The explosion of interest in account-based marketing has created uncertainty for business-to-business (B2B) marketers who have invested in marketing automation to optimize their lead-to-revenue processes. It’s not surprising because the vendors that market ABM-badged wares – and many pundits -- generate attention with controversial proclamations, like: “ABM is the death of demand generation”; “ABM replaces inbound marketing” and “Lead to Revenue Management (L2RM) is only a suitable strategy for selling products and services to small businesses”.
While these arguments might help hawk new technology, they create confusion about both ABM and L2RM. It’s not surprising that 73% of B2B survey respondents agree that, as an industry term, ABM lacks specificity and gets applied to many different approaches inconsistently. In my most recent report, Account-Based Marketing Will Elevate, Not Eclipse, Lead-To-Revenue Management (subscription required), I set out to rationalize the concepts of ABM and L2RM.
B2B marketers should use ABM to accelerate the pivot to customer obsession.
B2B marketers need to decompose ABM into its component parts: strategy, tactics and technology.
As details regarding the termination of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone continue to unfold, there are several important lessons, both technological and organizational, that manufacturers and product organizations should take away from their peer’s costly product crisis:
Consumers in Asia Pacific are in the midst of a digital transformation. Within the past decade, online penetration in China grew from 8% to 54%, while mobile internet access grew more than sevenfold. Today, the rate of customer evolution is gaining speed, as consumers are increasingly willing to experiment with new products, rely on devices, demand seamless digital experiences, consume large volumes of information, and are committed to seeking out the best experiences for themselves.
Forrester’s Empowered Customer Segmentation measures these key shifts in customer behaviors and attitudes and anticipates how consumers both respond to digital innovation and demand it. An analysis of our Consumer Technographics® data for Asia Pacific shows that the most rapidly evolving customers dominate in metropolitan China and metropolitan India:
Ben Schlappig doesn’t have a home. He lives on planes and in hotel rooms. And he’s a big reason why Chase’s new credit card has generated unprecedented hysteria.
The credit card business is not where you go to get a brand fix. Most of the brands in this category tread water in the sea of sameness, inspiring little passion and much aggravation by inundating mailboxes with junk mail. And then there's the new Chase Sapphire Reserve:
The card was so wildly popular that, upon launch, Chase ran through 12 months of metal stock in three weeks.
Unboxing videos popped up all over YouTube, clocking tens of thousands of views (yes you read that right, the nail-biting action of a credit card reveal).
Chase reported an unexpectedly large number of applications from millennials, a group that so far has been generally indifferent about card brands.
Bloomberg Business Week put the new Chase Sapphire Reserve on its cover.
Here’s why this should have never happened:
As an extension of the existing Sapphire franchise, there was a fairly docile product extension
At a $450 annual fee, it severely limited relevance in a category awash with no-fee cards
The card sweetened, but did not fundamentally alter the basic formula of perks and points. Nothing earth-shatteringly innovative here.
Advertising and promotion leading up to the launch? Zero.
Companies look for merger & acquisitions opportunities to boost their growth. But when confidential information gets exposed, it throws a monkeywrench into their confidential assessments, strategies and negotiations. Recent news proves this once again. Whether Twitter would be a good fit for SalesForce is a question - but that the news that Salesforce was considering it leaked into the public domain made their decisions harder.
While uncertainty continues, focusing on innovation is your best chance of success. British Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly said, "Brexit means Brexit." This statement ensures that every business operating in the UK will experience an uncertain and volatile market environment for some time. In our conversations with CIOs and chief technology officers (CTOs) since the Brexit vote, Forrester has retained its view that only if companies retain a focus on customers will they ensure growth and innovation, especially in times of uncertainty. All CIOs and CTOs at businesses operating in the UK should:
Make the business case that innovation can help their firms deal with uncertainty. Top management will be distracted by many short- term tactical considerations relating to Brexit. Make the case that innovation will move you closer to your customers and help to deal with underlying uncertainty.
Partner with their risk managers. Developing innovations that rely on customer and machine data will expose businesses to regulatory and compliance risks. Plan your business technology and innovation strategies with the risk manager on your side.
Did someone forget to tell the mainframe it was irrelevant?
For many years, the much lauded death of the mainframe has been espoused by many pundits. Many believed the end of the mainframe would be further accelerated with the rapid growth of cloud adoption. I am sorry to report to those naysayers, the mainframe didn’t get the message, and lives on, alive and well as the beating heart of many large businesses. For instance, the mainframe is leveraged by 92 of the top 100 banks worldwide, 23 of the top 25 US retailers, all 10 of the world’s 10 largest insurers, and 23 of the world’s 25 largest airlines.[i]
Mainframe is part of the digital business ecosystem
The drive for speed to counter competitors and deliver new and agile solutions has never been more evident. Successful digital businesses have found the secret to unleashing the data and business processes within their mainframe-based applications. Starting with “ad-hoc” integrations between systems of engagement and systems of record, they soon find the ability to define innovative products and services is limited by an inability to evolve and improve their mainframe applications. For instance, a simple mobile insurance application is actually just the gateway to a complex set of applications that must work seamlessly with the mobile application and with each other to provide customers and prospects with great experiences.
Private cloud can provide the speed-to-market and scalability of public cloud, yet with enhanced security. Improved IT infrastructure manageability and flexibility are the key drivers of private cloud adoption. Many regulated industries, such as financial services, will continue to use private cloud due to security and regulatory concerns.
The hyperscale global clouds seem to crop up pretty much everywhere, these days. But we all know that customer requirements differ, from industry to industry, and from country to country. So... how do they cope, and how do we account for the peculiarities of different markets?
The report (my first Wave, so allow me to feel pleased with myself) is, of course, interesting and useful in and of itself. But what's more interesting, perhaps, is that it's part of a collaboration that allows Forrester to account for those regional quirks.
Forrester has just published our fall forecast update for the US tech market ("2017 US Tech Budgets: The Outlook For Tech Spending Overall And By Industry"), and we are now projecting 5.1% growth for business and government spending on tech goods, services, and staff in 2017. That's a modest improvement from the 4.4% growth we are forecasting for 2016. That 2017 forecast assumes a continuation of the economic policies now in place under the Obama administration and the Republican Congress, and thus a Hilary Clinton election along with Republican control of at least the House of Representatives. Should Donald Trump win the election or alternatively the Democrats take control of both the House and the Senate, our forecast for the US tech market in 2017 would be quite different.
The three main forces driving this forecast are the moderate pace of real economic growth at around 2%, the strong demand for the Business Technologies (BT) that help firms win, serve, and retain customers, and the transition to cloud.