Forrester Projects US Tech Market Will Grow By Around 5% In 2017 And 2018

Andrew Bartels

Forrester has just published our updated forecast for the US tech market for 2017-2018 (see “US Tech Market Outlook For 2017 And 2018: Mostly Sunny, With Clouds And Chance Of Rain”). We are forecasting growth of 4.8% in 2017 and 5.2% in 2018 for US business and government spending on tech goods, services, and staff. This forecast assumes moderate US economic growth (2% to 2.5% real GDP growth, 4% to 4.5% nominal GDP growth). Considering  this economic outlook, our updated 2017 forecast is slightly less positive than our December forecast (4.8% vs. 5.1%) for US budget growth in 2017, with our new 2018 forecast pointing to a modest improvement next year.

Three main themes define our updated forecast:

1.    Steady US real economic growth will support moderate growth for US business and government spending. Despite the weak 0.7% real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017, economic forecasts have slightly improved since our post-election update, bolstered by renewed US business confidence. US consumer spending remains strong, as a result of reduced energy costs and low unemployment. We now think it unlikely that the Trump Administration's tax and spending policies in practice will lead to higher growth rates, nor that its actual trade policies will lead to lower growth. However, clouds in the economic outlook could emerge as the effects of rising interest rates, US housing vulnerability, weak US exports from the strong dollar, and anticipated cutting of US government spending take place.

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This Brand Is Your Brand, This Brand Is My Brand

Dipanjan Chatterjee

In my role as adviser to marketing leaders, I am often met with the question: “How do I figure out if it is better to invest in brand or to invest in something else?” To which I often respond with a perplexed, “Is there anything else?”

Brand is what keeps the lights on in my home and the bar stocked with Bourbon, so you will excuse my brazen partiality. But hear me out. Companies take products and services to market and create experiences for prospects and customers – these are “things” that they manage. Brand is an all-encompassing perception that holistically reflects how these “things” are viewed. When the organizational gods draw their charts, they more often than not drop brand in the domain of marketing. Indeed, there is an umbilical relationship between brand and marketing, but it would be entirely erroneous to view brand as circumscribed by marketing. Anything and anyone that shapes brand perception drives brand.

The brand does not belong to the CMO alone. It belongs to all, from the CEO on-high, to the front-line brand ambassadors. It runs from the fountainhead of marketing through every part of the business, from ritzy show rooms, through distribution warehouses, to IT data centers. If you listen hard, you may hear a Woody Guthrie variant reverberate off cubicle walls: "This brand was made for you and me." This is the anthem for modern marketing.

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Adaptable Teams Prevail Over Mythical Retail End Times

The press continues to highlight bankruptcies and store closings to support a theory that the entire retail market is in a death spiral.  However, neither bankruptcies nor store closings accurately reflect the state of the retail market.  In 2017 we see an actual Wikipedia page dedicated to the ‘retail apocalypse’.  Headlines span the past seven years touting the doom of retail:

Retail Apocalypse Headlines from 2010-2017

 
Bankruptcies Aren’t Proxies For Retail Market Health…
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The State Of Mobile Marketer Tactics 2017

Thomas Husson

I just published a new report to help marketers benchmark the mobile tactics and technologies their B2C marketer peers use and are planning to use in the next 12 months. The key findings are as below:

  • Marketers Misuse Mobile Marketing Tactics

B2C marketers often focus too much on piloting the latest mobile shiny object (see graphic below); unfortunately, they fail to adequately invest in the core mobile 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 truly differentiate themselves, marketers should develop mobile-unique interactions delivering visible value with apps, messaging, and online-to offline tactics.

  • Insights And Constant Optimization Are Key To Unlocking Mobile’s Full Potential

To rethink how mobile could transform the customer journey, marketers should use ethnographic research and journey maps to develop a more holistic vision of their customer behaviors that leverage contextual data. Testing and learning will not be enough — the use of optimization techniques must be systematic.

Clients willing to know more can access the full report here.

Cloudera IPO Highlights The Big Data And Hadoop Opportunity

Jennifer Adams

Last week, Cloudera successfully completed an IPO, raising $259 million of equity capital, including the over-allotment option. Shares were priced at $15 per share and traded up to over $18 per share on the first day of trading, giving investors a 20%+ return.

Cloudera describes itself as a company that “empowers organizations to become data‑driven enterprises in the newly hyperconnected world.” Cloudera, founded in 2008, was the first commercial Hadoop player and is a Leader in Mike Gualtieri and Noel Yuhanna’s The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Hadoop Distributions, Q1 2016.

Last August, Forrester published its first Big Data Management Solutions Forecast, 2016 To 2021 (Global). In our forecast, we highlighted Hadoop as the fastest-growing sector, at a 32.9% CAGR over the 2016 to 2021 period. We estimate that firms will spend nearly $800 million on Hadoop and Hadoop-related services in 2017 and that this will grow to $2.3 billion by 2021.

In its S-1 filing, Cloudera reported revenues of $109 million, $166 million, and $261 million in the years ending January 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. This represents 52% year-over-year growth in 2016, accelerating to 57% year-over-year growth in 2017. Cloudera’s customer base is primarily Global 8000 companies, accounting for 73% of revenues.

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Facebook Knows Your Emotions, So What?

James McQuivey

A minor ruckus ensued this week when major media reported that Facebook knows how its users feel. It appears that some believe that the world is therefore coming to a nefarious end. As in, "Lions, and tigers, and emotions, Oh my!"

The specific incident involved an analysis that some of Facebook's team undertook in Australia, the results of which were shared in a private conversation with a potential advertiser down under. The reaction of the major media and many voices online was to immediately panic. The objections were straightforward: a) Facebook is snooping into people's lives and learning things it ought not (in this case, insecure teenagers, which seems all the more troublesome), b) Facebook wants to sell this ill-gotten knowledge to advertisers, and c) Facebook and advertisers are in colusion to commit some kind of terrible maniuplation of humanity.

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In the war for talent, traditional enterprises must pick fights they can win

Paul Miller

19th century chemical plant in Scotland

(St. Rollox Chemical Works in Scotland by D.O. Hill, 1831. Image source: Wikipedia)

The world of work is changing, with my colleague JP Gownder among those doing a great job tracking the shift.

Despite — or perhaps because of — digitisation, robots, globalisation (and its opposite), and a less loyal workforce, competition for digital talent is high. The darlings of Silicon Valley slug it out, paying ever-higher salaries and offering ever-more excessive perks, in desperate bids to grab talent from one competitor. And then they engage in an even more desperate bid to dissuade them from jumping ship when the next offer comes in.

Spare a thought, then, for the poor traditional enterprise. It needs pretty much the same digital talent. But it can rarely afford the same rapidly inflating salaries. It is unlikely to have as cool a brand. A cubicle and a dress code is — unfairly — assumed to be more likely than an in-house chef or stock options.

And yet, in some recent research I did, these staid, lumbering, stuffy giants of yesteryear are putting up a great fight… and often winning.

There’s plenty they — and you — can do. There’s plenty they are doing. And a lot of it comes down to challenging the assumption that every great digitally savvy employee wants to live their life at a Valley startup. That’s simply not true.

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The Data Digest: Youth’s Scattered Social Mobile Behaviors

Reineke Reitsma

Recently, I was on a road trip in Morocco with my family, including three teenagers. While my interest in their phone usage at home mostly concentrates on the amount of time they spend on their devices, during the trip I got firsthand insight into how they use their phones. All three of them used it as a lifeline to their friends at home in the Netherlands, but it was amazing to see how each of them does that in a totally different way. My 16-year-old son was primarily “apping” (texting using Whatsapp) with his friends and sending the occasional picture; my 14-year-old daughter was trying to keep her Snapchat “streaks” alive while dealing with bad Wi-Fi signals and long road trips; while my 12-year-old daughter was vlogging all day about everything she encountered and uploading the videos when we had a signal. Part of these differences in behavior can be explained by their characters, but it’s mostly the result of the two-year age gaps between them. Even though they are all in their teens, they grew up with different digital platforms and capabilities.

The Forrester Data Consumer Technographics North American Youth Survey, 2017 (US), also shows this. More than half of US youth use YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook daily. But when we dive a level deeper, we see that the 14 and 15 year olds are more likely to post online than their 16- and 17-year-old peers.

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Zero Trust for MeatWare: It Applies to Us Humans Too

Chase Cunningham

Zero Trust principles have, thus far, been mainly aimed at the network and the technology that makes our interconnected systems “live.” That’s how the concept was originally meant to be applied, but the reality of the threat vectors and need for better security capabilities means that Zero Trust has to adapt just like everything else does. The concept for Zero Trust is super, and it's being adopted at quite a few major organizations, but there's still a problem:

 

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Back To Basics: How The Most Improved US Auto Insurers Mastered The Mobile Customer Experience

Ellen Carney

The results are in!  Along with my fellow researchers August Du Pont, Mike Chirokas, I  just completed our yearly review of the mobile features offered by leading US auto insurers.[i]   In our fourth year of assessing these essential portable features, these 13 auto insurers achieved an impressive average score of 75 out of 100, seven points higher than our 2015 benchmark, even as we raised the bar in terms of our expected performance of these mobile auto insurance features. 

What were the key takeaways from this year’s study?

  • Geico again leads; Allstate squeezes past USAA by a nose.  With a nearly perfect score of 96 out of 100, Geico retained its lead among the 13 US auto insurers we evaluated. Allstate’s strong mobile capabilities moved it up into second place, a nostril ahead of USAA.
  • Many digital teams have made big improvements.  Nationwide, The Hartford, Esurance, State Farm, and American Family all improved their mobile services substantially.  Leading digital insurance teams are creating more personalized and simplified experiences, and they are providing more guidance to their customers on how to make the most of digital features.
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