Marketing and communication leaders usually turn to the likes of Zappos, Threadless and P&G — not government — for inspiration. Most of us have become so used to slow, boring and irrelevant government communication that we treat business and consumers as our only sources of innovation.
But it's time to dig deeper, because beneath the bureaucracy there are changes afoot in government communication — changes that should inspire every marketing or communication leader in any sector or nation worldwide.
In particular, I'm talking about government's use of digital media to consult with stakeholders about public policy. When researching my latest report, I learned there has been more than 100 examples of this in Australia alone so far.
You may not know the name Michael Greene, but if you're a Forrester client or you read this blog regularly then you've certainly seen his work. As a researcher on our team, Michael produces some great research -- most notably on the topics of sponsorships and video advertising. Below, Michael shares his thoughts on one of our latest research topics, sourcing video creative:
In our first two reports in the Video Strategy series, we have detailed how online video has moved beyond the exclusive domain of media and entertainment companies. From travel to financial web sites, video is now ubiquitous across the internet.
We analysts always tend to want to be the first on the stage with impending news and blogs are a perfect medium for getting information out as quickly as possible. In fact, blogs can even sometimes be just a little ahead of the news it is predicting, and are sometimes held responsible for the said event. That is why financial analysts, when they blog, always disclose their portfolios in relation to the companies mentioned in the blog.
Payment preferences still vary widely across European countries. Data from our European Technographics Retail, Customer Experience, And Travel Online Survey, Q3 2009 shows that payment patterns are partly determined by whether domestic debit cards can be used to shop online. In markets where debit cards work online, they are the most popular online payment method. In markets where debit cards don’t work online, online shoppers seek alternatives. Online payment services like PayPal are on the rise in Europe: 36% of online buyers regularly used PayPal in 2009 compared with 26% in 2006, while cash on delivery is used less.
About ten years ago, when Forrester was writing some of our early research on effective Web design, we noticed a pattern among leading companies. They told us they were finding it very helpful to use design personas - models of customers based on qualitative research into real customers, but presented as vivid stories about individuals (not segment descriptions). These tools enabled them to stay focused on the needs of their most important customers when designing online experiences.
Since then, design personas have become fairly mainstream design tools in North American companies, and increasingly common in Europe and Japan - not only for Web design, but across all channels. However, the quality of personas varies enormously from company to company. For example, I'm evaluating personas from UK interactive agencies at the moment and although some are clearly well researched, engaging, helpful to designers and believable, others seem to be mere stereotypes.