Taking a Pulse

One of the things I want to do at the Consumer Forum in Dallas is get a read on marketing attitudes during The Downturn.

For conservative marketers:

  • I'm assuming online is treated like traditional, i.e., one knows what it's good for and standard rules of ROI & efficiency hold. Esp. for direct marketing purposes
  • That said, where do "newer" branding efforts stand?
  • Other digital efforts are (relatively) inexpensive in an absolute sense, but do they feel the hatchet because of their unproven payback and thin reach? I'm thinking mobile and real social marketing (not cheap banners on social networks)
  • And how will advanced efforts, like attribution measurement, fare?

For aggressive marketers, is now the time to double down, gain share, and cut through the clutter?

Forrester's early takes:
Budget Cuts
Recession Strategies

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What Do You Say When the CEO Asks "What Do I Get For My Investment in Sales Enablement?"

Sales_crystal_ball When your CEO asks, "Why haven't we realized the sales performance boosts we expected when we (insert investment of your choice)

...implemented our SFA system?
...trained our sales organization?
...launched our sales portal?"

How will you respond?

If you (and the CEO) thought that investment was "the answer" to improving sales performance, we have some bad news. There is no such thing as a sales effectiveness silver bullet.

While, there are many different types of organizations that claim they can help you improve your sales productivity, few of these solutions can offer measurable gains in productivity on their own. For example:

•CRM vendors argue that implementing their software will help you drive more business by providing better structure to the sales process and improving the accuracy of your forecasting.
•Sales training firms suggest that you can improve your sales fundamentals by teaching a common sales methodology and best practices.
•Market intelligence firms claim that better and more up-to-date information about market trends and your competitors' actions will do the trick.

However, companies that have implemented these solutions report that they are not realizing the desired impact of these investments.

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Hello, World

Davidcard[Posted by David Card]

follow me at davidcard

Hi. Welcome to my first official post on a Forrester blog. Haven't quite figured out how to integrate the Jupiter blog. For those who don't know me already, I've been following the intersection of media, technology, and consumer behavior for 12 years or so, and been an analyst for 20. I like pop culture and mass media. I think branded entertainment isn't evil. Some might call me an Old Media apologist, but they'd better be smiling when they say it.

I'll be at the Consumer Forum in Dallas, so I'll see you there.

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JupTakes on Surviving the Downturn

Some Jupiter research relevant to thriving during economic turmoil. Not sure why we've linked to my link to a Cramer rant. Must be the algorithm...

And there's more to come, so check back shortly.

Amazon Rocks

I know, we are in the depths of an economic quagmire, but could we just take a sec to recognize that the biggest online retailer just posted a 31% increase in revenue. That is huge given the situation and that they have been around for more than 10 years. Hard to count how many companies were still growing at that pace that far into it. I think Amazon's performance goes to show you that focus on merchandise selection and value, exceeding customer expectations on delivery and good customer service after the fact go a long way with customers.

Yes, they and eBay have tempered guidance for Q4 and the year, but realistically who hasn't.

Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part II)

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Wow.  I am overwhelmed by the response I received from my first post on this subject. Looks like I hit a nerve and inspired some great commentary.  In particular, I'd like to call attention to the thoughful response from Arthur Einstein, who is the VP of Marketing at Loyalty Builders. I wanted to comment briefly on what I am hearing from all of you so far. To avoid obsolescence, readers believe B2B marketers must focus on:

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Who are the movers and the shakers of Tokyo's Social Computing scene?

I had a very enjoyable evening yesterday at the Bloggers' Dinner in Tokyo. It was great to speak with the group of about 30 Japanese and non-Japanese bloggers who had so many interesting perspectives to share. We met at Fujimama's near Omotesando - an ideal venue for this kind of open networking evening.

Jeremiah Owyang introduced the evening with his observations that Japanese consumers are ahead of Japanese companies in their adoption of Social media - Whereas consumers are eagerly leveraging new media to express themselves and interact with each other, Japan's corporate world seems rather hesitant.

Forrester's Technographics data shows that Japanese consumers are eagerly participating in social media as creators, critics, collectors, joiners and spectators.... so why aren't Japanese firms putting more effort into engaging with customers via social media? Here are three thoughts or recommendations that came to my mind. If you disagree, or if you have better recommendations, please post a comment.

With regard to Social Computing - what aren't Japanese companies doing that they should be doing?

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Expose Facebook Apps Now!

Alleyinsider continues to bemoan Facebook's redesign that makes it much harder to find apps. Its solution is bookmarking. Here's a better one, that my colleague Emily Riley proposed over a year ago. Why is there no app marketplace with a keyword bidding system a la paid search? Sure, that's "payola," but payola in a liquid, transparent marketplace (especially with some relevance policing)is a good thing. And Facebook could even make a little money!

Cute slotMusic Player: Nice Gift; Won't Save Industry

I'm still not sold on microSD cards as the next-gen physical medium for music that will save physical retailers -- there won't be a next-gen physical medium -- but I've got SanDisk's slotMusic player in hand, and it's a cute little device.

slot_music_player.jpg

With a suggested retail price of $20 (with no memory card, ouch) you can configure a 2GB model for less than half the price of a comparable iPod Shuffle. And it's still cheaper than the entry model Shuffle. Artist-branded models come with an album of DRM-free MP3s plus extra goodies on a 1GB card and a USB sleeve so you can get your music off and on even old PCs, for $35.

The player puts out great sound and has a solid feel (it's a little hefty). It's easy to use, though I miss shuffle mode -- a lot -- and I had no problems dragging my own MP3s onto it, in contrast to a lot of cell phones I've seen in the past. The packaging is attractive and you can even get album liner notes. Wal-Mart and BestBuy should be stocking them by now.

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Will B2B Marketing Become Obsolete? (Part I)

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Today marks the beginning of my 8th year at Forrester and my 4th year researching B2B marketing.

I’d like to use this anniversary to start a blog conversation about what I see happening in B2B marketing and to think about what’s next. And, frankly, I am concerned about the future of the business marketing profession.  In particular, for those of us marketing high technology products and services.

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