*New* Forrester Wave: Customer Feedback Management (CFM) Platforms Q2, 2017

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

The new Forrester WaveTM: Customer Feedback Management Platforms, Q2, 2017 (paywall) is live! CFM platforms are part of a larger VoC vendor landscape and help CX professionals manage complexity by centralizing and automating essential VoC activities. This Wave scores 10 vendors that matter based on offering, revenue and interest by Forrester clients: Clarabridge, Confirmit, InMoment, MaritzCX, Medallia, NICE, Qualtrics, Satmetrix Systems, SMG, and Verint Systems.

To score these vendors, we developed a comprehensive set of evaluation criteria in three high-level buckets: Current offering, strategy, and market presence. The criteria and their weighting is based on past research and conversations with vendor and CFM users. Client references played a large role in our evaluation: We conducted 30 hours of client reference calls and fielded a survey among 60 client references.

This Forrester Wave evaluation uncovered a market in which four providers emerged as leaders — though their strengths differ: InMoment, Medallia, Qualtrics, and Confirmit. Another three providers – Clarabridge, MaritzCX, and SMG – are Strong Performers. And Satmetrix Systems, NICE, and Verint Systems are Contenders.

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Martech That Matters (For Marketers Who Actually Use It)

Carlton Doty

Sick of scouring sector landscapes with thousands of vendor logos organized into loosely defined categories?  I mean, do you really need to know the names of 150 programmatic display advertising vendors out there? What’s the total Martech ecosystem going to tally this year – 7000+ vendors? Actually, yes. Yes it is. As my colleague Joe Stanhope said in his work on the convergence of Martech and Adtech – it’s hard to remember a time when there was such an unhealthy and unsustainable technology ecosystem.

At Forrester, we’ve covered marketing technology and the now overused term – “left-brained marketing” - for nearly fifteen years.  We've come a long way as an industry since then, and today Forrester's marketing clients now enjoy step-by-step playbooks like the Enterprise Marketing Technology Playbook, and the Lead-To-Revenue Management Playbook that help them get more out of their technology investments. This is becoming more important every day. Why? Because marketing technology now commands one-fifth of overall marketing budgets for B2C marketers. That’s already a sizable chunk, and we expect it to climb quickly because 41% of these marketers tell us that they still lack the technology they need to grow their business.

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Google Next 2017 Review: Google Cloud Is A Serious Contender In the Public Cloud Space

Nigel Fenwick

With Dan Bieler and Glenn O'Donnell

In the last few years, Google has made concerted efforts to target the enterprise cloud computing space. At Next 2017, more than 11,000 customers, partners, developers, and analysts joined Google in San Francisco to learn more about Google Cloud’s latest enterprise updates. We compiled this post following a review of the event with all the Forrester analysts who attended. Here’s our quick assessment from a CIO and CTO perspective:

Google Cloud’s enterprise pitch as a public cloud vendor has potential for tech leaders. Google Cloud primarily competes with AWS, Azure, and IBM in the cloud platform segment. Our impression is that Google offers superior technology compared with many other vendors in the enterprise space – but not all. Google has a good IaaS story, but its PaaS capabilities lag behind AWS. Google is not about to dethrone AWS or Azure right now, but it has a good chance to become a powerful competitor to them as it expands globally.

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Google Next 2017 Review: Google Cloud Is A Serious Contender In the Public Cloud Space

Dan Bieler

With Nigel Fenwick and Glenn O'Donnell

In the past few years, Google has made concerted efforts to target the enterprise cloud computing space. At Next 2017, more than 11,000 customers, partners, developers, and analysts joined Google in San Francisco to learn more about Google Cloud’s latest enterprise updates. We compiled this post following a review of the event with all the Forrester analysts who attended. Here’s our quick assessment from a CIO and CTO perspective:

  • Google Cloud’s enterprise pitch as a public cloud vendor has potential for tech leaders. Google primarily competes with AWS, Azure, and IBM in the cloud platform segment. Our impression is that Google offers superior technology compared with many other vendors in the enterprise space – but not all. Google has a good IaaS story, but its PaaS capabilities lag behind AWS. Google is not about to dethrone AWS or Azure right now, but it has a good chance to become a powerful competitor to them as it expands globally.
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Learn How Your CX Practices Measure Up By Completing Forrester’s New Survey

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

We identified 12 essential CX practices every organization must master to create and sustain experiences that drive customer loyalty. An exceptional customer experience (CX) doesn’t happen by accident!

Take our simple new Customer Experience Practices Survey to learn how well your organization is performing in the essential 12 practices.

You’ll see these key practices and how we evaluate them. We’ll keep your response confidential, anonymize all responses, and use them in a benchmark study – and we'll send you a copy of the final report as our thanks for participating.

Learn How Your CX Practices Measure Up By Completing Forrester’s New Survey

Rick Parrish

An exceptional customer experience (CX) doesn’t happen by accident. There are 12 essential practices every organization must master to create and sustain experiences that drive customer loyalty.

To learn how well your organization is performing in these 12 practices, take our simple new Customer Experience Practices Survey. You’ll see these key practices and how we evaluate them. We’ll keep your response confidential, anonymize all responses, and use them in a benchmark study – then send you a copy of the final report as our thanks for participating.

Google's biggest threat? Amazon.

Collin Colburn

If you've been following Forrester's search marketing research over the past few years, you'd know that we talk a lot about search marketing evolving to a broader discovery marketing strategy. As a refresher: a discovery marketer creates programs that help users find your brand in their preferred medium and during their moment of need. Some marketers, especially retailers, have begun to take on this new and challenging charter and are looking to new channels and websites to increase their discoverability.

Enter: Amazon, Google's newest, and biggest, rival in the search marketing space. We set out to determine two things about Amazon search marketing: what factors do they take into consideration when ranking products and what type of ads are available for brands on Amazon? The research report just went live today and you can read our findings here.

To summarize what we found in the research:

Amazon search moves customers along the customer life cycle. Google has long dominated the discover stage of the the customer life cycle. But Amazon is playing an increasingly large role in how customers find products. In fact, according to Forrester's Consumer Technographics data, 31% of US online adults who made a purchase in the past three months started their shopping research on Amazon. And it doesn't end there. Amazon is also a place for customers to research product choices and even transact.

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The Data Digest: Are Australian Companies Living Up To Their Clients’ Online Expectations?

Reineke Reitsma

Australians are often seen as laid-back, taking things as they come. However, this doesn’t translate to their need for great customer experience. When we analyzed the Australian results of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™), we found that the vast majority of companies in Australia are still providing only mediocre CX.

In his report “The Australia Customer Experience Index, 2016,” my colleague Tom Champion shows how companies in more CX-mature markets in North America and Europe have turned their attention toward making positive emotional connections with their customers to drive loyalty. However, the focus in Australia is still very much on measurement.

So, what’s going on in Australia? How can companies live up to the changing expectations of their customers?

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The Case For Coverage Clarity: Why Health Insurance Providers Need To Make Things Clear

Danielle Travaglini

Have you ever thought about going to the doctor and questioned, even momentarily, “Hmm, I wonder if my insurance will cover this?” Or have you ever received a medical bill that was higher than expected? If so, you know these situations don’t elicit a great feeling — and you’re not alone.

The fear of not being covered or the disappointing surprise of finding out you owe more than expected are all-too-common and unpleasant feelings that customers face when it comes to dealing with health insurance companies.

We used Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) Consumer Perspective Online Community to understand specifically what consumers feel when there is lack of clarity surrounding policy coverage details. They say: 

But the key question you are probably asking yourself is, “Do these negative emotional experiences matter — do they affect the bottom line?” We find that the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Lack of clarity or fear of not being covered impacts the overall emotion a customer has about their health insurance provider, which in turn significantly impacts their likelihood to recommend their health insurer to others.

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Introducing The Forrester Wave™: Digital Intelligence Platforms, Q2 2017

James McCormick

Early Digital Intelligence Platform Players Deliver Great Value - Yet Have Many Opportunities For Improvement

As digital disruption continues its unstoppable march, digital engagement is rapidly evolving and customers’ expectations that they will get what they want during moments of digital interaction continue to grow. Now more than ever, firms need to understand their customers during and across these moments — and use this understanding to surprise, delight, and personalize. To do this, firms and their insights pros need to cultivate digital intelligence (DI), which Forrester defines as:

The practice of developing a holistic understanding of customers across digital touchpoints for the purpose of optimizing and perfecting the experiences delivered and decisions made by brands during moments of engagement.

To build a holistic understanding — and synchronize engagement optimization — across a growing digital customer engagement edge, firms have procured a plethora of DI tech to deliver capabilities such as web analytics, mobile analytics, behavioral targeting (personalization) capabilities, and more. Initially, the tech was procured in isolation by various relevant teams, including those for web, digital, marketing, mobile, and products. But leading practices have reached a tipping point; they are starting to mature their DI strategies to the point of coordinating the adoption and integration of this tech. The result is that the last 18 months have shown a growth in interest and adoption of platformsthat deliver multiple DI capabilities.

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