My Key Takeaways From The Forrester Marketing Forum

I’ve had a few days to catch my breath (and catch up on email) after the Forrester Marketing Forum in Los Angeles and I’m finally in a position to reflect upon what was an exciting and informative few days on the west coast.  A few key takeaways:

  • B2B marketers are dedicated to social and have a lot to learn from each other. I had the pleasure of hosting a one day workshop on B2B social marketing with colleagues Peter Burris and Peter O’Neill. Technology marketers have dominated past workshops like these, but I was thrilled to see clients from a diverse array of B2B industries in the room, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, travel, manufacturing, and marketing services. It was a great, active group and what impressed me most was how attendees related to the pain points and best practices of other attendees in the room. Dealing with government regulation was a hot topic and it wasn’t just financial services and pharma marketers who had something to share. Although some regulatory bodies create more difficulties or ambiguities than others (I’m looking at you, FDA), B2B marketers can learn a lot from each other when it comes to creating a social strategy and building an organization capable of navigating regulation.

 

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Facebook, Privacy & Lawmakers: What Should Marketers Do?

Last week, Facebook announced changes that expanded the sharing of consumer data with a select set of third-party partners, and it only took a matter of days for lawmakers to press Facebook for changes and government agencies for more oversight.  The fact Washington took note of Facebook’s changes isn’t at all surprising; in fact, it was inevitable.  But what happens next—and what this means to marketers—is not inevitable and depends a great deal on how proactive Facebook becomes on education, transparency and cooperation with lawmakers and privacy watchdogs.

Facebook has learned from its past privacy missteps, as evidenced by the way it recently asked for consumer input for proposed privacy policy changes, but it is far from earning its diploma in Public Relations and Politicking.  It’s been just three and a half short years since Facebook broadened its membership from students to the entire population of the planet, and as it has grown from a niche social media site to a ubiquitous form of communications for over 400 million people, so have grown the demands for Facebook to manage the expectations of consumer, voters, lawmakers and marketers.  Facebook is still learning how to accomplish this, and it is earning a fair to middling grade.

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Tabulating The Tablets: Apple Vs. Asus, Dell, HP And The Rest

In the weeks since the iPad launch, there’s been a spate of rumors, “leaks,” and PR pushes around would-be competitors to the Apple iPad. By the end of the year, consumers will be able to choose from an array of multimedia touchscreen tablets including tablets that:

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Behavioral Marketers Will Be Responsible For Data Disclosures

Frank Gertsenberger, VP of Product Marketing for Audience Science wrapped up day one with an excellent update on privacy concerns and expected changes due to FTC and congressional work on behavioral advertising policy. 

The concern is that even though data is being collected anonymously, when enough anonymous data points are collected, is an individual still anonymous?

Four entities are running concurrently to tackle this challenge:

  1. The FTC began investigating data practices about two years ago and determined that the risk with behavioral marketing is that consumers are not aware of what data is being collected; current privacy policies are insufficient at explaining how consumer data is employed with behavioral marketing.
  2. Congress – A subcommittee was convened last year to quantify the value of behavioral marketing in order to determine its value in the online economy.  Through studies supported by the NAI (the network advertising initiative), Congress now understands this and is outlining a policy outlining what the baseline protections should be for consumers.
  3. NAI– A membership organization which now represents more than 80% of all online ad spend, and created studies focused on answering Congress' need to value behavioral marketing.  Also helps audit member sites to aid compliance efforts.
  4. The Associations – This is a collection of online advertising associations like the DMA (direct marketing association), the IAB (interactive advertising bureau) and the ANA (association of national advertisers).  This group is taking a pass at developing requirements for providing enhanced notice to consumers.

What this means for advertisers and publishers:

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Publishers Create Ad Solutions; Still Don't Talk Tech

The second session of AudienceScience Summit this afternoon is a panel moderated by Quentin George, Chief Digital Officer of Mediabrands.  Panelists include Dave Dickman, SVP of Digital Media Sales from Warner Bros. Television and Barbara Healy, VP of Online and Mobile Fulfillment at Tribune.

 The theme of the panel was intended to address how these publishers manage their audience assets.  But really the primary message I took away was that publishers are focusing on solution sells -- finding ways to sell more high margin offerings -- whatever these happen to be.  I was expecting to hear more specifics about how they are working with publisher optimization solutions, or data management offerings.  But it sounded instead that it was any and all efforts to create unique ad solutions, rather than just impressions.

Two points heard, one good, one bad:

1) Warner Bros talked about an alternative way to think about creative, empowering creatives to build original programming that airs on the Web and allows users to provide input into the plot and production that the program takes.  This approach garnered premium sponsorship (from J&J) and helped creative resources feel a part of (and not irrelevant to) emerging media.

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Publishers Talk About Audience Targeting With AudienceScience

Coming to you live from the AudienceScience Targeting Summit in Las Vegas, a three day event for publishers and advertising talking about changes in display media and the value of targeting for both sides of the online advertising ecosystem: buyers and sellers.  My presentation was part of the publisher day (Day one is for publishers, day two for both publishers and advertisers, and day three for advertisers alone) and spoke to the findings of a custom study I worked on for Audience Science earlier this year.  The conclusions I shared today are:

  • Online advertising has significant growth in store
  • Audience and behavioral targeting will grow further advertiser investment in display media
  • And yet, advertisers still second guess display advertising value because it is so hard to take full advantage of (I walked through a laundry list of challenges online advertisers face like media proliferation, measurement challenges, $$ shifting downstream from branding to more direct sales channels, operations inefficiencies and limited staff)
  • So publishers must be ready to help create more automated, more dynamic, more data driven advertiser solutions to help advertisers overcome the challenges with using display today.

Defining The "Digital Agency"

This week AdAge released their annual Agency Report.  In it they once again ranked the top “digital agencies” in the US.  This is a valuable report to many marketers (and to Forrester, as we often use it to report agency revenue in our Wave report).  I tip my cap to the AdAge team as I know first hand how hard it is to compile this type of information. However, the list itself also reflects how the agency world is changing. For instance, while stalwarts like Razorfish and Digitas top the list, there are many unconventional names throughout the list such as Meredith, IBM, Acxiom, GSI and Acquity Group. It includes traditional agencies such as Ogilvy, Goodby & Silverstein and DraftFCB and beyond that it even includes contest company ePrize and GroupM’s search division. And while this list has always had a mix of players, the emergence of these firms as “digital agencies” continues to show how the old agency walls are fading and how agencies and marketing services firms are entering a “Great Race” for relevance as they see opportunities to enter the interactive/digital market.

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Live Streaming from Forrester Marketing Forum 2010 - Day Two

Marketers shoot at lighthouses

While Day 1 live-streaming is done, we’ve archived video below so that it’s available to you post-event.

Day Two of the Forrester Marketing Forum goes deeper into the org structure and processes needed to be adaptive. Morning keynotes from Dave Frankland of Forrester and Tom Boyles, Senior Vice President at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, focus on the theme of “Know Thy Customer” – specifically how marketers make sense of customer data in order to deliver great experiences. Then up, it’s Josh Bernoff and Augie Ray to unveil Forrester’s new Peer Influence Analysis in the keynote “Energizing Word of Mouth through Social Media”. Afternoon track sessions and guest executive forums dive deeper into the best practices and case studies of adaptive marketing. Thanks to all of you who have Tweeted, posted pictures, and, in general, kept up a lively online conversation!

Today's Live Stream
8:30 a.m.-8:40 a.m. PST

Day Two Opening Remarks
Carlton Doty
, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester
Christine Overby
, Vice President, Role Manager - Interactive Marketing, Forrester

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Marketing Forum Day 1 Wrap-up

Forrester forums always go by in a blur - so many ideas and conversations crammed into 2 short days. I'm still synthesizing, but even so, there are some key insights that I've jotted down from my seat in the speaker's gallery:

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Live Streaming from Forrester Marketing Forum 2010 - Day One

Update: Day 1 was a great dive into the theme of Adaptive Marketing. While Day 1 live-streaming is done, we’ve archived video below so that it’s available to you post-event.

We are so excited to be in Los Angeles hosting the 4th annual Forrester Marketing Forum! This year, we have 550 attendees from various industries and roles – all here to connect and discuss how to design a flexible marketing organization that thrives on change.

Our bang-up roster of keynotes include: Pam Kaufman, CMO of Nickelodeon; Steven Sickel, SVP of Marketing at Intercontinental Hotel Groups; Tom Boyles, SVP of Marketing at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; James Cornell, CMO of Prudential Retirement; Chris Bradshaw, CMO at Autodesk (the software firm that made the movie Avatar possible); Deborah Nelson, SVP of Marketing at HP; and Marjorie Tenzer, VP of Marketing & Communications at IBM. Below are the highlights of the speeches and the twitter stream for those of you who couldn't make the trip and for those of your monitoring from the event.