A new data player

An old Ad.com colleague of mine, Mike Peralta, recently joined a newly launched start-up called Magnetic, which you can read more about here. In short, the company provides DSPs and their kind with search behavior data to use in display retargeting campaigns. I told Mike, I find it odd that this is the first time I'm hearing of a provider who does this. Especially since Yahoo! based their entire behavioral targeting business on this principle years ago. But here we are, with another way to retarget valuable customers, and I think its a really good one for a few reasons (not just because Yahoo already did it, which isnt always a good reason.)
- It will get more display marketers thinking about the interplay between display and search.
- Unlike offline data, search data is easy to update in real time or near real time.
- There is a lot of it, so a lot of people can play and experiment to find what works.
So while I have publicly cautioned against the "more is more" pile-on effect we are seeing in the data space right now, I do think search data has a justified place at the table.

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Do Mobile Coupons Matter?

My colleague Julie Ask just published a piece on the reality of mobile coupons in response to questions like “do consumers use mobile coupons?” “should we be developing a mobile coupon offering?” and “what technologies should I adopt to support mobile couponing efforts?” – questions that she and I get asked with some frequency.


I was involved in some of the initial structuring of this report and then also involved in the editing phase.  And I would love to recommend it to interactive marketers. Here are the most important takeaways:


  • Consumers like the promise of mobile coupons, but there is not yet mass adoption.  Mobile coupons promise to be a convenient way to aggregate customized discounts all in a single place (your mobile phone) that is much easier for storage than say an envelope of clipped paper coupons.
  • Mobile coupons appeal to advertisers too, but technology hurdles prevent mass utilization.  Advertisers love the idea of being able to offer targeted promotions that are cheaper to deliver and redeem than traditional coupons.  But the reality is that scaling redemption technologies and processes at check out is pricey for the limited coupon-using audience today.
  • Advertisers should start small mobile coupon trials now.  Mobile coupons don’t need to be your top marketing priority for 2010 (that honor goes to paid search, display ad, advanced email and social media) but we do recommend now as a good time to start a trial.  Vendors like cellfire can outsource the management and distribution of mobile coupons and offer flexible terms in an effort to sign up new advertisers.


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My Return To Email Marketing

First of all, let me welcome you to Forrester's new blogging platform. Hopefully you'll find this blogging environment an easy way to access our blog-worthy ideas and community comments

Next, I wanted to officially announce (drum roll please) that I am back leading Forrester's email marketing research. Some of you may know that I did a lot of work in email marketing until 2007 when Julie Katz took the helm, joined subsequently by David Daniels following Forrester's acquisition of Jupiter. I'm excited to be back in the space and already have a stream of research underway.

First up is a piece on how the recession has affected consumer attitudes toward email marketing.
Then next quarter look for three pieces:
*One on the integration of email and social media
*Another updating our email marketing review methodology. See here for the older version.
*And then the third doing a best and worst of email marketing. This piece is also an update of some similar research we did here a few years ago.

What email marketing research would you like to see from us? I'd love to include your ideas in my research plan.


My blog: The End of the Road or a Change of Lanes?

In three days, it will be the two year anniversary of my first blog post on Experience: The Blog.  Originally intended to be an exploration of experiential marketing strategies, my interest and focus quickly turned to social media and how the growth of the peer-to-peer groundswell creates challenges and opportunities for marketers.  It is apt to recall how my blog started as one thing and became another, because change is in the air again.  I'd like to reflect on that change, put it into context and invite you to join me as I shift my blog publishing to a new address.

A month ago, news broke that Forrester would be altering its blog policies and analysts would shift their industry-related blogging into a new, common platform on Forrester.com.  I posted at the time that I believed aggregating Forrester's thought leadership in one place made sense and that I was eager to continue blogging, sharing news and building my reputation within the new Forrester blog. 

The reaction was swift and emotional.  Hundreds of tweets and blog posts weighed in on the topic; a few supported the new blogging policies, but most did not.  One person tweeted I was "licking the boots of (my) corporate paymasters," and a friend sent heartfelt condolences at the loss of my blog.  I ignored the tweet and assured my friend that I was not progressing through any of the stages of grief (unless bemusement was one of those stages.)

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It's time to evaluate your use of customer data

The online space is moving swiftly toward audience targeting, where demographic, behavioral and contextual data are aggregated to create a better picture of a target audience. While the offline world has already established relatively structured data trading processes, online marketing is just beginning to really trade in this valuable currency. In fact, one of the companies I moderated a panel for, eXelate, is about to announce a partnership with Nielsen, which would make Nielsen's panel data available for purchase and use on display targeting campaigns.
While it is true, as Emily Steele notes in the Wall Street Journal, that Congress and consumer advocacy groups are concerned about so much data being aggregated for online marketing use - which could cause improper use of consumer data for targeting purposes - it is also true that both marketers and consumers can benefit from this use if it's done right. Using consumer behavior data is not new, but what is new is how easy it is to aggregate data and get a clearer picture of what a customer wants. For interactive marketers, this presents both opportunities (giving customers better deals on things they like to buy) and risks (targeting with data that should remain private.)
Navigating this terrain can be difficult for marketers who want to create a good customer experience but don't want to cross the line into murky territory. To help determine how to maximize your use of customer data, join us for our panel. We will have some of the leading players in the data space on a panel at the Marketing Forum on April 22 to discuss how data plays a role in the interactive media buying process. To learn more click here.

My Next Chapter In B2B Marketing

Almost four years ago, I began a new journey at Forrester Research when I agreed to take on the B2B marketing research coverage and practice. The first significant research that I conducted and wrote, “B2B Marketing Needs A Makeover – Now,” looked at the challenges B2B marketers face and how they address these issues through marketing programs and technology investment.  Little did I know that “Makeover” would become the seminal piece of research in a series that extends across those four years and culminates in an upcoming report next week.

Today, it is with a mix of pride, nostalgia, excitement, and deep appreciation that I announce the next step in that B2B marketing journey, which started in 2006 here at Forrester, but extends back more than a decade earlier through various high-technology marketing positions I held prior to becoming an analyst.

At the end of March, I will leave Forrester to become the Vice President of Industry Marketing for Xerox Global Services, North America.

Very simply, I have been helping many clients face down their marketing challenges, adopt new approaches, and improve the reputation and standing of marketing at their firms for some time.  While personally rewarding in so many ways, I longed to return to my roots where I could do more practicing and less preaching. Xerox offers me this opportunity.

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Want to join the IM analyst team?

Our team has been growing fast! We just hired two great new researchers and are currently interviewing candidates for analyst positions as well. We are looking for someone who has experience measuring campaign performance across digital channels and who can look at how emerging technologies will fit into a cross channel strategy. We are looking for someone with 5-10 years experience. We are open to hiring this person in NYC, Cambridge or Foster City, CA. If you or someone you know is interested in working at Forrester, please submit your resume here: http://forrester.myvurv.com/main/careerportal/Job_Profile.cfm?szOrderID=...

Welcome to the new blog network

Hey everyone.  Here it is – Forrester’s new blog network. We made some changes to improve the experience for readers and to encourage more analysts to blog. Feel free to poke around and let me know what you think.

There are a few things I’d like to point out to you:

  • Everyone’s welcome here.  Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.
  • We still have team blogs focused on role professionals. Our role blogs, such as the CIO blog and the Interactive Marketing blog, are a rollup of all the posts from the analysts serving that specific role professional. By following a role team blog, you can participate in all the conversational threads affecting a role.
  • And now we’ve added analyst blogs as well.  If you prefer to engage directly with your favorite analyst, you can. Look on the right-hand rail of the team blog and you’ll see a list of the analyst blogs.  Just click on their name to go to their blog.  Or type their name into “Search”.  An analyst blog is a place for the analyst to get reaction to their ideas and connect with others shaping the marketplace.  You’ll find the blogs to be personal in tone and approach. 
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How Do You Keep Mass Influencers Engaged? An Example from TripAdvisor

In the Forrester report, Tapping The Entire Online Peer Influence Pyramid, we introduced the Mass Influencer, a category of online influencer comprised of people who create most of the peer impressions about about brands in social channels.  Although just 16 percent of the online population, Mass Influencers create 80 percent of all peer impressions about products and services.

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B2B Interactive Marketing Spending To Hit $4.8 Billion by 2014

Forrester’s five year forecast of B2B interactive marketing spending has gone live on the Forrester site. This report marks the beginning of a chain of research for interactive marketing professionals at B2B companies. It should be no surprise that B2B interactive marketing spending continues to grow – and quickly at that. We project B2B interactive marketing spending to hit $4.8 billion in 2014, over double an estimated $2.3 billion in 2009.

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