customer needs and expectations, the industry as a whole would benefit from an injection of human centered product and service design thinking to move the industry’s CX from good to great.
Join us for our inaugural invitation-only Next-Generation Financial Services summit in Sydney on Thursday, August 4 where I will delve into the topic of design thinking for financial services with my presentation, Fix your Products and Services with a Dose of Design Thinking.
Forrester's survey for ECM decision-makers is open, and we're looking for your participation! Take this opportunity to provide your perspectives on the key vendors, the challenges, and the opportunities you see in this technology market. This survey is intended for ECM decision-makers or influencers in end user organizations. This is not for ECM vendors or systems integrators . . . but vendors and consultants — we would love it if you could share this survey invitation with your customers. The survey will remain open until end of day Monday August 1, 2016.
The survey will take approx 15-20 minutes to complete.
According to data from Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® Asia Pacific Online Benchmark Survey, 2016, in the past three months Amazon has, for the first time since 2014, surpassed Flipkart as the preferred online retail destination for consumers in India’s metropolitan areas. Amazon’s takeover has been rapid: 30% of respondents in our 2014 survey reported buying from Amazon; this year, 76% said they did. Compare this with Flipkart’s essentially flat growth: from 63% in 2014 to 68% in 2016. Snapdeal remains far behind both Amazon and Flipkart.
Customer insights professionals consistently ask me what other companies are doing to turn their customer data into actionable insights. To answer this question, Forrester partnered with Burtch Works, an analytics executive recruitment agency, to survey customer analytics and measurement professionals about their current efforts. I’m quite thrilled to share the results in my State of Customer Analytics 2016 report.
This goal of this report is to give CI pros, marketers, and anyone tasked with gleaning insights from massive amounts of customer data a concrete snapshot of what others are doing in the space. Here are a few of the key questions we set out to answer:
What are the top data sources companies are using for analytics and measurement?
What types of analyses are they doing?
How and where are they applying insights?
What challenges do they face?
In analyzing responses, we segmented companies based on their customer analytics sophistication so readers can see what separates leaders from laggards. My hope is that as you read through this report, you will be inspired to evolve your own customer analytics maturity. Please feel free to reach out to me via inquiry if you’d like to discuss how to do so.
Forrester’s CX Index shows that, across the board, companies are getting better at delivering quality customer experiences (CX). But in as much time as it takes to open a celebratory bottle of champagne, the tide of rising customer expectations threatens to push the product or service CX pros have been working on for so long toward obsolescence. Essentially, customer expectations are rising faster than companies can conceptualize, design, and deliver improved experiences.
Now, imagine if you could better manage your customer’s expectations before the delivered experience — first by elevating your customer’s positive emotions as early in the interaction as possible and then initiating a positive emotional momentum that will carry throughout their journey with your brand. It’s called anticipatory CX and it is the most powerful element of CX that you’re not currently paying attention to. Consider the following:
Evolution gave us anticipation as a motivating force. People are wired to anticipate future happy experiences as opposed to negative events. When you think about the BBQ this weekend or your friend’s wedding next month or a vacation later in the year, you’re anticipating a positive experience. Your brain’s intrinsic anticipatory-reward system has kicked in.
Unilever is the latest in a long string of enterprise giants to acquire digital. It acquired the digital-native startup, Dollar Shave Club, for $1 billion. I've been telling the Dollar Shave story lately as a way to describe the disruption possible when a company uses digital technology to establish a direct relationship with a customer. Dollar Shave Club is in its customers' daily shower and conscienciousness. It's a digital disruptor, not because it has a revolutionary product. It's because it has a revolutionary relationship.
What should you take away from this Dollar Shave Club deal?
Digital disruption starts with a direct customer relationship. Sure, sometimes digital is about new products and services. But it's always about a direct relationship with customers. That's what's so scary to traditional industries with their indirect distribution models. Unilever has sold through distribution for time and memorial. It doesn't know its customers except through the lens of research and somes times purchased sales data. No longer. Now it can know its customers as Under Armour is starting to.
Digital strategy is about bridging the gap between your core capabilities and what customers want. For large firms, you don't need to reinvent your core capabilities to become digital. You instead need to recognize that digital is the way customers want to buy, engage, and get service, so you must give them the tools they expect. Dollar Shave Club sells razors. It just sells them conveniently at a great price. That puts digital within reach of every company.
There will be a lot more digital direct deals like this. Direct customer relationships are one vector of our digital future.
It’s not infrequent that a merger or acquisition takes place in a particular coverage area and, as an analyst, I’d typically expect to be ready to discuss the event at a moment’s notice.
Not so when it came to last Monday’s news about eBay acquiring predictive analytics startup SalesPredict.
There are a little over 20 vendors vying to provide predictive modeling solutions to B2B marketers and sales professionals. It’s a “new-ish” technology, and one might reasonably expect consolidation or merger activity. But for most folks, this particular collaboration was an eyebrow raiser and I needed to talk to some people first.
Founded in 2012, SalesPredict builds predictive algorithms that help B2B firms identify correlative relationships between the presence of various attributes and/or buyer behaviors to positive or negative outcomes. I had met with Yaron Zakai-Or, CEO and co-founder, and Sahil Mansuri, VP of Marketing, several times in my role as analyst. I imagine Sahil’s background in marketing helped them to grow their base within 6 months to 60 customers. But it didn't hurt that at SalesPredict, it was always about powerful technology without bounds. Co-founder Kira Radinsky, a self-proclaimed “data scientist at heart,” says that that founding SalesPredict was part of her vision “to bring about a major change in how business is conducted by unifying micro- and macro-economic predictions.”
This didn’t go unnoticed by eBay, with its own goal of increased sophistication in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science to support its structured data plan. In fact, that is exactly how eBay described the acquisition - frankly reminding me of how broad the use cases of predictive technology really are.
This post is part of a series dedicated to the challenges, opportunities, and realities of federal customer experience. Interested in learning more? Register for our complimentary government CX webinar next week, and be sure to join me as I host Forrester’s first-ever CXDC Forumon Sept. 12th in Washington, DC.
It’s been 23 years since the White House first told federal agencies to improve the experiences they provide to customers. Yet three presidents, two executive orders, and a bevy of memos and committees later, federal customer experience (CX) is still in crisis. In fact, federal agencies have:
The lowest average score on Forrester’s CX Index. The federal average of “poor” was worse than all 17 private sector industries we rated and far below the overall average of “OK.” In fact, even the weakest performers in most industries still outscored the government average. The National Park Service and US Postal Service, the highest-rated federal agencies, scored only as high as the average for banks.
A near-monopoly on the worst experiences. Seven out of the 10 worst organizations in the CX Index – and five out of six in the “very poor” category – were US federal agencies. Only internet service providers and TV service providers came close to matching this level of underperformance.