It’s a surprise because AppDynamics was one day away from its IPO, giving nary a hint of courting a suitor. That would be an awfully expensive and troublesome camouflage. And if it was camo, it was amazingly airtight in this notoriously leaky information age. (As I write this, several press outlets report the deal went from idea to agreement in three days.)
It’s not a surprise because:
· AppDynamics’ APM competitors have been rapidly broadening their monitoring to yield better analytics with fewer blind spots. Cisco gives AppDynamics an exceptionally clear view of network performance and AppDynamics gives Cisco a clear view of application performance. APM solutions must continue to expand their data ingestion to provide optimum value.
One of the best parts about being a Research Director here at Forrester, rather than an Analyst, is I get to be involved in a wider range of research topics than before.
I’ve always been interested in mobile, but I’ve never really covered it as a subject. We have an embarrassment of way more qualified analysts like Julie Ask, Mike Facemire, Jenny Wise, and Thomas Husson to name a few. Their knowledge on the subject far outstrips mine. So it’s been a fun journey over the last six months working with Ted Schadler as he’s espoused one simple, powerful, unequivocal viewpoint:
I think we all accept that business buyers have higher expectations in the age of the customer. They've fundamentally changed their buying behavior in this digital age. Unfortunately, too many B2B marketers aren't keeping pace. They must evolve from brand stewards, lead generation machines, and sales supporters to architects of customer engagement across the customer life cycle. B2B marketing leaders need to introduce a change agenda to help B2B marketers lead the transformation to customer-obsessed marketing. Here are some key takeaways from my recent report -- Get Ready For The B2B Marketing Renaissance -- on this topic.
Hey, It's Time To Catch Up With Your Buyer. Today's digitally empowered buyer controls the buying process far more than vendors control the selling process. B2B marketers must rethink their customer engagement strategies to catch up with an already evolved buyer.
2016 B2B Marketing Budget Plans Reveal ‘Business As Usual' Thinking. B2B marketing program spend held steady in 2015 at, on average, 6% of revenue. Yet the marketing mix remains stable and somewhat stolid, showing that marketers aren't yet looking for new ways to make operational funds generate more compelling customer experiences.
I've just refreshed the core documents in Forrester, Lead-to-Revenue Playbook. While L2RM pioneers have realized significant business gains, they have also realized that L2RM is not just about taking responsibility for the impact of marketing spend on revenue performance or about standardizing, automating, and scaling your current marketing practice. Today's digitally empowered buyer controls the buying process far more than vendors control the selling process, and re-envisioning the L2R process offers B2B marketers a rapid evolutionary opportunity to catch up with an already evolved digital business buyer. Forrester defines L2RM as:
A business system for marketers whose offerings mandate a long, complex, or highly considered buying process, comprising integrated goals, processes, and metrics that reshape marketing practices to drive effective customer engagement across the customer life cycle — from awareness to advocacy. It is measured through the metric of revenue performance — from new customer acquisition through lifetime value.
The point of this graphic is to show how your L2RM process needs to be tightly aligned to your buyer's journey.
I'm thinking of calling it the B2B Marketing Flywheel. What do you think?
There’s a big insights gap out there. Not enough insights are turning into actions that matter, despite continued investment in data, people, and technology. For example, in 2016, data and analytics pros reported that firms base only 49% of business decisions on quantitative information and analysis as opposed to opinion. That’s up from 2015, but only by 3 percentage points – out of alignment with the investment in insights capabilities. You feel the pressure, I know. So, it's action time - to drive more value from insights.
For sure, firms today have bright spots of insights value – for example, in digital channels, where A/B and other testing approaches enable continuous optimization of customer interactions that matter most to business outcomes. But disparate bright spots are not enough, and businesses must move from insights-spotty to insights-driven. Research by Forrester colleagues Brian Hopkins, James McCormick, and Ted Schadler paints the picture of what great looks like in insights-driven business. Such firms organize and operate differently to take advantage of data and analytics in every aspect of their products and operations, and that closed-loop approach is embedded everywhere in the organization. That's the end goal. Customer insights teams must up their game now, and a center of excellence (CoE) is a first step.
Few topics get more air time in marketing circles than adtech and martech convergence. The commentary spans a spectrum ranging from attempts to agree upon the deceptively simple semantics of adtech and martech (which usually ends when everyone throws up their hands and concedes that it is simply madtech) to existential examinations of the future of marketing itself.
Some reactions to looming convergence approach satire, sometimes even intentionally. Like the war room bound leaders in Dr. Strangelove, we wonder: Are we heading for mutually assured destruction? Is somebody harboring a doomsday device? Have our deterrents been rendered useless? Which side will strike first? Who’s really in charge?
Yet these questions are surprisingly apt in the context of convergence. It should surprise no-one that adtech and martech convergence evokes strong feelings. Modern marketing is a technology-driven discipline, and any widespread change will reverberate throughout the ecosystem. Convergence impacts the future of thousands of vendors (and their investors). It affects day-to-day marketing operations for tens of thousands of brands (and their agencies). The excitement, mystery, and controversy surrounding convergence speaks volumes about the marketing industry’s collective aspirations and fears.
Last time, we talked about how your mobile website sucks. You and your agency partners took a valiant swing at fixing it using responsive web design techniques. But most of you did that without asking a critical question:
What are my customers trying to get done on their phones?
So you created one-size-fits-all responsive retrofits rather than reinventing your website for the way we live now -- on our phones. That's not enough because:
Not everyone will use your app. Sorry. We hoped they would. They won't.
Your website is or will be majority mobile. Walmart had 70% of web traffic from phones. You need to deliver a mobile-perfect solution.
Japan’s slow-growth tech market is Asia’s biggest — but not for long. Japan is expected to spend US$248 billion and on tech goods and services in 2017, which is the largest among all Asia Pacific countries. Measured in yen, growth will be low: 1% in 2017 and 0.4% in 2018.
China’s tech market will continue to shift from hardware to software and services. Forrester projects that China’s tech market spending will grow at 7% in yuan renminbi in 2017 (3% in US dollars). Hardware markets will continue to mature; state-owned enterprises will continue to replace foreign products with local alternatives; and cloud adoption will reduce the need for capital expenditures.
India’s tech spending will maintain the highest growth rate in Asia Pacific. India’s total tech purchases will increase by 8% in 2017 and by 10% in 2018 in rupees (5% and 8%, respectively, in US dollars). A robust economy, combined with government-led initiatives like Digital India and Make in India, will spur increased investment in the software, services, and outsourcing segments.
We included 11 vendors in the CRM Forrester Wave™ for midsize organizations. These 11 vendors reported a total of about 200,000 midsize customers. Compared to CRM vendors tackling the enterprise space, these vendors typically offer more streamlined - and sometimes simpler - capabilities. We saw some similar - and some strikingly different trends in this market segment. Midmarket customer demand:
Great user experiences that are affordable. These two factors are paramount for midsize organizations who don’t have large budgets, yet require the power of CRM. CRM must also be simple: simple to learn, simple use, simple to configure.
Single platform. Midsize organizations do not have the breadth and depth of IT and administrator resources that enterprise organizations have. They expect unified business and administrator tooling for their CRM.
Cloud CRM. Midmarket organizations demand cloud as their primary deployment model. We expect that newer cloud solutions will replace most on-premises installations in the next five years.
Prescriptive advice over raw analytics. Midsize organizations manage large volumes of data. CRM users - whether in sales, marketing or customer service - all struggle to take the right next best step for the customer - for example to pinpoint optimal offers, discount levels, product bundles, and next conversation for better customer outcomes. Midsize organizations are increasingly using prepackaged analytics within CRM to prescribe advice in the flow of their work.
Oh, hello friends, it's been too long! But I couldn't let today's news stay this far under the radar. With a relatively small announcement on its blog, Google announced that the first Instant Apps have gone live! As a reminder, Instant Apps are Android apps that are internally compartmentalized into individual views (atoms) that your users can interact with from web search results. For instance, if a customer only needs to find the nearest bank ATM, they shouldn't need to download your app (and use precious device storage) to do that -- now they simply interact with the appropriate screen within the existing app delivered via the web! This immediately changes how companies deliver mobile experiences. Why? Because it knocks down 3 major stumbling blocks of mobile experience development:
App discovery is hard. Users find content with web search engines. Instant Apps brings that same power to finding app experiences. Getting people into an app store is hard. Finding your app once there is hard (Our recent data shows that only 26% of smartphone users find new apps through app store searches). Ensuring their device has enough free space, and that no angry reviews scare them off is hard. Deep linking was a bandaid for some of these ills, but Instant Apps will solve them all by delivering a complete native experience as the result of a web search.