Analyst Spotlight Podcast with Ed Ferrara

Stephanie Balaouras

After a brief hiatus for the holidays, the S&R podcast is back!  For those who are new to the podcast, each month we use our First Look newsletter and podcast to highlight one of the terrific analysts on Forrester's Security and Risk team.  The podcast and newsletter are great ways for Forrester readers to get to know a little more about the analysts writing the reports.  This month we spotlight 4-year Forrester vet Ed Ferrara, one of our vice presidents and principal analysts focused on security strategy, budgets, metrics, consultancies, and managed services — all the topics that you want to tackle at the beginning of a new year.  

Click below to listen to the podcast! If you're not signed up for our newsletters, I highly encourage you to do so; please email srfl@forrester.com for additional details.

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To download the mp3 version of the podcast, click here.

Lessons From SingPost’s Social Marketing Strategy

Clement Teo

In Asia Pacific, there is growing recognition that the old way of marketing — driving awareness through push advertising — has sputtered and slowed in the wake of media fragmentation and the disruptive power of digital. Marketers need a new framework to align their marketing decisions to the customer’s experiences with the brand to define customer engagement, budget allocation, and organizational skills.

However, many companies are still in the adolescent phase of social marketing; they have crested the initial wave of social likes and followers, but are now stuck on the next steps. Few have managed to crack the social marketing conundrum — that of showing meaningful return on their social marketing investments. Marketers need to understand and map the customer journey — from enabling discovery to supporting exploration, purchase, and engagement. Astute ones will map each stage of the customer life cycle to an objective from Forrester’s marketing RaDaR model. To create discovery, the objective should be reach. To support exploration, depth is the objective. To nurture engagement, focus on relationships.

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Join Forrester's 2015 China Digital Marketing Online Survey

Xiaofeng Wang

Forrester’s 2015 online survey for digital marketing executives in China is now open. If you’re a marketing leader who is involved in digital marketing in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

Why is your input important? Through this survey, we will:

  • Understand your key challenges in digital marketing. Marketing leaders in China have larger digital marketing budgets — but they also bear more responsibility and face a more complicated digital marketing environment.
  • Outline your pain points in working with digital agencies. Marketing leaders in China have more digital agency options than ever before, but their expectations of digital agencies have changed along with their shifted responsibilities.

We will use the results to help marketing leaders in China:

  • Understand key trends to prioritize your digital marketing efforts. This data will help you benchmark your key focus for digital marketing in 2015.
  • Select the right digital agency to meet your most important needs. We will soon publish our first Forrester Wave™ evaluation of digital agencies in China, which will help marketers assess and select digital agency services. This data will help you customize the Wave to select the right digital agency to help you overcome your top digital challenges.
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Change The Interface, Change The World: Microsoft HoloLens Takes Computing’s Next Giant Leap

James McQuivey

Windows 10 comes with holographic computing built into it. And to prove that it’s serious about holography, the company announced Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that lets people interact with holograms in the real world.

Wait, what?

I know what you’re thinking. Microsoft has a credibility problem when it comes to launches of future tech. Remember that this is the company that tried to launch touch-based tablet computing in 2000. Microsoft launched a smartwatch years before anybody else that also came to naught. I’ll spare you a longer list of Microsoft’s mislaunches. It all adds up to a fair bit of earned skepticism. Surely Microsoft can’t be expected to create the computing interface that will do to graphical user interfaces what the mouse did to the text-based user interface.

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Is Microsoft’s Surface Hub A New Device Category?

Philipp Karcher
with Frank Gillett
 
One of Microsoft’s announcements today is the overhaul of its digital whiteboard formerly called PPI — now rebranded as Surface Hub. Surface Hub is an 84" 4K resolution (or 55" without 4K) all-in-one touchscreen computer with collaboration features for conference rooms. The market for this device is primarily industries with requirements for large screen visualization, which there are many: Manufacturing, healthcare, higher education, publishing, architecture, engineering, and oil & gas being prime examples. 
 
However, digital whiteboards are increasingly attractive to all organizations. We see a bifurcation of conference room equipment for visual communications: On the low end more companies are putting just USB webcams in ad hoc collaboration spaces. On the high end we're getting inquiries from customers taking another look at specialized hardware, but uninterested in telepresence for cost or functionality reasons. For customers creating these specialized collaboration rooms, whiteboarding and application sharing are just as important as video.
 
Three initial impressions from Microsoft’s announcement:
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Microsoft HoloLens Is A World-Changing Mixed Reality Product

JP Gownder

It’s not often that a new product release has the potential to reshape the way people work and play. The PC, the browser, the smartphone – all of these products fell into that category.

Microsoft’s new HoloLens has the potential to do the same. (Check out some photos from Gizmodo here -- they don't live up to the actual experience even a little bit -- and this video, which doesn't do it justice, either).

 

Yes, that’s a big claim. But I’m here to challenge your thinking with this assertion: Over the next few years, HoloLens will set the bar for a new type of computing experience that suffuses our jobs, our shopping experiences, our methods for learning, and how we experience media, among other life vectors. And other vendors will have to respond to this innovation in holographic, mixed reality computing. 

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 & HoloLens Will Return Microsoft To Innovation Leadership; Challenge Will Be Drawing New Mobile Customers

Frank Gillett

Microsoft’s event, Windows 10: The Next Chapter, showcased an impressive vision and plan for: 1) transforming Windows, including free upgrades; 2) gaining relevance in mobile; 3) launching a new computing experience with HoloLens; and 4) reinventing group collaboration with Surface Hub.

Based on what we saw today and on background conversations, Forrester believes that Microsoft’s Windows 10 will persuade enterprises and consumers to upgrade from Windows 7 (something Windows 8 didn’t do) and be an easy upgrade from Windows 8. Getting the world’s 1.5 billion Windows PCs on this new software platform will re-establish Microsoft’s dominance in personal computing with a mobile extension.

The technology advances in Windows 10 include a single and integrated experience across PCs and tablets with a single platform and app store; continuous software improvements, and big security improvements, and a new set of enterprise features. (Forrester clients can get our enterprise perspective in our new report, ‘Microsoft Gets Its Flagship OS Back On Track With Windows 10.) Windows 10 even brings together Windows and Xbox -- giving gamers and game developers access to Xbox experiences on the PC.

HoloLens Is A Powerful New Technology To Deliver Mixed Reality Experiences

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Why I Believe That "Listening Technologies Won't Become A Major Marketing Technology In 2015"

Allison Smith

Social listening is really cool. I think about it, talk about it, and care about it full-time. But I'm hyperaware that at most organizations, the impact of social data is...blah. Social  data analyts have the data and the skill to answer some of the toughest questions that the business asks: "What do consumers want?" "How can we aquire more customers?" "Where can we cut costs?"

BUT, because their tools and strategic initatives relegate social to a function of customer service or PR, social analytics limps along, year after year, triaging crises, and pleading for money and influence in the organization, with limited success.

IN TRUTH, 2015 could be the year for listening technologies to become major marketing technologies. IF vendors can truly make legitimate integrations work, and can come up with real business metrics (read: not fan and follower, or even "engagement" counts). AND IF marketers can put serious strategy behind unpacking the insights that come out of social networks. But, nothing I've heard from either side of the aisle makes me think that we're going to see breakthrough in 2015. 

Read "Listening Technologies Won't Become A Major Marketing Technology In 2015" report, tell me what you think in the comments or on Twitter. I'm @allsnsmth. 

My Favorite Forrester Groundswell Award Winner: Analog Devices

We’re now accepting entries for the 2015 Forrester Groundswell Awards. This is our chance to recognize the very best social marketing programs from the past year — and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. You can enter here
 
To get your creative juices flowing, I wanted to highlight one of my all-time favorite Forrester Groundswell Award winners: Analog Devices, our 2013 B2B Social Relationship Marketing award winner. Analog manufactures integrated circuits, and its EngineerZone community allows members to resolve challenges and questions by tapping into the collective “wisdom of the crowds.” The company’s technical community has a global membership that empowers each member to help or be helped from any part of the globe, making it an invaluable resource.
 
When they submitted their entry, Analog Devices shared the following results from a member feedback survey:
Over 90% of respondents said the information was helpful to their design. 
76% were more likely to purchase ADI products knowing EngineerZone was available as a resource.  
 
A true social relationship marketing strategy ensures that customers continue to have their needs met and receive tangible benefits even after the point of purchase. In doing so, customers are primed and ready to accept new information about products and services which can provide even more value.
 
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Use WeChat Now, But Use It Wisely

Xiaofeng Wang

Over the past two years, WeChat has been a very important part of my research. And it should be on your radar as well. I’ve been particularly focused on gauging its innovations and exploring potential monetization possibilities. Most importantly, I’ve been evaluating how marketers can leverage WeChat from the time when it wasn’t ready to be a scalable marketing tool through to today, when all marketers need to understand how to use WeChat wisely.

With a whopping 468 million monthly active users, WeChat has been the focus of marketers for a while; as of July 2014, WeChat had 5.8 million public accounts. However, marketing leaders face challenges in using WeChat for marketing:

  • WeChat is a private social platform. The tactics that work on open social platforms like Weibo do not necessarily work on private social platforms like WeChat. Many marketers still wrongly attempt to use WeChat as a platform for news announcements.
  • WeChat provides limited ad formats and APIs. Although we do see Tencent considering the possibilities of introducing display ads in Moments (WeChat’s timeline) and laying the groundwork for search advertising by partnering with the local search engine Sogou, so far the only available advertising opportunity for marketers is purchasing display ads in public account articles. Many marketers also complain about the limited APIs that WeChat provides to them.
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