Over the past few days, Boston has been slammed by multiple snow storms. This causes challenges for my pending flight to San Jose, but another deadline looms: some roses might not be able to make it to Boston on time for Valentine's Day. Only someone deeply concerned with Supply Chain and Logistics worries about delivery time on Valentine’s Day. But perhaps we all should: it could very easily shape whether you get a kiss or the cold shoulder for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.
According to IPSOS floral tracking study, cut, fresh flowers take center stage for three holidays: Christmas, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day[i]. The US imported 976 million cut flower stems in advance of Valentine’s Day last year, between January 1 and February 14.[ii] You might guess these flowers are from the Netherlands. However, the Netherlands supplied only 2% of all imported volume. Seventy-one percent of Valentine's Day flowers came from Colombia alone and 19% from Ecuador.
Today kicks off what’s always an exciting week for the infosec industry; in between meeting old and new friend at the RSA Conference, we’ll hopefully hear about practical new ideas, technologies, and opportunities for better managing information risk. Coincidentally, I’m proud to announce a new report highlighting the best tactics CISOs and security leaders are using to elevate their game: How To Become A Superstar Security Leader. Will we hear any practical advice like this at the conference?
So far, so good. This morning in Moscone West, I already heard some great stories of cooperation at the Practical Intelligence Sharing: ISACs and ISAOs sessions, with a kick off from our own Laura Koetzle. In the (14!) years I’ve been to RSA previously, I’ve seen far too many technology vendors touting new partnerships and technical cure-alls and far too few case study examples like this of innovation helping CISOs do their jobs better. I’m cautiously optimistic things will be better this year.
So for the rest of the week, I’ll be looking past announcements of new products, acquisitions, and alliances; keeping an eye out instead for real-world examples and results. If you’re interested to hear Forrester’s take on the most interesting things we hear at the conference, register for our webinar here: Top Security Trends From The RSA Conference 2017.
And throughout the week, if you see or hear anything you think we should look into, please let us know!
We’ve spent the last few weeks hothousing ideas for the forthcoming Digital Transformation forum in Chicago on May 9th and 10th. We’ve been identifying the key themes that will ripple through our Digital Transformation events in 2017. Themes that resonate with where the market is at right now, and ones that point to the rapidly emerging future.
TSA, America’s infamous airport security organization, made headlines last year when it placed the blame on passengers for long lines at airport security, claiming that individuals were at fault for showing up to checkpoints unprepared.
Any time an organization puts the onus back onto the user for not being able to properly navigate a service should raise a huge red flag.
Now if the TSA scenario doesn’t scream service design misalignment to an informed CX pro, then it’s important to clarify what we mean when we talk in terms in “service design.” By Forrester’s definition:
“Service design is a creative, collaborative process that draws from the tools of human-centered design to holistically improve and innovate new value for users as they move through sequential service interactions.”
As CX pros continue to build out their CX design tool kits, they will have an advantage if they can discern that service design allows them to:
Scale a human-centered mindset through processes and tools. Design-led organizations such as Apple, Tesla, Airbnb, and Slack won’t go to market with a new service until they carefully analyze and understand the impact it will have on customers as they move along the service journey.
Take the pulse of the broader CX ecosystem. The holistic, end-to-end nature of service design gives CX pros multiple opportunities to appraise the health of a broader user journey. Logically, process reengineering around the needs of the customer thus forms a critical component of service design.
Since 2010, you've heard Forrester beating our customer obsessed drum. It is our idea that in The Age of the Customer, your relationship with your customers are your primary competitive differentiator. We've written a lot about how to put the customer at the center of your total operating model. But a total customer-obsessed transformation can be daunting because of the completeness it requires. So many companies we talk to get overwhelmed at the idea of having to change every single part of their business, so they do nothing instead. How could we offer a wedge into the customer obsessed transformation? Could companies start toward customer obsession more easily if they understood where they are starting from?
We believed yes. So we created The Customer Obsession Assessment, a large quantitiative survey, which included myriad statements related to customer service, customer experience, customer relationships, supporting technologies and sent it out to just over 1000 global executives. Then we applied factor analysis and regression analysis to determine which statements most closely correlated with customer obsession. From this effort we created: 1) An assessment that companies could take to determine their customer obsession maturity; 2) A segmentation of the execs who took our study so that we could identify best practices and pitfalls common at each stage in maturity.
A few findings from the research:
*Most companies are still immature. Overall, our sample distributed into a bell curve, with 62% landing in the bottom least mature segments.
As I did in 2016, I thought that I would provide you with a timely reminder that we have reconfigured our events calendar this year, and the B2B Marketing 2017 forum is now scheduled for October 5th and 6th in Austin, Texas. If you have not done so, it is still not too late to catch up on our recent forum — here is a blog debrief and this is a podcast where I was interviewed after the event.
Planning is well underway. B2B Marketing 2017 will deepen and expand the discussion of post-digital marketing that we began in Miami in October 2016. Post-digital marketing describes practices that replace segmentation and aggregation strategies with marketing techniques that addresses customers at an individual level and engages them at specific moments of need or opportunity. Post-digital marketing is personalized and opportunistic, and our Austin program will examine in detail the application of post-digital marketing to specific marketing tasks and challenges as well as the technologies and platforms to deliver on that vision. So please mark your calendars if you have not already done so.
Virtual Reality generates lots of buzz and massive investments. Isn’t it the next computing platform according to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg? Hasn’t Magic Leap - the most secretive start-up- raised up to $1.4 billion to deliver on that promise?
Together with my colleague Samantha Merlivat, we decided to evaluate the opportunities VR will open up for marketers. In the next decade, we believe that unlike any channel to date, VR will offer highly immersive and intimate experiences with a future integrated with social and IoT. This unique combination will create not just new storytelling capabilities, but also opportunities to craft whole new experiences as part of the brand offering. Companies like Facebook are betting on VR to fulfill the dream of what Second Life tried to achieve in 2007: enabling social interactions and gatherings within virtual spaces. Moving forward, VR will be enhanced by sensory devices that increase the immersive and realistic nature of virtual experiences and transition the users from passive participant to live actor. Think of it as “human teleportation”.
We’re not there yet. Let’s look at the facts. Magic Leap has not launched anything yet and TechCrunch is right to question its PR approach. Device penetration is still niche and will remain so for a couple more years. Content costs are high and production is complicated. Forrester estimates that critical-mass consumer adoption of high-end VR headsets is at least five years away. In the meantime, 360 video content will flourish on low-to-mid-end VR devices, but 360 video is not a truly immersive VR experience. Benefits for brands and consumers alike are limited.
Much has been said about Virtual Reality in 2016 after a number of companies, like HTC, Sony and Facebook, promised to bring their headset to market in the course of the year. Since then, VR has been on everybody’s lips. VR content creation platforms are mushrooming, VR ad exchanges are starting to appear and agencies have been quick to pitch VR concepts to marketers eager to show their brand is innovative.
We think it’s time for marketers to take a step back and ask themselves why they are pursuing VR: What are you gaining from it, and does it make sense for you to explore VR now? And don't get me wrong - I'm a VR enthusiast. But when it comes to VR in marketing, even I have to recognize there is still way more hype than substance.
For certain product categories, it is clear that VR will be a game changer in the future, and that experimenting now will help take advantage of the technology as it gains in maturity. But other brands may have to accept that VR has little to offer for them in the next 5 years, and resources placed in VR could be better invested elsewhere for the time being. We’ve seen countless examples of branded VR initiatives last year that left marketers - and consumers - completely underwhelmed.
Thomas Husson and I investigated what opportunities VR creates for brands from a marketing perspective: We found that for some categories – like retail – it can be disruptive to the point of transforming traditional sales channels. For others - like automotive, hospitality and real estate - it gives brands added persuasive power, proximity and convenience, beyond what traditional marketing channels can achieve. But not every vertical, and not every company, will benefit from VR.
We’re firmly in the age of the customer, where customers - not executives - decide how customer-centric their companies are. And while good customer experiences can help control costs, executives are more interested in their potential to fuel sustainable top-line growth.
Forrester defines CRM as:
The business processes and supporting technologies that support the key activities of targeting, acquiring, retaining, understanding, and collaborating with customers.
CRM is the foundational building block of a company's customer experience strategy to win, serve, and retain customers. It enables new business strategies, integrates to many technologies and is constantly rejuvenated by new trends. Here are 4 of the 10 trends that we see in CRM in 2017.
Many are calling Super Bowl LI the greatest and most exciting Super Bowl ever, as the New England Patriots came roaring back to accomplish one of the largest comebacks in NFL history. For the fans involved, it was a whirlwind of emotions, and they readily took to social media to express them. To get a better sense of these fan emotions, we analyzed Twitter feeds from Massachusetts and from Georgia, captured during the game with a new cutting-edge emotion algorithm developed at Forrester. The results of our analysis paint a clear picture of two very different roller coaster rides. Atlanta Falcons fans went from the joy of a sure win to the disgust and sadness of having victory snatched from their hands — quite literally, considering Julian Edelman’s ridiculous catch with just over 2 minutes left. Patriots fans, on the other hand, quickly regained the sense of anticipation they had felt when beginning the game as the favorites (perfectly inverted with their sense of disgust, which peaked when their team was down 25 points), culminating in a combination of surprise and joy at pulling off such an improbable comeback.