I’m not going to bore you by reiterating how “mobile” everyone is these days, how the vast majority of online adults in markets like the US, UK, South Korea, and more own mobile phones, or how mobile is so pervasive with 30 billion mobile moments happening every day in the US alone.
But I will say that mobile moments are the new battleground to win, serve, and retain customers. With mobile in play, consumers move from brand discovery to exploration to purchase in seconds. And they expect this experience to not only be possible – but positive. To deliver, mobile demands that brands adopt a new engagement model and new technologies.
But finding a solution isn’t as clear as knowing you need one. The landscape is constantly changing. There is an overwhelming number of vendors. And wading through the industry jargon to understand what vendor solutions will actually do can be trying.
We have heard these pain points loud and clear. And to help, Julie Ask and I have investigated the 12 most important mobile marketing technologies that you need on your radar this year in our latest report: TechRadar™: Mobile Marketing, Q1 2016 (subscription required). These technologies span your mobile needs from creating websites and apps, to grabbing consumer attention with ads, to engaging your customer with messaging, to the analytics to track success and optimize. Focused more on eBusiness than marketing? We have a report with 11 of the most important categories tailored to your needs: TechRadar™: Mobile Commerce, Q1 2016.
MDM tools today don't look like your father's MDM. No longer an integration hub between applications and DBMSs, today's tools are transitioning or have reinvented MDM to handle the context missing from system traditional implementations. Visualizations, graph repositories, big data and cloud scale, along with application like interfaces for nontechnical users, mean MDM and master data gets personal with stakeholders.
Semantics and insight are not an outcome of MDM but an integrated part of the engine and hub. Three MDM evolutions stand out:
Business-defined views of data: For graph-based vendors such as Reltio and Pitney Bowes, master domains are shaped by business use cases. For example, customer master can be defined beyond the bounds of a household, identity, and account. Customer behavioral characteristics can be the starting points for taxonomies and hierarchies. Integration of master domains is based on physical, logical, linkage, and semantic schemas for a more seamless navigation and querying of master data to align with the explosion of data views created by analytics, applications, and microservices.
You’re probably hearing a lot of endless, excessive and short-term virtual reality (VR) hype. For example, at SXSW 2016, a great deal of time and energy is being devoted to VR experiments, new media announcements, and demonstrations.
The reality? The vast majority of consumers aren’t there yet, don’t know or care about VR, and won’t know or care in 2016 unless they are hardcore gamers. And only a few forward-looking enterprises – digital predators – are experimenting with VR in effective ways today.
At Forrester, we believe that VR will find its place in the pantheon of important computing platforms, eventually reshaping the way workers work, enterprises interact with customers, and consumers perform a variety of tasks. In other words, it's going to be a real market... at some point.
Too many clients think that VR is a platform that they simply must address in 2016. We think that’s premature. Even in the era of hyperadoption, VR must overcome key obstacles to gain mass market status:
Need for market education. Most consumers don’t have a deep understanding of VR, nor is there an easy venue for them to learn about it. Retailing represents a challenge: Buyers must experiment with a headset for many minutes to even get sense of what the technology does. In past technology revolutions (smartphones, tablets), the Apple Store played this role… but Apple isn’t in the VR game (yet).
This year’s big technology themes at Mobile World Congress (MWC) can be summarized as big data, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR). These themes will be important for B2B players and especially for revolutionizing customer experiences, optimizing industrial and operational processes, and boosting service enhancements. My recently published report, “Brief: Observations From Mobile World Congress That Will Shape Your B2B Digital Transformation,” summarizes our observations from MWC 2016 and the key takeaways for developing B2B digital transformation strategies. We observed that:
The main MWC themes are increasingly intertwined. VR and AR will enhance user experiences on mobile devices and expand mobile moments. Big data will provide context-based, and more relevant, insights and use cases — including for VR and AR solutions.
Mobile data is driving digital customer experience. Enterprise apps are increasingly integrated with business processes. In turn, enterprise apps help generate data-derived insights from mobile objects and devices. This will help transcend app silos to generate a single view of the customer who benefits from a better end-to-end user experience.
Bigger is not necessarily better. MWC feels near its zenith in terms of visitor numbers and industry impact. In 2016, nearly 101,000 attendees from 204 countries made it to MWC — more than ever. Yet, for business users MWC still falls short of translating mobility into tangible business benefits for digital transformation.
We've seen another acquisition in the shifting eDiscovery market this week as kCura, the developer of Relativity, announced its acquisition of Content Analyst Company, the brains behind the CAAT analytics engine (kCura’s press release is here). The acquisition is not entirely surprising. kCura has been relying on the CAAT engine to power its analytics offering for eight years. According to kCura, use of its Relativity Analytics offering “has grown by nearly 1,500 percent” since 2011, with more than 70% of current kCura’s customers with licenses.
What does this acquisition mean for kCura, its customers, and Content Analyst Company customers?
You can't turn anywhere without bumping into artificial intelligence, machine learning, or cognitive computing jumping out at you. Our cars brake for us, park for us, and some are even driving us. Our movie lists are filled with Ex Machina, Her, and Lucy. The news tells about the latest vendor and cool use of technology, minute by minute. Vendors are filling our voicemail and email with enticements. It's all so very cool!
But cool doesn't build a business. Results do.
Which brings me to the biggest barrier companies have in adopting artificial intelligence. Companies are asking the wrong questions:
What is artificial intelligence (or insert: machine learning or cognitive computing)?
What connects these two stories? Answer: An uprising of restless and empowered citizens and customers.
Five years ago our research began picking up faint vibrations of an approaching seismic shift -- what in those days we called a groundswell. People were using technology to take power from institutions. Technology was dissolving traditional means of government and corporate control -- pricing power, information monopolies, media influence, and various forms of private and public regulation. The new reality placed people on more equal footing in society and the economy, ushering in what Forrester and others call the Age of the Customer. In this 20-year era consumers will slowly but inexorably gain power.
Here are a few glimpses of this dynamic at work... 78% of U.S. consumers read detailed product or service reviews online before buying. 22% of U.S. buyers compare prices when they are shopping in a physical store. 20% of U.S. consumers trust digital financial advice as much as their human advisor. And we are just getting started...
At the RSA Conference two weeks ago, a common question from both clients and former colleagues -- “So, what’s it like being analyst?” -- led me to write this blog post.
In the interest of full disclosure, there were no massive epiphanies during my first year, but the transition from being on the vendor side for 15+ years to an analyst provided some perspectives, listed here in no specific order:
· The security industry is massive. Some former colleagues who learned of my new role often joked, “So you’ve gone to the dark side.” The irony is that analysts are actually removed from the penumbra of the four to six competitors that you obsess about when you work for a vendor. Once removed from this tunnel vision, you become more aware of the diversity of the infosecurity ecosystem. As an example, the number of exhibiting vendors at the RSA Conference is up 45% since 2014, to over 550 vendors. This reflects the ongoing vitality and demand for cybersecurity but also presents challenges to today’s security and risk professionals who have to evaluate an increasingly large and dynamic vendor landscape.
We’ve been hearing so much lately about the changing dynamics between B2B buyers and sellers. Not only are buyers engaging more and more online as part of their evaluation and purchase process, but sellers have the ability to track prospects’ behaviors and interests in order to contextualize their outreach as well. There is another exciting transformation underway...the arrival of the Millennials in force!
Today, Millennials make up a third of the workforce; by 2020, they will be half. This generation of employees may work more to your advantage than you think. Born in the digital age to tech-savvy parents, Millennials have experienced everything from the pseudo Y2K crisis to the 2008 downturn to the social media explosion in the mid-2000s. They don’t quite function or react in the workplace like Boomers and Gen Xers, and they have different needs. But, there’s an upside and a divergent side to be considered with them.
Not having the right tools or enforcing restrictive schedules can work against sales and marketing leaders…and don’t forget to give and take feedback at each step of the way. And what about the rest of your sales team? Is it possible for Millennials and more tenured reps to work synergistically? You bet! Make sure you encourage collaboration through reverse mentorship and in-tune management approaches, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The right tools and technologies are only the tip of the iceberg in thinking about how you can support your sales force both today and in the future.
You all know them: people who won’t let you eat until they’ve Instagrammed their meal, pedestrians who’ve walked into you because they’re staring at their phones and scrolling through Facebook. Our society is immersed in social media- and the numbers and expectations are growing. In fact, only 28% of the online US population spurns social interactions with companies.
The pervasive use of social channels made marketers hungry for insights and feedback coming directly from the consumer’s mouths and social is one of the cheapest and best ways to do that. But social listening has been around for years, what’s so different about it now?
The gears are turning- and social listening is turning to social intelligence (finally). In the last couple of years, social listening platforms have doubled down on analytics to keep pace with the needs of customers and prove their worth for use across the enterprise by enabling insights to action. In our recent Forrester Wave™ report, we evaluated 12 vendors (Brandwatch, Cision, Clarabridge, Crimson Hexagon, NetBase, Networked Insights, Oracle, Prime Research, Salesforce, Sprinklr, Synthesio, and Sysomos) along 30 criteria that measured their abilities to:
· Integrate with other marketing and business tools. Social maturity involves tying social metrics to business objectives. Marketers in search of a social platform should include in their critical selection criteria the ease of integration with their existing CRM, customer analytics tools, or voice-of-the-customer (VoC) tools.