I am excited! Not just about the fact that Forrester's Marketing Forum is just around the corner. I am excited because I just got to spend some time with Ross Martin, the energetic executive vice president (EVP) of MTV Scratch. His team is a center of innovation at MTV for helping marketers connect with millenials, and his enthusiasm for the next digital decade is palpable. If you are coming to the Forum in San Francisco next week, you will get to hear Ross and his client and counterpart Jim Trebilcock, CMO at Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) Group, talk about the nationwide launch of Sun Drop soda that kicked off a few weeks ago.
Not to spoil that story, here are some of the things Ross and I discussed about the future of marketing:
DC: Given what you have done with DPS, what do you see as the future agency model? Can media companies replace agencies?
RM: We see new and inspiring work from agencies every day and have been lucky to collaborate with some great partners. Much has been said about the challenges agencies face with so many new models emerging. We believe these new models will continue to evolve, as agencies large and small pursue new ways to serve their clients.
Great agencies will look to capitalize on the strengths of media companies in both traditional and nontraditional ways — from ad sales and integrated marketing to the kinds of services Scratch offers, such as design and product planning, retail activation, creative execution, social media, marketing strategy, and more.
Cloud computing and CRM giant salesforce.com has acquired Radian6 to add real social media monitoring and engagement to its suite of clouds, in a deal valued at $326 million. Why do I say "real"? Salesforce.com has been talking about social CRM and the importance of feeding social media mentions into sales and service processes for quite some time, but this acquisition will let salesforce.com deliver on that vision in a much bigger way.
I wrote about social listening platforms in my February report on "Emerging Technologies B2B CMOs Should Watch In 2011." CMOs should take notice of this acquisition because it represents the first foray for salesforce.com into capabilities that CMOs at large enterprises should care about, and since salesforce.com is aggressively trying to increase its penetration in the large-enterprise market, it could be followed by other additions to form the strikingly missing marketing cloud, namely marketing automation to support lead nurturing and closed-loop marketing. Salesforce.com will also likely take Radian6, or a version it ports to the Force.com platform, to its bread-and-butter midmarket, making social listening a bigger part of the marketing strategy for smaller and midsize firms, as it should be.
Here are a few valuable use cases that will result from this marriage that can improve sales and marketing effectiveness and/or the customer experience your firm delivers:
Find more leads. Marketers can listen for buying signals in the postings and discussions on social sites, blogs, and communities and use these signals to identify new warm leads to add to the system and start marketing to these people.
Yesterday, I had some time to catch up with Marc Menesguen, the managing director of strategic marketing at L'Oréal. While Marc has been with L'Oréal for years, he's just recently taken on this new — for him and for the company — role at L'Oréal. He was finishing work on one very beautiful presentation for the Forrester Marketing Forum in San Francisco next week. Marc's keynote, "L'Oréal: Where Digital Unleashes The Power Of Beauty," tells the story of brands — like Lancome, Maybelline, Vichy, and L'Oréal Paris — which can finally interact with consumers.
I asked Marc a few questions about how technology and beauty fit together. As my pre-teen daughter would have told me, it turns out that they fit together well, very well. Both beauty and digital are keys to connection. I like that. And I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.
MBK: Marc, what one thing most surprises you about consumers’ adoption and use of technology?
MM: Technology is changing so rapidly that the most surprising thing to me is how technology-savvy these customers are. Consumers today want to be part of the conversation, and it’s up to us to engage them in ways that are meaningful and relevant.
"Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There's no better rule." That was the advice Mr. Jaggers gave to Pip in the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations. The same advice goes to B2B marketing leaders, because this is how your CEO, CFO, and other executive team peers are looking at your marketing plans.
But the higher budgets come with "great expectations." CMOs need to spend more time allocating, managing, adjusting, and defending their budgets than ever before. When we look at how CMOs are allocating their budgets, we see that:
They are shifting some investment from lead origination to lead nurturing to further develop leads generated from previous efforts.
Although product marketing and product management remain the highest areas of investment, marketers plan to shift budget from those areas to community and interactive marketing to focus their messages on solving their customers' problems.
At first blush, the decision by Warner Bros to rent movies on Facebook seems a little out of place. Sure, people watch a lot of video (mostly YouTube) on Facebook, but they don't go there to watch two hour movies, right? Well, for now they don't, but with some tweaks, they could start doing so very soon.
As my colleague Nick Thomas said yesterday in his blog post about Facebook's potential as a premium content platform, the future of traditional and social media are likely to be intertwined. Most of us, myself included, have been imagining them blending in the living room, where viewers can access Facebook on any number of devices while watching a movie on the TV. But would people be interested in exactly the reverse? When I checked in on Facebook I found the first evidence that the answer is yes.
You see here that within 11 hours of being posted, 1,914 people liked the idea of watching The Dark Knight on Facebook. This is compared to the 1,433 people who have liked the App Edition of Dark Knight that was announced nearly a month ago. (Don't try this at home; for some reason, the post announcing Facebook viewing has since been removed and I can't check for more recent numbers.)
Overall, the conference featured an excellent lineup of presenters and speakers:
Nielsen announced that it is adopting Ad-ID standards into its local and national TV measurement methodologies. If marketers embed the Ad-ID tracking code, Nielsen will be able to report on brand-specific commercial ratings.
Bob Liodice, CEO of the ANA, announced that the ANA is forming a joint consumer panel with Canoe Ventures to test the effectiveness of Interactive TV (iTV) ads.
Al Gore discussed the importance of multichannel media planning and how CurrentTV is working to reach its audience across TV and digital.