Is This The Year You "Go Mobile" With Your Brand Or Sales Channels?

Forrester is launching a new survey to find out how marketing leaders like you integrate the mobile channel into their marketing strategy.

Planning and organizing for the use of mobile technologies is a complex task. Some players are laggards. Some don’t think of the mobile channel as a priority. On the other hand, others are clearly ahead of the curve. Yet, the one question we consistently get is: “How does my organization compare with others in the integration of the mobile channel?”

We will try to answer that question with this ongoing Mobile Maturity Survey and more specifically how marketing leaders:

  • Coordinate the mobile channel with other existing channels.
  • Measure the impact of the mobile channel.
  • Plan to spend in the mobile channel in 2011.

Here’s how you can help:

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Help My Interactive Marketing Colleagues Benchmark "Social Maturity"

My colleagues who serve Interactive Marketing professionals are working on a study to benchmark social media maturity in organizations, the results of which will be a killer report that will allow you to map yourself against your peers. This is not limited to the marketing world we are benchmarking the entire organization. Our goal is to answer these key questions:

  • How do you define “social maturity,” and why is it important to get there?
  • Which companies are ahead of the curve in implementing social technologies for both external use (i.e., for customers/consumers) and/or internal use (i.e., for employees/partners)?
  • What have been the biggest drivers of success?
  • What are the biggest challenges?
  • What steps do most organizations need to take and why?

Here’s how you can help:

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E3 Notes: Gaming Isn't Just About Gaming Anymore

The future is here, folks, and the gaming industry is the first to get us there. Today I leave E3, the gaming industry's biggest US convention. When all is said and done, roughly 45,000 people will have come through LA's convention center -- most of them as nerdy as you're imagining right now -- to play the newest games, demo the latest hardware, and collectively drool over hyper-realistic zombies, aliens, robots, and other baddies game designers have placed in our digital sights.

At this E3 we have witnessed more advances in living room technology than the cable, consumer electronics, or the computer industry (yes, that includes Apple) have managed to pull off in many years of trying. Let me summarize:

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Does Proof Exist That Social Marketing Makes Money?

The following post is from my colleague and our CMO Group Advisor, Erin Streeter. I thought this topic was critical to our community of marketing leaders. If you have any questions for us, please comment below, reach out to me, or contact Erin at estreeter@forrester.com.

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As the Senior Advisor for Forrester’s CMO Group, an executive peer networking organization, I field strategy questions from senior marketers on a daily basis. And while I’m constantly getting questions about social media (“How do we get started?”, “What is its place in our marketing mix?”, “Can we even play given our regulated industry?”), one CMO Group Member recently asked a very straightforward, but extremely challenging, question: “What proof does Forrester have that social media adds to the revenue stream?”

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I Have Seen The Future, And The Future Is Xbox Kinect

It's late, this is just a short note to let you know that today I saw the future and what I saw was so stunning I couldn't go to sleep without telling you about it first. The future is the new Xbox 360 that debuted at Microsoft's E3 press conference today -- not just the improved hardware which ships to stores today and costs the same as the previous hardware -- but Xbox Kinect. This is Microsoft's long-awaited full-body natural user interface (NUI) for the Xbox 360, previously codenamed Project Natal and now branded as Kinect.

Kinect is everything. Kinect is the future of everything. Kinect is to the next decade what the operating system was to the 1980s, what the mouse was to the 1990s, and what the Internet has been ever since. It is the thing that will change everything. Once we've all been Kinected, we will never go back. You'll shop, communicate, chill out, engage, and debate using technology that can see you, image you in three dimensions, and interact with you in ways that are cooler than the most far-out science fiction, yet completely natural. 

I could explain it, I could try, but I won't. Instead, I'll just encourage you to watch the last hour or so of the press conference yourself (though if you follow my link, you may also want to watch the first few minutes just to catch the pre-game interview with Felicia Day -- isn't she adorably nerdy?).

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Marketing Innovation Must Be Planned And More Ambitious

Many of the CMOs I engage with are adept at dealing with change. Marketers have to be adaptable these days, right? We're all playing in new channels and at different ways of interacting with customers. 

But through my discussions with marketers, I've noticed two things: 1) Most marketing organizations are reacting to, rather than driving, change, and 2) marketers aren't reaching far enough. 

Why do I call marketing reactive? Well, CMOs don't consider themselves change agents, and that's despite rapid changes in consumer behavior and the new possibilities technology offers them. Indeed, marketers see their own company's efforts at marketing innovation as middling, according to our September 2009 Global Marketing Leadership Online Survey (see figure below). I suppose that's to be expected. Marketers have a job to do, business to deliver, budgets to protect, and bosses to satisfy. Innovation isn't often part of their job description . . . but it should be. 

 

 

As a first step to making innovation a more important part of marketing's role, CMOs must define their marketing innovation strategy. I've structured a framework and process for doing just that in my new research.

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B2C Marketers Say Loyal Customers Will Drive Them To Innovate

I hadn't realised it was so long since I posted. Let's chalk it up to May Madness, which has more to do with trains and planes than basketball. 

Some of you may know from previous posts that I have been writing about the innovation of marketing. My new research, including a framework for creating a marketing innovation roadmap, should be live very soon. 

Being on my marketing innovation kick, one of the questions I most ask marketers these days is what factors will lead them to innovate their marketing. Below you'll see the top 10 of what our recent panel survey of B2C Marketing Leaders said. The first on this list is near and dear to my heart: Loyal customers. 

B2C Marketers pick their innovation drivers

How will increasing customer loyalty impact your business? How will you use it for good? 

I'm hoping we'll invest less upfront in media and invest more in services to build custom further -- you know, something like automatic replenishment while reusing containers. Or perhaps pluck up the courage to try interesting pricing models linked to longevity. Or manage access based on behavior: "Sorry, those detergents are reserved for our best customers." Or engage in real learning relationships that mean the loyal customer will always get the product and service he or she is after. 

What drivers are top three in your list? And what are you doing about it?   

Oh, one thing to know, B2B marketers set different priorties for their drivers. More on them next week. 

Google TV Is A Bigger Deal Than You Think

It has only been a few weeks since Google announced it would create a brave, new world with its Google TV platform. In all the reactions and the commentary, I have been amazed at how little people understand what's really going on here. Let me summarize: Google TV is a bigger deal than you think. In fact, it is so big that I scrapped the blog post I drafted about it because only a full-length report (with supporting survey data) could adequately explain what Google TV has done and will do to the TV market. That report went live this week. Allow me to explain why the report was necessary.

Some have expressed surprise that Google would even care about TV in the first place. After all, Google takes nearly $7 billion dollars into its coffers each quarter from that little old search engine it sports, a run-rate of $27 billion a year. In fact, this has long been a problem Google faces -- its core business is so terribly profitable that it's hard to justify investing in its acquisitions and side projects which have zero hope of ever contributing meaningfully to the business (not unlike the problem at Microsoft where Windows 7 is Microsoft). So why would Google bother with the old TV in our living rooms?

Because TV matters in a way that nothing else does. Each year, the TV drives roughly $70 billion in advertising and an equal amount in cable and satellite fees, and another $25 billion in consumer electronics sales. Plus, viewers spend 4.5 hours a day with it -- which is, mind you, the equivalent of a full-time job in some socialist-leaning countries (I'll refrain from naming names). 

Google's goal is to get into that marketplace, eventually appropriating a healthy chunk of the billions in advertising that flow to and through the TV today with such painful inefficiency.

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Now Accepting Entries For The 2010 Groundswell Awards For Social Media

[Originally published by Josh Bernoff on the Groundswell blog.]

We first started the Forrester Groundswell awards in 2007. What a great run! We've seen applications like the one that the amazing Pete Williams used to raise a million dollars for recovery from Australian brush fires and the one that remade the rules for NASCAR. And for the people who created these award-winning applications, the awards have given them the recognition that helps them justify the great work they do.

This year, we're expanding them to match up to the expanding role that social applications play in business. It also means you have more ways to win.

We've got:

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How To Get People To Pay For Content

It's the most common question I get in my travels: Will people ever pay for content again? See what I had to say about that in a recent interview below (as posted on Paidcontent.org)

Implied in the question is a belief in some yesteryear in which people did pay for content. But the good news is, they never have and never will. That's the good news? Yes, because once we stop imagining that people will someday pay for content again, we can focus on giving them what they will pay for -- access to content.

It's what people have always paid for and it's clearly what they pay for now. Look deeper into the past and you find that people did not underwrite all the pages of content in their daily newspapers. Yes, they paid for the newspaper, but that's just because the newspaper was the only way to get efficient access to that much news and information. Today, instead of paying for newspapers, they pay for high-speed data plans to their homes and on their mobile devices as well as subscriptions to content from Netflix and their cable companies, accounting for 77% of their monthly spend on content. And they will pay even more for that in the future as 4G becomes a reality. 

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