Marketers: Face it. Consumers are skipping, blocking, and paying to avoid your ads.
We are in a Tragedy of the Commons for consumer attention. Consumers are rejecting the modus operandi of “more” - more ads in more places more often. Forrester Consumer Technographics data for 2016 shows that nearly one third of US online adults say they currently use an ad blocker and 48% say they actively avoid ads on websites.
In 2017 B2C Marketers will choose quality over quantity advertising. This doesn't mean no advertising - just better advertising. And better for everyone involved.
In Prediction 2017: The Dawn of ‘Less Is More’ In Marketing, we predict the entire marketing ecosystem will adapt to diminished ad consumption. We will see new standards for higher quality formats, new pricing to reflect that quality, and new attention-based measurement. Better access to data, adtech and martech, and super-marketers with skills to apply these tools make it happen.
Bleary eyed baseball fans are waking up to the unimaginable: the beloved Cubs broke their 108 year old dry spell and won the World Series. Their quest to World Series champions was a mix of talent, dedication, heart…and data. Data, you say? Yes, data. Baseball franchises are enamored with using data to make smarter trades, shift line-ups, field position, and predict player performance. But how did the Cubs move to a data driven baseball organization? One man helped transform baseball from a gut decision strategy to using information, using data to make decisions: Theo Epstein.
Theo Epstein is credited for the breaking the Red Sox World Series curse using data and insights to make strategic player acquisitions, changes in field play, and predict how players would perform. He took his data talent over to the Chicago Cubs, where he made some major trades and empowered the coach to make data driven field and batting changes. His data driven approach helped transform the way franchises think about baseball. Less gut, more information to help drive decisions.
Marketers must embrace the baseball management mentality: use data to shift marketing strategies at the moment of need. Marketers can use past marketing performance data, customer insights, and competitive information to:
Just like many other research groups at Forrester Research in the past weeks, our team has gotten together, discussed, and agreed on a series of predictions for 2017 that will affect business-to-business (B2B) marketing professionals’ work. Forrester’s clients can review these in full detail in the published report, but here are some of the highlights. We have grouped our predictions into three sections.
Part 1: Account-Based Marketing Will Come Of Age In 2017
In 2016, vendors and consultants seriously hyped account-based marketing (ABM) — such that B2B marketing interest in it skyrocketed. In 2017, marketers will seriously consider new customer-obsessed approaches that team up marketing and sales to grow long-term highly engaged revenue relationships with key clients. ABM is a retro idea with revolutionary impact — especially when B2B marketing pros apply it to deepen relationships with the right customers at scale. And in 2017, we predict that ABM will:
Make the lead funnel (or waterfall) essentially obsolete.
Give marketing more ownership over post-sale customer experience (CX).
If you follow my blog regularly, you already know that I love to travel. And while I’ve had my fair share of travel hiccups (missed flight connections, last-minute assignments to the dreaded middle seat, lost luggage – you name it), I’ve always glossed over these snafus and accepted the fact that traveling inevitably comes with a few small challenges.
Until this year, when I hit executive traveler status on a major airline thanks to the loyalty points I amassed during my trips. Suddenly, my tolerable travel experiences became overwhelmingly enjoyable ones, and I quickly came to love (a word I don’t use loosely!) flying with this airline because of the VIP treatment. My reaction isn’t unique. In fact, it’s characteristic of my generation: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that Millennials highly value loyalty programs that reward customers with enhanced customer service and special status, as Millennials cherish this sense of validation and exclusivity.
Specifically, our data shows that the loyalty program reward tactics that work for middle-aged and older consumers are not enough to satisfy Millennials. While customers of every generation want discounts, Millennials also expect loyalty programs to offer a premium customer experience. And what’s more, younger consumers want the flexibility of applying loyalty points to a variety of benefits – from travel upgrades to digital media content to charitable donations – while their older counterparts are happy using their points to get cash back.
We media analysts here at Forrester think that next year:
· Big, established media companies will disrupt themselves. As consumers’ media consumption continues to both increase in the aggregate and fracture across even more devices, media companies will invent new ways to develop content that captures their attention. The AT&T/Time Warner deal isn’t the end: look for other content and distribution companies to explore how to partner for the most advantageous commercial relationships between them and advertisersand consumers.
· Marketers will step up to change the advertising calculus. Historically, marketers have been reluctant to upset the delicate balance among them, content providers and agencies. But in 2017, we’ll see advertisers demanding better quality ad products, inventive sponsorship opportunities and clearer measurement from their partners in return for their massive dollars.
The rise of mobile networks, improved wireless tech, and rapid sensor innovation over the past 10 years has enabled companies to use internet-connected sensors and actuators to improve business operations and transform products. The ever-increasing number of connected devices is opening up new business models and new opportunities for both tech vendors and end users; as a result, IoT is becoming an essential cornerstone of the business technology agenda. Enterprise architecture professionals must define a holistic IoT software architecture to navigate through the complex technology landscape.
I’ve recently published tworeports focusing on how to architect the IoT software stack. These reports analyze the heat maps and trends around IoT adoption in China and introduce Forrester’s IoT technology stack reference architecture. They also show EA pros how to achieve strategic business outcomes and unleash the power of digital business by analyzing the IoT practices of visionary Chinese firms. Some of the key takeaways:
Successful IoT initiatives yield substantial business value. Outstanding IoT initiatives achieves strategic outcomes, such as competitive differentiation, customer experience enhancement, and asset performance optimization. Chinese companies have successfully launched IoT initiatives to establish their digital business in various industries, including energy, automotive, logistics, and manufacturing.
Cloud platforms from the global megacloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, CenturyLink, and SAP will set the pace, accelerating adoption of private cloud and hosted private cloud as well. In 2017, you need to:
Get your private cloud and SaaS strategy in shape in 2017 — start now!
Educate yourself about exciting developments in hyperconverged infrastructure, security, networking, and containers.
Take a fresh look at your regional and industry-specific cloud providers — specialization is afoot.
2016 is the second year that Forrester is co-sponsoring the Digital Marketing Awards China with the China chapter of the CMO Club. The goal: Inspire Chinese marketers by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.
We’re now accepting entries online. This is our chance to recognize the very best digital marketing programs in the country, and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. Our deadline for entries is November 18, 2016.
We are looking for digital marketing programs that clearly deliver against business goals. To determine the winners of the annual Forrester/China CMO Club Digital Marketing Awards China, we focus on how marketers use digital marketing at each stage of the customer life cycle. We create awards in three categories corresponding to different aspects of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR:
Reach: programs that generate brand visibility. Reach efforts drive discovery and awareness. These include word-of-mouth marketing, paid social advertising, and thought leadership.
Depth: programs that close sales. Depth programs pave the path for exploration and buying. These include ratings, reviews, and brand communities for information that helps to close existing prospects or leads.
Relationship: programs that build loyalty. Relationship tactics increase the loyalty and lifetime value of existing customers. These include a consistent presence on a WeChat public account and loyalty programs designed to create repeat business.
When it comes to their customers, Indian organizations are an ambitous lot. In a Forrester survey of Indian business and technology decision-makers, 70% of respondents said CX was going to be high or critical priority for their companies. But that is just one part of the story. CX is about what customers perceive, not what companies claim. What do Indian customers think about the experiences they have with companies in India?
To find out, in 2016, Forrester used its Customer Experience Index(CX IndexTM) methodology to measure and benchmark the CX of 72 India brands across eight industries.
Forrester’s CX Index score measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. CX Index scores were based on an online survey (fielded in May through July 2016) of 18,033 individuals ages 18 and older in nine metropolitan areas in India.
Compared with 2015, we saw few interesting improvements. For example,
Most industry average scores went up. Each year, we rank industries by the mean scores of their brands. This year, some industry averages increased as much as six points over last year. But last year’s leaders — banks and mobile manufacturers — found it tougher to do, and made only modest gains overall.
Forrester surveyed business and technology professionals and found that 58% of them are researching AI, but only 12% are using AI systems. This gap reflects growing interest in AI, but little actual use at this time. We expect enterprise interest in, and use of, AI to increase as software vendors roll out AI platforms and build AI capabilities into applications. Enterprises that plan to invest in AI expect to improve customer experiences, improve products and services, and disrupt their industry with new business models.
But the burning question is: how can your enterprise use AI today to crush it? To answer this question we first must bring clarity to the nebulous definition of AI.Let’s break it down further:
■ “Artificial” is the opposite of organic. Artificial simply means person-made versus occurring naturally in the universe. Computer scientists, engineers, and developers research, design, and create a combination of software, computers, and machine to manifest AI technology.
■ “Intelligence” is in the eye of the beholder. Philosophers will have job security for a very long time trying to define intelligence precisely. That’s because, intelligence is much tougher to define because we humans routinely assign intelligence to all matter of things including well-trained dachshunds, self-driving cars, and “intelligent” assistants such as Amazon Echo. Intelligence is relative. For AI purists, intelligence is more akin to human abilities. It means the ability to perceive its environment, take actions that satisfy a set of goals, and learn from both successes and failures. Intelligence among humans varies greatly and so too does it vary among AI systems.