Welcome to the age of the customer, a time where consumers can get what they want, when, where, and how they want to. Or at least they expect to because that's how their life is panning out more often than not. But what happens when they don't get something that seems obvious? An example: Five years ago this month, a Spotify user posted a request on the company's Live Ideas feature request, titled, "Explicit Button." The request was simple, at least from a digital customer's point of view:
Now five years later, the request has yet to be implemented, despite having achieved 7,463 upvotes from the Spotify member community. This makes it the most upvoted, unimplemented idea in the community. Yet there it sits. Search for explicit lyrics & Spotify and you'll get at least dozens, probably hundreds (I won't take time to count but you are welcome to) of complaints. Lots of people claim to have left Spotify over it. Others continue to listen but are angry about it. Spotify did respond in 2016 by saying:
This is wonderful: We have heard you, we agree with you. But we haven't yet done anything about it nor do we have plans to do so. What's up, Spotify?
If you took your company name and logo off of your marketing collateral, would the reader still know that it came from your firm? How strongly does your brand shine through in unique language, perspective, and distinct value?
You can ask the same about your marketing performance reports. Are the metrics that you use to demonstrate success unique? Do they reflect your firm’s core priorities? Without these distinctions, you may be providing a collection of data that is ultimately disconnected from decision making.
If your marketing reports don’t enable performance management, it’s time that they do. Eighty-two percent of CMOs report that their goals directly align to revenue targets. But many practitioners acknowledge that marketing performance management programs require significant tuning to link marketing results to decision making and revenue outcomes.
The window of opportunity for you to lead your marketing department toward revenue relevance is closing. I suggest that you do the following before it shuts:
Uncover your firm’s explicit path to revenue. You might be satisfied to make your numbers, but switch your focus to supporting a revenue mix that reflects your firm’s most strategic priorities. Get in lockstep with your organization’s explicit path to revenue. Perhaps this is net new customer acquisition from a specific industry, building out the market presence of a specific segment of the product portfolio, or customer service proficiency for up-sell and renewal revenue in a specific business line.
The born-digital “unicorn” companies such as Etsy, Google and Netflix, are pioneers of modern DevOps, but BT leaders at companies of all ages, sizes, and types are now eagerly pursuing the same principles.[i] The pressure for speed and quality is DevOps becoming pivotal for all organizations. For example, KeyBank are leveraging DevOps to quickly deliver business new customer capability using streamlined coordination between application development and operations. DevOps is allowing KeyBank to shorten delivery time by up to 85% and reduce defects by at least 30%. According to a 2016 State of DevOps report, high performers are twice as likely to exceed their organization’s profitability, market share, and productivity goals.[ii]
Understand Your Company's Requirements For Modern Service Delivery
If you think digital asset management solutions are a relic of the past or a graveyard of static assets then you’re dead wrong. While complementary technologies like web content management, content marketing platforms, and product information management offer DAM-like capabilities, most marketers still prefer to use a dedicated DAM.
Keep in mind these key considerations when weighing a DAM investment:
DAM can serve as the central hub for your content. DAM solutions of today sit squarely between upstream creative workflows and downstream delivery mechanisms. If you have multiple systems that need to access rich media content, a dedicated DAM is the core repository that serves that content into a presentation layer.
DAM supports complex workflows and multiple stakeholders. DAM systems have integrated components of marketing resource management (MRM) technologies around planning and allocation of resources. DAM allows your team to pass around an asset for creative and legal approval. Each stakeholder can annotate assets and review iterations before creative teams finalize assets.
This week I spoke on "The Experience Economy" at a client conference where attendees were primarily from the financial services industry. At the conference the opening keynote was by a renowned "futurist". Most futurists don't claim to predict the future, they extrapolate the trends they see around them today to help prepare you for what is likely to come. Interestingly, that's exactly what analysts at Forrester do every day. Perhaps that's why I feel "futurists" are over-hyped – I had expected more from the keynote.
In side conversations with attendees I shared my own "futurist" thoughts on the impending death of the financial services industry. Indeed after chatting for a while, one attendee even suggested I should rename my speech "The Death Of Financial Services" just to get people's attention. It seems many people in the industry haven't been paying enough attention to what's going on in technology.
Social media is human. It’s embedded in local cultural context of consumer needs, affinities, and behaviors. But to serve consumers, multinational companies need effective social intelligence to keep a finger on the global pulse of brands and simultaneously inspire local-relevant campaign content and interaction. So how do you start on this journey? My colleague Cinny Little and I have recently published a report that provides practical guidance on executing on this tender global / local balance. A summary of our take:
You need a Center of Excellence (COE). A center of excellence’s mandate is to drive common approaches and processes that enable generating insights from the data and assessing results across brands and regions. But a center of excellence isn’t a one-time a project that you can check off your company’s digital transition list. It’s a long-term commitment to establishing purpose, people, processes, and platforms that enable data- and insights-sharing across departments. Our research show that the success factors for building an effective COE for social intelligence require you to:
The Future of Retail Will Blow Your Mind. A bold claim? You bet.
The retail industry is facing a tectonic shift. Empowered customers are challenging age-old truths every day. New distribution channels, e-commerce impacting physical stores, new payment systems and innovative technical solutions disrupt old operating models. Mobile and wearables connect customers wherever they are. Retailers face new and unprecedented challenges.
But you know this, right? You’ve developed a digital strategy. You’re selling online. You’ve got a mobile app. Maybe some digital signage in your stores. You’re sorted.
While data governance has been a business need for years, it is becoming more visible as a center-stage business concern. Driving this shift are new regulations and new requirements addressing consumer data ownership, privacy, and business data monetization. Two of the most important regulations are the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision regulation 239 (BCBS 239). Forrester recognized this change three years ago when we described the evolution of data governance away from “data input quality” toward “data usage,” which we call data governance 2.0. Some emerging data governance solution vendors, like Collibra and GDE, have moved aggressively to address the new requirements of data governance 2.0. However, larger established vendors like IBM, Informatica, SAS, and SAP have moved more slowly, instead prioritizing investments in developing a platform supporting systems of insight.
Two recently announced acquisitions demonstrate that the larger established vendors now recognize the need for renewed data governance offerings:
Informatica’s purchase of the Diaku Axon platform. Announced on February 22, the acquisition of the Diaku Axon platform adds business-oriented capabilities like vertical knowledge (finance) and support of regulations such as GDPR and BCBS 239 to Informatica’s current data governance execution capabilities (DQ, MDM, security/masking).
Just about every company Forrester works with tells us they are driving to become Digital Businesses. But not just ‘digital’ as a technology imperative – they are investing in digital to dramatically change how they serve their customers – with target benefits rippling over to customer retention and acquisition. We call this focus Customer-obsessed Digital Business.
There are four critical success factors for customer-obsessed digital business:
They are customer-led. Their customers – what they value and how to best serve their needs — are the center of business strategy and their operating model.
They are insight-driven. Decisions — both the day-to-day operational as well as the strategic — are based on deep insights into their customers, markets, and the broader ecosystem.
They move fast. They use speed to continually evolve how they go to market and serve their customers. They balance opportunity — which must be responded to quickly — with caution — a desire to ‘be perfect out of the gate’.
They are connected. They break down silos so as to have a shared understanding of business goals, and use a multi-discipline approach executing on strategy.
I spent a few days in India this month, and couldn’t help but be struck by an advertisement for a soft drink that played endlessly on television. Two convertibles pull up alongside each other on what looks like a pristine expressway. Perky members of the opposite sex exchange amorous glances and flirtations ensue. Bottles of the soft drink are cracked open, and predictable mirth ensues. Life is good with sweet lemony soda water.
For the uninitiated who think this is just another soda ad, it may be difficult to gauge how entirely ludicrous this scene is. Roads in urban metros in India are pummeled by a crush of traffic and the cacophony of horns almost at all times. The New York times reported this month that India has surpassed China in air pollution and that about 1.1 million people die prematurely in the country every year from the pollution. Anyone foolish enough to ride in a convertible would be served well by a gas mask. Public mating rituals common to Western cultures are found only in a sliver of society much narrower than the mass market for a soft drink. “Eve Teasing,” a euphemism for public sexual aggression targeted against women, is a major concern.
So where did reality and depiction of reality part ways? Are these, dare we whisper, Alternative Facts?