Managers Must Understand The Differences From Past Ways Of Doing Business

Dan Bieler

Photo: Bergmann

At Mobile World Congress 2016, GE outlined some fundamental insights about the digital transformation efforts of industrial businesses. William Ruh, CEO for GE Digital, a US$6 billion business of General Electric, shared valuable insights about the digital transformation process that industrial businesses need to tackle.

Industrial companies are very different from consumers: They don’t want to buy a great mobile or social experience; they care instead about business outcomes, such as lower energy consumption, faster cash cycles, or higher employee productivity. Digital transformation means that industry will do things differently than in the past.

  • Industrial firms will learn from the consumer world only up to a point. Industrial products are not developed, designed, and sold like consumer products. Uptime and longevity are critical in the mechanical-electrical world. Industrial products often have lifetimes spanning decades, rather than being replaced every two years like smartphones. Often, industrial equipment is not turned off for years, making ongoing software upgrades difficult. Moreover, the results of faulty industrial equipment like aircraft engines can be much more serious than for consumer products.
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What's The Impact Of Content Marketing In The B2B Marketing Mix?

Laura Ramos
I have a confession to make.  I love talking with B2B marketers and clients, but there is one question I get occasionally that really makes me crazy. (And you will hear an earful if you are unfortunate enough to ask it.) 
 
“Laura, which B2B marketing tactic works the best?”
 
And I’m thinking, “Do I look like the Lone Ranger?”
(Silver bullets? Get it?)
 
To be fair, when marketers ask me "What works best?" I don’t really think they are looking for a simple and seemingly magical solution to a complicated problem. Most just want to validate their current choices and ensure they haven't overlooked other viable approaches. But when 87% of B2B marketers say they struggle to develop compelling content, no amount of messing around with the mix will create a significant improvement in results.
 
And now I have research to support that position.  Forrester’s recent report on the state of the B2B marketing mix reveals a couple of very interesting results:
 
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The Next Decade Will Be About The Industrial Internet

Dan Bieler

Photo: Bergmann

“The industrial companies that can bring together cloud, open source, and real-time process management with industrial product cycles will be the ones that will win in the digital transformation process.”

William Ruh, CEO for GE Digital

At Mobile World Congress 2016, GE outlined some fundamental insights about the digital transformation efforts of industrial businesses. William Ruh, CEO for GE Digital, a US$6 billion business of General Electric, shared valuable insights about the digital transformation process that industrial businesses need to tackle.

Digital Transformation Is Happening And Offers New Opportunities

Companies that fail to embrace digitization won’t be able to compete in the next decade. William Ruh stressed that while the past decade was primarily about the consumer Internet, the next decade will be about the industrial Internet. Digitization offers one of the biggest opportunities in many decades to companies that are willing to change:

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The Data Digest: Turn Data Monotony Into Data Mastery

Anjali Lai

Next time you find yourself wading through data points, sifting out patterns from the noise, hoping to catch the rare pearl of insight to affix to your business plan, know that you are not alone. Employees worldwide incessantly engage with data, and the companies they work for urgently execute on data-driven strategies in a race for better, faster results. Data pervades the workplace and continues to grow in terms of volume and variety: Research suggests that by 2020, the number of connected devices will more than triple, tens of thousands of data scientist jobs will be in high demand, and the majority of sales decisions will be data-driven.

But using data regularly doesn’t mean that employees truly understand it – or are comfortable with data practices. Specific obstacles prevent individuals – at the top and bottom of the organization – from eliciting effective insight. Forrester’s Business Technographics® and ConsumerVoices MROC data shows that while individuals rely heavily on data for decision-making, they still grapple with key challenges regarding the accuracy, volume, value, and security of the data they use:

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Beyond ROI: Showcasing The True Impact Of Mobile Marketing

Thomas Husson

My colleague Jenny Wise and I just updated the business case report of Forrester’s mobile marketing playbook with new data, examples and primary research.

B2C Marketers know mobile is a strategic imperative but the vast majority don’t strategically integrate it in their marketing-mix with only 13% saying they do so systematically. Only 27% of marketers we surveyed told us the ROI of their mobile marketing campaigns was profitable and a stunning 67% told us they simply cannot measure it!

Why? Because marketers:

  • Don’t align objectives and KPIs. There is a misalignment between their top objectives — improving customer satisfaction and transforming customer experience, which they barely track.
  • Can only start to benefit from vendors’ advanced ROI tools. Greg Stuart, CEO of Mobile Marketing Association, sums it up better than anyone else: “It seems crazy that CMOs haven’t pushed vendors to do marketing mix measurement comparing TV, mobile, and all other media and that the MMA, working with our research partners, is the only entity to have developed an industry methodology for an opportunity this obvious and big”. You can find out more on MMA's SMoX research here.
  • Find it difficult to measure the impact of mobile on other channels, especially offline.
  • Have limited mobile expertise of their own.
  • Can’t prove they need it to take budget from existing pools.
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12 Quick Observations On The Content Marketing Vendors In That Supergraphic

Ryan Skinner

Two days ago, Scott Brinker published his annual marketing technology supergraphic. It's now grown to some 3,800 vendors.*

There are, by my count, 159 vendors categorized in the content marketing part of his uberstack.

Some quick analysis of this collection:

  • First of all, a blob of logos is hard to relate to (but it looks intriguing, so I know why Scott does it). To see the 'content marketing' vendors in a more usable way, I made a list in this spreadsheet (three relevant colums: all 159 vendors, the 89 new ones he added this year, and the 21 that departed, for varying reasons).
  • Only a small handful of these vendors would ever be considered as an enterprise content marketing platform. Nine of these vendors made that cut last year.
  • The longer and harder you look at any space, the more vendors you will find. Vendors that were new this year, but which have been around for several years, include DivvyHQ, Inpowered, Livefyre, Oracle Content Marketing, Nativo, Outbrain, Pressly, Sprinklr, Taboola, TechValidate, TrackMaven, and Uberflip. It's possible many other of the 89 'new' entrants are not new, but I don't know them as well.
  • Only three of the 21 departed from the space are 'presumed dead'. The remainder were recategorized, pivoted or acquired (Storify by Livefyre, and Docalytics by Contently). Some pivots are likely equivalent to 'presumed dead' (in the content marketing space).
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Digital Innovation Labs For Customers: Do They Inspire?

Nigel Fenwick

EinsteinMany technology vendors tell me they have established digital innovation labs as a place to bring customers and inspire them. So I was wondering, have you and your leadership team visited such a lab? If so, I'd like to hear from you:

  • What did you like? 
  • What didn't work so well?
  • Were any of your expectations not met?
  • Did your team come away inspired?
  • If so, what did you do differently as a result?
  • What would you like to see more of?

Drop me a confidential note via Twitter @NigelFenwick, LinkedIn or email me (or simply comment below - not confidential).

(If you're a vendor with an innovation lab, send me a factsheet about your lab(s)). 

Thanks.

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Sales Enablement Automation – A View Of The Landscape

Steven Wright

In the days before Waze, Google Maps, or even Mapquest, when I needed to figure out how to get somewhere in Southern California, I relied on the Thomas Guide. Still available for many areas, the thick, spiral-bound tome was the location bible. It was not the easiest thing to use. Everyone’s copy was dog-eared through constant flipping back and forth to compare the street name index at the back with the coordinates on the correct map-page at the front. It was time-consuming, and sometimes confusing if you didn’t know the exact version of the street – court versus place versus avenue – or what section of the street you were looking for.

The market landscape for sales enablement automation solutions has been in the Thomas Guide phase of finding solutions.  There are a wide range of vendors, with a correspondingly wide range of offerings and capabilities. That leads to the web-based equivalent of flipping back and forth trying to map what it is they really do to where you want to go.

The latest Forrester Vendor Landscape: Sales Enablement Automation Solutions and the related toolkit, which includes detailed profiles, looks at 18 vendors and calls out key functions and considerations when starting a search for a sales enablement solution. It discusses why B2B marketers should focus on content, understand how to present and recommend from the seller’s point of view, leverage engagement analytics for multiple audiences, and more.

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The State Of Mobile Marketer Tactics: 2016

Thomas Husson

I quite like this provocative sausage dog picture because it forces marketers to think differently about responsive web design (RWD). More often than not, marketers scale content down to fit a smaller screen; because they then claim that they use RWD and have some mobile apps, they think they have checked the mobile box. In fact, RWD was by far the most common tactic that marketers were using or planning to use in 2015: Only 9% of marketers we surveyed are not planning to use it. When fully implemented, RWD can improve the user experience, but more often than not, it’s implemented as a quick fix to the problem of multiple screen sizes. It often prevents marketers from thinking about the need to contextualize offerings for different devices. Customers do not necessarily want the same content across all their screens. However, a scarily high percentage of marketers we surveyed — 47% — admit their mobile services are primarily a scaled-down version of their PC services. In short: 

  • Marketers misuse mobile marketing tactics. B2C marketers often focus too much on piloting the latest mobile shiny objects and, unfortunately, do not invest enough in adapting to mobile experiences’ core touchpoints -- like email or search -- that most consumers use to engage with brands.
  • Use mobile to transform brand experiences. Too few marketers think of mobile as an opportunity to transform the brand experience. To really differentiate themselves, they should develop mobile-unique interactions delivering visible value with apps, messaging, and online-to-offline tactics.
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Forrester’s FSI Summit In Singapore: Accelerating Digital Business And Innovation In Financial Services

Dane Anderson

A recent Forrester survey found that business leaders in the financial services industry (FSI) saw 34% of revenues in 2015 generated through digital products and services or products sold online. Their expectation is that this digital quotient will surge to more than half of their business by 2020, leading to a digital arms (and capabilities) race against a new breed of competitor. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon accurately sums up the new competitive dynamic when he notes that “there are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking.”

Our inaugural invitation-only summit in Singapore on Friday, April 15 will bring together an intimate group of senior executives from banks, insurance companies, and fintech firms to share Forrester’s latest FSI digital business research and facilitate a discussion with industry leaders. Our team of esteemed analysts will lead the discussion; here is a snapshot of the topics that will be presented on the morning of the summit:

  • Frederic Giron (Vice President and Research Director serving CIOs – Singapore): Accelerating Digital Business In Financial Services
  • Oliwia Berdak (Senior Analyst serving eBusiness and channel strategy professionals – London): How To Organize For Digital Financial Innovation
  • Randy Heffner (Vice President and Principal Analyst serving application development and delivery professionals – Dallas): APIs Take Center Stage In Financial Services
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