Digital Business Q&A with Liza Landsman,

Martin Gill

Deliver exceptional digital experiences. It sounds easy enough, but to win in the age of the customer, businesses must realize that there is much at stake if they do not focus efforts on providing customers with a solid customer experience. Forrester even argues that, in the coming years, it’s the customer obsessed digital leaders who will push far ahead of their competition. But how can they get there?

To help digital leaders exceed the expectations of their empowered customers, Forrester has designed this week’s Digital Business Forum around how to build a strategy that works — now and in the future. Liza Landsman, executive vice president and chief customer officer of will be on stage alongside Forrester analysts Stephen Powers, Adam Silverman and Alyson Clarke to share her experience in digital business transformation.

At, Liza is responsible for producing a compelling end-to-end customer experience with the tools and technologies that drive growth. I’m happy to share the below Q&A session with Liza — I caught up with her in advance of her keynote, and she was kind enough to chat about digital strategy and customer behaviors, and the ways that handles its competition.

Enjoy, and I hope to see you in Chicago today!

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Build More Effective Data Visualizations

Boris Evelson
Industry-renowned data visualization expert Edward Tufte once said: "The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat. How are we to represent the rich visual world of experience and measurement on mere flatland?" He's right: There's too much information out there for knowledge workers to effectively analyze — be they hands-on analysts, data scientists, or senior execs. More often than not, traditional tabular reports fail to paint the whole picture or, even worse, lead you to the wrong conclusion. AD&D pros should be aware that data visualization can help for a variety of reasons:
  • Visual information is more powerful than any other type of sensory input. Dr. John Medina asserts that vision trumps all other senses when it comes to processing information; we are incredible at remembering pictures. Pictures are also more efficient than text alone because our brain considers each word to be a very small picture and thus takes more time to process text. When we hear a piece of information, we remember 10% of it three days later; if we add a picture, we remember 65% of it. There are multiple explanations for these phenomena, including the fact that 80% to 90% of information received by the brain comes through the eyes, and about half of your brain function is dedicated directly or indirectly to processing vision.
  • We can't see patterns in numbers alone . . . Simply seeing numbers on a grid doesn't always give us the whole story — and it can even lead us to draw the wrong conclusion. Anscombe's quartet demonstrates this effectively; four groups of seemingly similar x/y coordinates reveal very different patterns when represented in a graph.
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AT&T Delivers Its Network On Demand

Dan Bieler

I believe that network-as-a-service-type offerings — where customers can control the provisioning and characteristics of their network transport services — will have a long-term impact on those enterprises undertaking digital transformation. Businesses that fail to recognize the significance of quality network infrastructure will undermine their digital business strategy. Secure, stable network connectivity is a prerequisite for using cloud, mobile, big data, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions. As the business technology (BT) agenda gains momentum, CIOs are looking to technologies like virtualization and cloud that create agility by dynamically responding to business conditions. Network infrastructure has been a laggard on this score — until now.

AT&T has unveiled its solution, Network on Demand. It’s the basis for a new category of services aligned with customer requirements, including self-service access, control, and configuration of network bandwidth and features like security, routing, and load balancing. Network on Demand:

  • Gives customers control of network services. Network on Demand offers a completely different customer experience regarding network provisioning. Near-real-time provisioning via a self-service portal makes the customer’s network responsive to business needs.
  • Is a real game changer in the realm of connectivity solutions. As on-demand networks take off, products have the potential to become features on an access pipe that customers can turn on and off rather than remaining standalone "silo production".
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Why IBM Bought The Weather Channel: My Quick Thoughts

Ted Schadler

Today, IBM "has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties, including WSI,, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand." This deal does not include The Weather Channel programming.

I spent my early cable TV years watching Jim Cantore and his colleagues tell us which storm was about to slam us. We watched while those cheery commentators predicted a massive Nor'easter in Baltimore on my wedding day in January 1996. Oh boy did we get that storm. The city shut down for almost a week. (We just kept the party going.)

So why did IBM do this deal? In a conversations with IBM's Bob Picciano and TWC CEO David Kenny, it became clear that three things drove this deal:

  • Massive amounts of atmospheric data. Digital weather is the most important exogenous data source on the planet. Weather sets the mood of the nation and all us citizens. If you want insight into people's actions, the  global supply chain, and myriad risks and opportunities, forecast the weather. TWC already handles 26 billion API calls for this data each and every day.
  • A powerful data ingestion platform. TWC ingests 40 terabytes of every day, maybe 15 times more data than even Google. TWC's data from sensors, cameras, satellites, radar, and 150,00 citizen meteorologists is the largest source of crowdsourced and engineered environmental data on the planet. 
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It All Comes Back To The Basics

Rebecca McAdams

Last week, Sailthru held it’s annual Lift 2015 conference, where it debuted new product releases and enhancements, and delved into the strategies and tactics that leading digital marketers have employed with success to increase retention, decrease churn, and create lasting profitability. One-to-one personalization was a resounding theme throughout the conference, that hit on three critical components marketers should keep in mind:


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Join Forrester's 2015 China Social Marketing Online Survey

Xiaofeng Wang

Forrester’s 2015 online survey for social marketing in China is now open. If you’re a marketing leader who is involved in social marketing in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

Based on the survey results, we will update the Benchmarking Social Marketing Efforts In China report published in November 2013. The updated report will help marketers check if their social marketing efforts are keeping pace with those of their peers.

Why is your input important? This survey will help us:

  • Understand your key focuses in social marketing. Marketing leaders in China put a lot of faith in social marketing and adopt various social platforms and tactics. This data will help you benchmark your key focus for social marketing.
  • Outline your pain points in achieving your social marketing goals. Marketing leaders in China are increasingly investing in social media and expect positive returns, but face internal and external challenges to achieving their business goals.

We will use the results to help marketing leaders in China:

  • Understand key trends to prioritize social marketing efforts. We will highlight the most important social platforms and tactics that you need to focus on and help you prioritize your social marketing efforts effectively.
  • Overcome key social marketing challenges. We will analyze the main challenges that social marketers face in China and help you plan and evaluate your social marketing strategies better.
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Joining The B2C Research Team Ranks

Rebecca McAdams

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been at Forrester over a year and a half now, originally coming from an analyst support role, to more recently, working with Shar VanBoskirk to drive our research around email marketing. I’m excited to announce that, going forward, I will be leading our coverage of the technologies, services, and analytics that support email marketing.

My first report in this new role was an update to our email marketing playbook assessment chapter. This report allows marketers to assess their email marketing campaigns around specific benchmarks defined by Forrester that assess both their business processes, as well as the user experience of their campaigns. Building off of this assessment, I will be publishing an update to our “Best And Worst Of Email Marketing” playbook report, with an assessment of 70 email campaigns, benchmarked against the criteria from the report mentioned above.

I am looking forward to getting to know many of you better and following the evolution of this exciting space. Whether you have insights to share, questions to ask, or email technology and services that you want to tell me about, I want to hear from you! Please engage with me via our inquiry and/or briefing teams, or track me down at Forrester’s upcoming Marketing 2016 Event (April 26, 2016).

Most Marketers Don't Use Social Relationship Platforms

Nate Elliott

Social Relationship Platforms (SRPs) like Sprinklr, Sprefast, and Hootsuite save marketers time and help them more effectively manage their branded Facebook pages and Twitter accounts -- but most marketers still don't use these valuable tools.

We recently analyzed the Facebook posts made by 5,000 large brand pages and found that two-thirds post exclusively through Facebook's native tools. That's right: 67% of the biggest brands we could find didn't make a single Facebook post through a third-party vendor during the six week window we studied.

Most social marketers post exclusively through Facebook native tools

Twitter marketers are more likely than Facebook marketers to use SRPs -- but not by much. We looked at almost 3,000 large Twitter accounts and found that about half post natively 50% of the time or more.

Even when marketers do hire social relationship platforms, they often do most of their posting natively. This was true on both the social networks we studied, but it's especially pronounced on Twitter. In fact, most SRPs find the majority of their clients do at least 50% of their Twitter posting natively.

Most Twitter Marketers That Use Social Relationship Platforms Use Them Less Than Half The Time

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A Successful Case Of Positive Social Marketing ROI

Xiaofeng Wang

Marketing leaders face the challenge of achieving a positive ROI —in fact, it is the top challenge for the digital marketers we surveyed in China earlier this year. Fortunately, a few marketers have managed to achieve this, and Spring Airlines is one of them. My recently published report, Case Study: Spring Airlines' Digital Business Takes Off With Social Marketing, tells its success story. From it, B2C marketers can learn how to achieve positive returns on their investments in social marketing initiatives and support their transition to a digital business.

As a private airline and the first budget carrier in China, Spring Airlines is performing well despite fierce competition from much larger state-owned competitors with more resources. Since the airline’s launch a decade ago, Spring’s B2C marketing professionals have focused on making the airline's business operations as digital as possible in order to:

  • Keep operating costs low.Unlike its main competitors, Spring receives no financial support from the government. To keep operating costs low, Spring bypasses travel agents, selling tickets exclusively via its official website and some designated ticket offices.
  • Support its challenger status and catalyze customer obsession. To compensate for its smaller scale and resources, Spring successfully differentiated its brand as an early adopter of digital, mobile, and social and built an extremely close relationship with its customers.
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Verifone Puts New Stake in The Ground With Developer Platform

Brendan Miller
Yesterday Verifone announced a next generation family of payment devices, called Verifone Engage.  Verifone promises to wrap more value around the merchant-consumer interaction at the point-of-purchase with new personalized marketing features, pay-with-points and rewards.  In addition, they introduced an expanded Verifone Commerce Platform giving developers the tools to publish POS apps to a new App Marketplace for merchants.  They Linux based devices will provide an accessible and well-known framework for developers to innovate upon.  Software based solutions are transforming the industry and Verifone risked getting commoditized as a hardware vendor if it didn’t act by building a platform and marketplace for developers.   
What does this mean for the rest of the Payments Industry? Two stakeholders in particular will be impacted.  
POS Developers (ISVs) – Engage is a good development for the POS developer community and merchants.  The whole mission of a POS is to improve the customer experience at the point of purchase and streamline back-office processes for the merchant.  ISVs could integrate with Engage hardware and offer merchants more services through the Verifone App Marketplace, publish apps of their own, and potentially earn new residual revenue sources from merchants paying to use those applications.
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