Advanced TV -- Please Don't Call It "Targeted Linear"

Jim Nail

I’m seeing the term “targeted linear TV” crop up more and more (as in this Business Insider article about a Credit Suisse report on TV advertising’s evolution) to describe what has been variously called “audience-based,” “index-based,” “advanced,” or “data-driven” buying. Or even, perish the thought, “programmatic” — a term I’ve already pleaded with the industry not to use

I write for a living, so words matter to me. In fact, a big part of my job is translating the hyped-up words that tech companies use into language that explains what the product, service, or tool really does. This is important because using words that connote or imply that a product/service/tool does something that it doesn’t do only leads to confusion, disappointment, and distrust.

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Countdown To The GDPR

Fatemeh Khatibloo

It's May 25th, and if you've been following along with our published research, you know that today marks a very important milestone: you have 365 calendar* days to bring your organization into compliance with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and the as-yet-unfinalized (!!!) ePrivacy Regulation

I spoke with Victor Milligan and Jennifer Isabella, the hosts of Forrester's What It Means podcast, about GDPR this week. We went deep on the regulation's implications for all multinational marketers, and how to break the inertia so many firms are experiencing around preparedness. Have a listen here, or download it from iTunes (or your favorite podcast app):

But there is one major issue that we didn't really get to cover that I want to discuss here -- firms that fail to prepare for these new privacy laws will be the ultimate weak link in their organizations' supply chain, and will put critical business relationships at risk. Consider this:

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Highlights From Google Marketing Next 2017

Collin Colburn

I, along with Susan Bidel and Richard Joyce, got to attend Google Marketing Next 2017 this week. It was a great opportunity to see firsthand the new advances Google is making for this year, and to speak with Google product managers directly. While there were no announcements that were earth shattering, there were a few important announcements that I thought I’d share with those of you that were unable to attend:

 

  • AMP ads for search and display. Google launched Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) over a year ago to speed up mobile web pages to aid the customer experience. Now these pages can be used by search advertisers in AdWords to speed up the time it takes for their landing pages from paid search ads to download. And the same is being done for Google Display Network ads.
  • Store sales measurement. Google has already been using anonymized location data to estimate in store visits from digital ads. But now, Google will be applying machine learning to better account for brick and mortar visits. And marketers will now be able to integrate POS data into AdWords to understand in store conversions better.
  • In-market audiences for search ads. Search advertisers will be able to better target searchers who are further along in the customer life cycle to making a purchase for their products or services. In AdWords, marketers can choose audiences based on categories like event tickets, apparel, or beauty products to target customers that Google has deemed as in-market. Google uses intent signals like searching behavior and website visits to determine if a customer is in market for a product.

What did you think was the biggest announcement from GMN? I’d love to hear any thoughts or questions.

Time To Assess Your Omnichannel Maturity

Brendan Witcher

It's a fact: Every time customers are exposed to improved shopping experiences, their expectations are immediately reset to a new higher level. Today’s empowered customers expect seamless brand interactions across every touch point, forcing organizations to replace outdated thought-processes and legacy systems with new ways of doing business. That said, many digital strategy and commerce leaders are either not sure where to start, or simply failing to deliver excellence within customer journeys through existing omnichannel capabilities. Forrester’s Omnichannel Maturity Assessment tool, created by Claudia Tajima and myself, helps organizations discover their current maturity level, and understand what steps they need to take to reach omnichannel mastery. 

The assessment challenges organizations to evaluate their retail business across three dimensions:

  • Digital customer experience
  • Digital operational excellence
  • Omnichannel customer engagement

Organizations must score themselves across seven modern omnichannel capabilities that leading retailers are executing today:

  • Enterprise inventory visibility
  • BOPIS
  • Ship-from-store
  • Ship-to-store
  • Endless aisle
  • Omnichannel value adding services
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Open Banking Is Open For Business

Jacob Morgan

Open banking is rapidly heading to the top of the agenda for retail banks across the globe. BBVA today announced the launch of its open banking business, joining the likes of Nordea, which launched its open banking site in March. In the UK, the Competition and Markets Authority obliged the top nine banks to create an open banking standard; the first stage was reference data (e.g., branch opening hours and loan data), which was delivered in March. However, open banking isn’t limited to Europe. In Australia, the House of Representatives recommended the development of a binding frameworkto underpin data sharing for open banking; in April, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced plans to make its own data available via an open application programming interface (API) and made no secret of its enthusiasm for open data. We’ve seen no formal moves in the US so far, but The US Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection put out a Request for Information Regarding Consumer Access to Financial Records in late 2016.

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A Healthy Future Welcomes Consultative B2B Sellers

Caroline Robertson

 

Mark Twain unknowingly echoed the state of today’s B2B sellers when he said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” As Mary Shea writes in her newest report, “B2B Consultant Sellers Reign In The 21st Century,” it’s a selective sickness that ails today’s sales professionals. Those at greatest risk of the displacement as we described in another recent Forrester report, “Death Of A (B2B) Salesman: Two Years Later,” are those high-volume, low-value transactional sellers who suffer listless interest from self-educated buyers who are purchasing online at an increasing pace. But for customers who are uncertain about solutions that best suit their needs or ones with complex challenges, there remains healthy growth for sellers who possess the right attributes and who adopt the rigor of a new regimen.

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Where Is Artificial Intelligence In Forrester's Tech Market Numbers? It's Hiding

Andrew Bartels

I have gotten some inquiries about where spending on artificial intelligence and cognitive technologies occur in our tech market numbers (see, for example, "US Tech Market Outlook For 2017 And 2018: Mostly Sunny, With Clouds And Chance Of Rain").  The short answer is that we include them in our data on business intelligence and analytics, though so far  spending on these technologies is still small -- probably than a billion dollars for 2017.

But even as artificial intelligence spending grows, it is likely to remain small in terms of visibility.  That's because artificial intelligence solutions are likely to be functions in existing software products, and not something that firms buy directly.  Put another way, the biggest buyers of AI will probably be software, services, and hardware vendors, who use AI to help their products and services work better.

There is precedence for this pattern in the BI and analytics market.  My Forrester colleague Boris Evelson has been collecting data from the leading BI vendors as to the percentage of their revenues that they get from end customers versus from OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).  On average, about 10% of these vendors' revenues come from sales to OEMs.  And that could well be understated, because vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, or SAP don't provide data on the explicit (or more likely implicit) value of their analytics products that are used in their applications.

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Prepare for Increasing Frequency of “Nation-State” Cyberattacks with Strategy, not Technology

Chase Cunningham

Let me pose a question: “Is it a bad thing to give the average person a hand grenade with the pin pulled?” I think most of us would respond to that question with an emphatic “YES!”  No one in their right mind would think it's a good idea in any possible reality to allow anyone without extensive military or professional training to access an explosive--especially not one that is live and has no safety device in use. Bad things would happen, and people would probably lose their lives; at the very least, there would be damage to property. No matter what, this scenario would be a very bad thing and should NEVER happen.

OK, now let me change that question a bit: “Is it a bad thing for every person with a network connection to have access to extremely powerful nation-state-level cyber weapons?”  Hopefully you would respond similarly and say “YES!”

Just as the hand grenade juggling is a problem, so is the proliferation of nation-state-level exploits. These malicious tools and frameworks have spread across the world and are presenting a very complicated problem that must be solved. Unfortunately, the solution that we've currently been offered amounts to a variety of vendors slinging solutions and tools that, without good strategy, cannot effectively combat the myriad cyber artillery shells now being weaponized against every system that touches the World Wide Web. The bad guys have now officially proven that they can “outdev” the defensive technologies in place in many instances and have shown that it's highly likely that many installed legacy technologies are wide open to these weaponized attacks (anti-virus be darned) across the planet.

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The Financial Services Focus On Sales Enablement

Steven Wright

In the past few months, we’ve seen a big uptick in inquiries from financial services firms, including life insurance. They are becoming much more focused on sales enablement automation and sales enablement in general. At the same time, sales enablement automation vendors are highlighting their successes with financial services companies. Based on discussions with practitioners, financial services firms should keep in mind a few key challenges as they tackle better enabling their sellers:

  • Agents and advisors are both sellers. Many financial services organizations seem reluctant to use the terms “sales” or “sellers” when talking about those who sell to customers. This often slows awareness and understanding of how sales enablement automation can help them leverage content, better engage with customers, and ensure that sellers play by the rules in a highly regulated industry. The same applies to independent advisors. They are business partners — another part of the channel — and need the same kind of sales enablement, especially because they may also sell competitive offerings.
  • Managing seller-focused content in a highly regulated environment is complicated. Financial firms have dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of content creators. Those creators cover a wide range of content including promotional, marketing, and reporting. Some content, such as investment updates, require tightly controlled processes for creating and updating frequently. All of that content creation takes place in an environment where a strong need for tightly controlled processes exists to create, produce, and manage how sellers can and should use content.
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Dear IT Operations: It’s Time To Get Serious About Security

Milan Hanson

Okay, I’ll apologize right away to the IT ops teams that are already security-savvy. Hats off to you. But I suspect there are still a few that leave security to the CISO’s team.

On Friday, May 12, 2017, evil forces launched a ransomware pandemic, like a defibrillator blasting security into the heart of IT operations. What protected some systems? It wasn’t an esoteric fancy-pants security tool that made some organizations safe; it was simple e-hygiene: Keep your operating systems current. Whose job is that? IT operations’. Had the victims kept up with OS versions and patches, they wouldn’t have been working over the weekend to claw back from disaster. What’s the path to quick restoration? Having a safe offline backup. Whose job is that? IT operations’. The WannaCry ransomware outbreak is a brutal reminder that IT operations plays a critical role (or not!) in protecting the business from villains.

While headlines get everyone’s attention, there’s another non-news reason for IT operations to step up its security role, and that’s profit. In this age of the customer, the businesses that gain market share and disrupt industries are exceptionally agile; they deliver the features that users want as fast as they want them. DevOps arose from that new reality: to make IT operations as quick and nimble as developers are. In the process (and I would argue that this should be essential to the process), operations people learned a lot more about development, and developers learned a lot more about operations. The infamous “wall” between dev and ops is crumbling, and customers, the business, and shareholders are happier for it.

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