The Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) Vendor Landscape Evaluated

Over the past year, my colleague Andrew McInnes and I have immersed ourselves in the world of enterprise feedback management (EFM), which we define as follows:

A system of software and processes that enables organizations to centrally collect, analyze, and report on feedback from key customer groups and tailor insights for various internal users.

During this time, it has been a great experience talking with vendors and clients about how this technology tool enables companies to bring all of the customer data and information collected across channels together into one platform. This ability is more important than ever given that we have entered the “age of the customer” — a period marked by the rise of the empowered customer, who is armed with more information than ever before and who is now using a rapidly evolving set of devices as a means of engaging not only with friends and family but also with companies anytime and anywhere. To be successful in this new world, companies must understand how consumers interact across these multiple touchpoints; failure to do so can lead to a fragmented view of the customer.

While it is clear that companies must embrace EFM, what is not as clear is how they should navigate the EFM vendor landscape. This is due to the dozens of small vendors, evolving market segments, and increasing M&A activity. To help professionals within the marketing and strategy organization, Andrew and I decided to conduct a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of the EFM vendors.

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B2B Customer Experience Scores Are Low And Excuses Ring Hollow

The customer experience for companies doing business with other companies stinks. Three independent studies that Forrester Research has conducted over the past year indicate that the business-to-business (B2B) experience is perceived as worse than that in the bottom-of-the-barrel consumer industries such as TV service providers and health insurance plans in Forrester’s 2011 Customer Experience Index. This is not surprising for several reasons. Many B2B firms believe that customer experience is something that only consumer-focused firms like Disney, Zappos, and Ritz Carlton need to consider. Moreover, many B2B companies argue that purchasing decisions are made for a complex set of reasons other than customer experience. Finally, they often say that because of the relatively low number of accounts, they already provide a personalized experience through account management teams.

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Co-Creation Contests: Q&A With The CEO Of ChallengePost

This is the sixth in a series of question-and-answer blog posts with the CEOs of the vendors included in my recent Forrester Wave™: Co-Creation Contest Vendors, Q3 2011 (blog and report).

Today we’re talking with Brandon Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost. ChallengePost, a New York City-based firm, was identified as a "Leader" in that report.

Doug:          Co-creation contests are a new opportunity for product strategy professionals to solve business challenges, but many people are unfamiliar with them. What is your “elevator pitch” to potential clients about co-creation contests and the benefits they deliver?

Brandon:    ChallengePost challenges go beyond co-creation contests for products and include software development, idea generation, and exciting actions that the public can take to solve a problem with the organization. The challenger gets ideas and solutions, along with tremendous branding and media attention, for a small amount of money. 

 

Doug:          Why should product strategy professionals consider co-creation a business imperative at this point in time?

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The Future Of Digital Media Buying . . . Is Now! Embrace Programmatic Buying To Increase Efficiency And Reduce Waste

 

As anyone who reads my research knows, I am the resident display ad technology geek on the Interactive Marketing team. I am fascinated by all things acronym-related, from DSPs to DMPs to RTB. And my experience co-launching Razorfish’s “agency trading desk,” ATOM Systems, in 2008 taught me a lot about what matters — and what doesn’t — in rolling out an audience-centric programmatic buying strategy, and what steps to take to set clients up for success.

Well, I thought it was time to share this story in my new report, The Future Of Digital Media BuyingIt explores how digital media buying is dramatically transforming and outlines the steps marketers must take to succeed in this new digital media buying world.

The long and short: laser-focused, programmatic media buying is now a reality and that’s a good thing for you. Here’s what’s driving the opportunity:

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The Big, Gray, Squishy, And Constantly Moving Line Of Social Data Privacy

Last week at Facebook's developer conference, the massive social network announced a few big changes. Loosely veiled in the enhanced features is a startling amount of new data, giving Facebook even more capabilities to track and learn from consumers sharing behavior, networks, purchases, songs they listen to, and so on.

While there were no direct announcements about what this means for marketers, it's still brought a fair amount of discussion around social marketing, customer data, and the future of consumer privacy online. Last week I tweeted a link to this summary (and pointed out the URL's passive aggressive analysis). But since then, the concerns around Facebook's use of data have only increased. So what does this mean to Customer Intelligence professionals?

The way I talk about customer privacy and social data - the information you can collect and manage from social media channels - is that it's a big, gray, squishy, and constantly moving line. It's not black and white. It's not a thin line. And the overall sentiment about how privacy online works seems to shift constantly. The best thing Customer Intelligence teams can do today is to make sure they're on the right side of that line.

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Facebook Changes The Social Networking Game . . . Again

If there’s one thing Facebook is not afraid of, it’s change. Today at its annual F8 conference Facebook announced some dramatic changes to its platform. But this time it’s different. Why? Because the big social networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and now Google) have traditionally battled over the social graph – your relationships in the digital world and how to help build and connect them, but now Facebook is laying claim to your life. Through its new Timeline feature that recaps in one fell swoop everything you’ve ever posted and lets you feature the highlights, along with its new apps that let you discover and  share real-time experiences like watching movies and listening to music, Facebook is changing the social networking game. Of course you could argue that it was already acting as the online identity for many people, but this takes it to a whole new level.

This could also open up some big doors to marketers such as:

  • Word of mouth on steroids. As the ability to share experiences matures, companies that are effective in getting influentials to speak on their behalf will succeed more. This will make two key skills even that much more important in the future: 1) providing great product experiences that people will share; and 2) getting customers to become advocates who share on your behalf over the long term.
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Co-Creation Contests: Q&A With The CEO Of Redesignme

This is the fifth in a series of question-and-answer blog posts with the CEOs of the vendors included in my recent Forrester Wave™: Co-Creation Contest Vendors, Q3 2011 (blog and report).

Today we’re talking with Maxim Schram, CEO of Redesignme. Redesignme, a firm based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, was identified as a "Strong Performer" in that report, based on its Redesignme Connect product.

Doug:          Co-creation contests are a new opportunity for product strategy professionals to solve business challenges, but many people are unfamiliar with them. What is your “elevator pitch” to potential clients about co-creation contests and the benefits they deliver?

Maxim:       We believe in Bill Joy’s vision (co-founder of Sun Microsystems): “There are always more smart people outside your team or company than within it.” A co-creation contest is an extremely efficient and fun way to collect, discuss and elaborate on fresh new insights and ideas. Setting up something similar in an offline environment can be time consuming and costly. A lot of the challenges on our website are initiated by companies that see co-creation contests as the perfect starting point for an innovation process. The ideas collected often count as input for creative sessions, design projects and market research. Besides, joining an online co-creation contest can inspire one’s own creativity and result in commitment amongst a project group or department.

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Seeing The Wood For The Trees – Summarizing The Esomar Congress

Earlier this week, I attended the Esomar Congress in Amsterdam. It was a home game for me, but even I was impressed by the location and its very Dutch look and feel; I felt proud of my country (of course it helps that I’m a big fan of stroopwafels, poffertjes, mature cheese, and bitterballen).

Not only were the surroundings impressive, but so were the presentations. Only a couple of the 20 or so that I saw were average. Most presentations gave a good overview of a new methodology, the client side of the story, and the challenges faced. My personal highlights included the Heineken/TNS presentation, in which they used neuroscience (or more precisely electroencephalography [EEG], biometrics, and eye-tracking) to measure how relevant viewers felt the ad was to them, how excited they were by it, and what areas of the screen they looked at while it played. You can find the summary by Robert Bain of Research Magazine here.

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How Marketing Mix Modeling Is Adapting To New Technologies And A Heightened Demand For Marketing Accountability

Marketing mix modeling solutions have been around for quite some time, providing marketers in several key categories with complex statistical models that aim to find the correlation between past marketing activities and business outcomes, like sales or market share.

However this space has recently seen significant changes, due to a few specific dynamics:

  • The proliferation of digital and social media with increasing importance in the marketing mix.
  • Marketers' increased demand for tools that are not only able to deliver insights on past campaigns but also able to give forward-looking recommendations on how to improve marketing return on investment (ROI) in the future.
  • The rising role that sophisticated software plays in integrating the ever-growing number of data streams and in enabling complex analysis to be navigated and customized via powerful graphic user interfaces.

To help navigate this complex and highly relevant space for senior marketers, our research team has published the first Forrester Wave™ for vendors in the marketing mix modeling space. We screened more than 30 vendors, shortlisted six that we consider to be the key players in this very fragmented market, and ranked them according to more than 40 different criteria. The evaluation uncovered a market in which:

  • MarketShare, Marketing Management Analytics, and ThinkVine lead the pack.
  • SymphonyIRI is a Leader but lacks collaborative functionalitites.
  • Marketing Analytics and Ninah are competitive Strong Performers.
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Customer Experience Ecosystem Mapping: The Workshop!

I’ve been talking a lot lately about customer experience ecosystems. And I’ve been getting tons of questions from people who would like to learn the tools and processes for mapping their own ecosystems.

Good news! Paul Hagen and I are hosting a Customer Experience Ecosystem Mapping workshop in San Francisco on Wednesday, November 16. During this full day of presentations, hands-on exercises, and discussions, you’ll learn how to use Forrester’s ecosystem framework to:

  • Detail a specific customer journey and key touchpoints. (If you’ve got them, bring your existing personas and customer journey maps.)
  • Identify the people, processes, policies, and technologies that influence those customer interactions — both the parts of the ecosystem that are in plain view of customers as well as those parts that influence the customer experience from behind the scenes.
  • Identify the root causes of customer experience problems.
  • Prioritize fixes to these problems.

You’ll leave with a solid start on your own ecosystem map — and the know-how to complete it back at the office with your extended team.

Ecosystem mapping is a collaborative exercise, and we feel you’ll get the most out of this workshop if a colleague joins you — so we’re offering a 10% discount to companies who send two attendees.

For more details, please check out the Customer Experience Ecosystem Mapping workshop page on our website.

We hope to see you in San Francisco!