Content Marketing Rules, But We Should Not Call It “Marketing Content”

Peter O'Neill

At Forrester, Research Directors do many things around the research process. We help analysts to establish a research agenda and keep them current for the next 12 months – we negotiate the report outlines, edit the drafts, and share the research and reports around other parts of Forrester to ensure consistency. Then, we often create or edit “blurb” text for promotional efforts (tweets, blogs, newsletters). I was sent a proposed blurb (written by our own marketing group) announcing our new report “Make Sales Conversations An Integral Part Of Your Content Marketing Plans”. The blurb said

“Getting Sales to be the content concierge for marketing content.”

I stared at the sentence for a long time. Is that we mean? Do we want to force-feed marketing content to our sales colleagues? Calling it “marketing content” sounded demeaning and confusing; is that Sales’ job – distributing what marketing wants them to distribute? No, of course not. But their job is certainly to share and provide content to their conversation partners that is compelling and interesting and useful – stuff that helps the buyer to proceed down their journey. And the content is usually created by marketing (unless the salesperson cannot find it in which case it is made up on the fly).

So the blurb that ended up in next week’s “Forrester 5” promotional email to be sent to all clients is:

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Online Display And Social Media Advertising Will Account For Nearly A Quarter Of Total European Advertising Revenue By 2020

Samantha Merlivat
Combined, online display and social media advertising spend will double between 2015 and 2020, growing from €14.4 billion to €28.7 billion.
 
Among the factors driving growth, the combination of mobile and premium video advertising will drive an upsurge in demand for both online display and social advertising. Advertisers will increase their investments in video and mobile ads as media consumption evolves and targeting accuracy improves.
 
Native mobile video advertising is already proving a winning formula in the social media sphere, and publishers will take notice as they further refine their video ad offerings to provide more premium inventory, preventing a decline of video ad CPMs as supply increases. In fact, mobile ad spend will overtake PC as PC flatlines in the next five years.
 
Other developments will continue to disrupt online ad revenue in the next five years: 
  • Programmatic will become the default mechanism for trading online display
  • Ad blocking will force new behaviors on the publisher side, and a greater struggle to hit the sweet spot between monetization and consumer experience.
  • Growing rivalries between Apple, Facebook, and Google for news aggregation services will further dis-intermediate publisher mobile advertising revenue.
To find all the trends affecting online display and social media advertising in the next five years, read Forrester’s European Online Display and Social Media Advertising Forecast, 2015-2020.

Predictive Analytics Requires A Customer-Obsessed Innovation Culture

Fred Giron

Over the past month, I participated in predictive analytics events in Indonesia and Thailand organized by SAP with about 70 regional CIOs. There is a palpable excitement around predictive analytics these days, but I see a risk that, beyond the excitement of the demo and first implementations, a number of these advanced analytic tools remain shelfware. Why? Because tech management teams often struggle to realize the business value of these investments.

With this in mind, my presentations focused on why companies need to approach analytics with a new mindset: The business discipline and technology to harness insights and consistently turn data into effective action. My colleagues Ted Schadler and Brian Hopkins call the resulting business capability a system of insights. This approach received a lot of positive feedback from the audience and generated discussions on how it can solve their key data & analytics challenges:

  • Ensure strong business support. Many CIOs I have talked to complained that they lack business support, because business sees data & analytics as a technology responsibility and they simply do not want to get engaged. My recommendation to them: stop talking about Big Data and start focusing on business outcomes like improved customer loyalty. That’s where the System of Insights concept can help. Actually, one of the CIOs, part of a large Indonesian conglomerate, told me that this approach would really help him explain how business and tech teams need to collaborate to turn data and insights into actual business value.
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Unleash Your Digital Predator

Nigel Fenwick

Your customers' digital experiences with other suppliers already shape their perceptions of value. Today, your customer assess the value of your services based in part on your ability to integrate into their digital world. The future belongs to companies able to harness digital to create new sources of customer value - these companies are destined to become digital predators, swallowing up lesser digital prey. 

As a business leader, do you get the feeling that you're no longer playing the same game that you once were? It's not you; the world has changed. The things that used to set companies apart — such as economies of scale, distribution strength, and brand — are far less potent than they used to be. Why? Because digital technology has fundamentally changed two things: the dynamics of the markets in which you operate and the speed needed to remain competitive.

The latest report in our series on digital business – Unleash Your Digital Predator – updates our thinking on digital transformation and includes analysis of data from our latest executive research study on digital, conducted in partnership with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

Many firms proudly point to their mobile app and proclaim "Hey, we're digital!" While they may be driving incremental revenue, all they have done is bolt another digital touchpoint onto the existing business. Digital transformation goes much further, fundamentally reshaping the way you create value for your customers and drive revenue growth. Achieving this requires that firms approach digital business from the outside in, pursuing two dimensions of digital in parallel: digital customer experience(DCX) and digital operational excellence (DOX).

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The State Of Digital Business 2016 to 2020

Nigel Fenwick

In the first in a series of reports examining the results of our latest survey on digital business, conducted in partnership with Odgers Berndtson, I look at executive perception of the impact of digital on their business. 

It turns out executives are hugely optimistic about how digital will change their business. Forty-six percent of executives surveyed believe that in less than five years digital will have an impact on more than half their sales. This suggests not only huge awareness of the potential for digital to change today's business but also an expectation that their company will be successful in making the transformation needed to bring this expectation to fruition. And it's in the biggest companies, where change is hardest, that executives expect the greatest change.

In B2B industries like consumer packaged goods (CPG), wholesale sales, and professional services, the shift is expected to be dramatic — Forrester estimates that the US B2B eCommerce market will be $1.13 trillion by 2020.

  • CPG execs expect digital to have an impact on almost half their sales. Even though the percentage predicted by 2020 is still less than 50%, if CPG companies were to generate anything close to 45% of their sales through digitally enhanced products and services or through online sales by 2020, it signals a dramatic shift in the CPG landscape. The ripple effects of the digitization of more and more CPG will be felt through wholesale and retail channels. 

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Don't Build A Digital Strategy; Digitize Your Business Strategy

Martin Gill

Business leaders don't think of digital as central to their business because in the past, it hasn't been. But now your customers, your products, your business operations, and your competitors are fundamentally digital. To win in this new world, digital leaders must reimagine their businesses as fundamentally digital. Do this, and you can become a digital predator; fail, and your business will become digital prey.

This isn’t a fundamentally new message from Forrester. We’ve been saying this for a couple of years now. But what we have done is update our thinking and our data on the subject based on our most recent research and a major new survey in partnership with Odgers Berndtson.

The result is that we’ve updated the Digital Business Imperative- the anchor document for our Digital Business Transformation playbook. In some ways it's disturbing reading, because while the overwhelming majority of executives now acknowledge that digital will disrupt their industry, just over a quarter think that their firm has an appropriate strategy in place to respond.

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Driving Systems of Records to the Cloud, your focus for 2016!

Robert Stroud

Success in the Cloud is now a fact

You have all heard the success stories of Uber and Airbnb as they leverage technology to disrupt existing business norms in the taxi and hotel businesses. Digital business successes such as these are pressuring traditional enterprises to focus on differentiation in business models, customer intimacy and velocity as they look to not only preserve market share, but – more importantly – to grow it!  This is what Forrester calls the business technology (BT) agenda – technology investments that help your business win, serve, and retain customers.

Additionally, as an I&O professional you cannot ignore the investments, and success, with public cloud. For instance, public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services drive and deliver systems of innovation to create velocity both in new business ventures and traditional enterprises, especially in fueling mobility and web services.  The investments to date are supporting the ability of the Public Cloud to support and drive innovation. Additionally, these solutions now raise the possibility of the cloud’s suitability for the next phase, transition of systems of record.  This is one of the predictions in our Forrester “Predictions 2016: The Cloud Accelerates” which articulates 11 key developments for Cloud and what I&O professionals should do about them.

 

The “low hanging fruit” is gone – now it’s time to reach higher

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Deliver Business Value With Modern Metrics And Analytics

Diego Lo Giudice

Modern application delivery leaders realize that their primary goal is to deliver value to the business and its customers faster. Most of the modern successful change frameworks, like Agile (in its various instantiations), Lean, and Lean Startup, which inspire developers and development shops, put metrics and measurement at the center of improvement and feedback loops. The objective of controlling and governing projects to meet vaguely estimated efforts but precisely defined budgets as well as unrealistic deadlines is no longer on the agenda of leading BT organizations.

The new objective of BT organizations is to connect more linearly the work that app dev teams do and the results they produce to deliver business outcomes. In this context, application development and delivery (AD&D) leaders need a new set of metrics that help them monitor and improve the value they deliver, based on feedback from business partners and customers.

So what do these new metrics look like and what can you do with them? In the modern application delivery metrics playbook report “Build The Right Things Better And Faster With Modern Application Delivery Metrics,” I describe:

  • Preproduction metrics. Leading organizations capture preproduction data on activities and milestones through productivity metrics, but they place a growing emphasis on the predictability of the continuous delivery pipeline, quality, and value.
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Understanding "Creepiness"

Fatemeh Khatibloo

We've all felt it: a weird sense that information about you has been used in a way that just doesn't feel right.

Maybe you received a kids apparel catalog at your decidedly DINK home. Or maybe you saw an online ad at home for a product you'd been looking at from your work computer earlier that day. Or, perhaps your mobile device pinged when you walked into a store to tell you about specials for that store - even though your location settings were turned off.

Many of us in the privacy world have a strong dislike of the word "creepy" because it can't be quantified. And, practically-speaking, it's rather useless because what's "creepy" to one person might well be "useful" to another.

I'm working on research to quantify what we mean when we say something is "creepy," and to categorize the types of incidents that cause people to feel it. That means I need examples - lots of them. And I need your help.

If you've had a creepy marketing, advertising, or customer service experience, won't you please take a moment to tell us about it?

We've set up a short 8-question survey that you can complete anonymously, if you prefer. Your contribution will help us understand how we experience creepiness, and help us educate companies about how not to be creepy!

Yahoo’s Challenge: Mobile. Yahoo’s Answer: China.

Julie Ask

Yahoo’s board met yesterday amidst disappointing financial results that have failed to live up to the expectations of its investors. Prevailing rumors suggest that the board under pressure from investors will vote to break apart the business and sell the pieces.

While it is true that the majority of Yahoo’s revenue comes from online advertising, the future is clearly mobile. Mobile phone numbers are more important than email addresses, and consumers already use their mobile phones more than two hours a day in the U.S. Global expansion depends on mobile.

Power in mobile depends on two core factors: audience and data. Here’s why.

Audience will draw in developers, advertisers and service providers. Today in mobile, audience depends on a strong presence in social networking, instant messaging, and media (e.g., video, music, games, news and books).

Data is the context that drives the value of the audience. The more context brands have about consumers to offer them insights about needs and motivations, the better brands can win, serve and retain those customers in their mobile moments. Winning in data includes access to email, browser, maps, search, wallet, commerce, health, fitness, home and automotive data - as a start. Those who own the mobile OS (e.g., Apple, Google and Microsoft in the U.S.) own the trump card in data.

Simply put, despite a host of strategic mobile acquisitions (e.g., social media, mobile analytics) and new talent, Yahoo! is still too small. It lacks the scale of Facebook or Google. This makes Yahoo a good partner, but not the booming, independent success that each of these businesses has become.

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