Take Our Digital Disruption Readiness Assessment

Yesterday I took the main stage at our 2011 Consumer Forum here in Chicago to introduce the 500+ members of the audience to digital disruptors. You can read about the guts of my presentation in my blog post and learn more about the effect of digital disruptors in "Beware the Digital Disruptors," my Mashable piece from earlier this week. 

But what I really want you to do is participate in our Digital Disruption Readiness Assessment. It's found at forr.com/digitalreadiness and takes just five minutes to complete. We launched it yesterday as part of my speech, and many thanks to the hundreds of you who have already hit the survey (even those of you who just checked out the first page and didn't proceed; I want you back). The results are already fascinating and will only get better as we get more of you to participate, so please pass this along to your friends and let's collect enough data that I can share more nuggets as they come through. Here's a teaser:

You're very optimistic: 43% think it's very likely that "My company will be a top provider of its goods and services in five years." Yet only 21% of you think it's very likely that "My company will be more innovative than other firms in our industry or category over the next five years." Red flag: How will your company lead in products if it doesn't lead in innovation? 

In our assessment, we ask you to evaluate your industry, your company, and your individual readiness for (or vulnerability to) digital disruption. And here's the real kicker: When we get to the level of the individual, the answers are sure to trigger empathy.

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Meet The Digital Disruptors

As I write this blog post, somewhere in the hotel below me our Forum team is busily preparing for the opening day of our 2011 Consumer Forum. There I will take the stage as the opening keynote presenter and, although I'm going to be talking about the future, it makes me think about the past. Because in 1999 I stood on a similar stage and offered my first Forrester keynote address, entitled "Meet the Digital Consumers."

Back on that stage, with the help of Forrester's Consumer Technographics survey data, I explained how consumers -- once digitally enabled -- would forever alter the way companies serve them. It's now 12 years later, and everything I said then came true, plus some. I didn't know then about YouTube, Facebook, or Groupon. But I did know that digital consumers would want more benefits, more easily, than they received in an analog world.

Today I'll stand on the stage and introduce people to a new entity: digital disruptors. Because while disruption is not new (just as consumers have always been with us), digital disruption is more powerful than before. It allows more individuals to bring ideas to market more cheaply than ever before. Below is a sneak peek at a key slide from the presentation I'll deliver in an hour's time.

Digital product disruption is better, stronger, faster than before

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Where's The Meat In ANA's Claims Against ICANN's gTLD Program?

My colleague Chris Stutzman reports from the 2011 ANA Masters of Marketing conference that Association of National Advertisers (ANA) CEO Bob Liodice used his keynote presentation to continue to hammer ICANN's generic top-level domain (gTLD) initiative. Maybe he should listen to Dana Anderson, SVP at Kraft Foods, who spoke about how "lasting change happens in leaps and bounds, not through incremental shifts."

I've been advising companies since ICANN's announcement in June on how to evaluate the .brand or .category opportunity, and most of those companies haven't found a bona fide new business opportunity that justifies the investment in a gTLD. But with few exceptions, they're looking at ICANN's plans as one of the biggest opportunities since the dawn of the Internet to take more control of their brand online, which is why the ANA argument troubles me.

The heart of the ANA’s arguments come down to claims that it will cost brands billions of dollars in defensive registrations to protect their trademarks from cybersquatters and other web perpetrators of all sorts. But let's dig into that a little deeper:

  • Will it be billions of dollars? I have yet to see ANA produce any data to support its claims that the costs will be staggering.
  • Will there be squatters on your .brand gTLD? If you are a brand owner with any IP rights to your brand, there’s no way a perpetrator will win an application for your .brand TLD. Even if one could, no squatter will spend $185,000 on it.
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Modern Lessons In Brand Leadership — Highlights Of The 2011 ANA Masters Of Marketing Conference

The 2011 ANA Masters of Marketing conference once again brought together the power brokers of US advertising in a state-of-the-state event of entertainment, networking, and speeches over three days. In all, more than 1,700 marketers and marketing service firms convened in Phoenix to share in this year's official theme — growth.

Indeed, these are trying times for CMOs to deliver growth through traditional marketing. Growth has been challenging and inconsistent for most marketers over the past three years as they fight a war on two fronts — the turbulence of the economy and the turbulence of empowered customers. Thomas Friedman reinforced those points, asserting that in order for America to grow, as a market and a people, the notion of "average" cannot be accepted; companies must become exceptional once again by unleashing creativity and innovation on a global stage. That's why the more salient subtext of the conference was leadership.

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Digital Disruption Is Coming Your Way: A Preview Of My Keynote Address

Join me in Chicago on October 27-28 as I help you prepare for digital disruption.

Not old-school disruption, the kind you've heard of before, that takes years to develop and decades to have its devastating effect. I'm talking about digital disruption -- a better, stronger, faster version of disruption that is running rampant across industries as divergent as book publishing, cosmetics, and auto insurance. Digital disruptors are people and companies that use digital tools to: 1) remove traditional barriers to entry; 2) produce better products and services; and 3) build digital relationships with your customers that forever relegate you to the margins of your customer's thoughts and plans. And they do all of this faster than you can.

It's what makers of the app Lose It! are doing to the dieting business (and what their competitors at Daily Burn are trying to do to the folks at Lose It!); it's what Garmin is poised to do to personal training; it's what our magic mirror will undoubtedly do to the beauty and wellness business; and it's what every digital disruptor is plotting to do to your business right now.

Beat them by joining them. Become digital disruptors yourselves before it's too late. How? By stealing crucial pages from the digital disruptor's handbook. Check out this video summary to hear more about The Disruptor's Handbook.

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How Will You And Your Marketing Programs Be Measured In 2012? Take Our Survey On ROI Trends.

According to an Advertising Age article that discussed a new IBM survey released today, many CMOs "believe that marketing's financial return on investment will become a key marker of success in the next three to five years." With continued economic turmoil, marketing leaders are facing increased pressure to measure their results, but faced with an overhwelming amount of data, finding the right KPI needles in the haystack of information can be overwhelming. To sift through this data overload, we are conducting research for a report on how leading marketers will be measuring success. Take our survey on ROI measurement to tell us how you are changing your ROI approach for 2012, and we'll send you a copy of the results so that you can see how others are navigating the ROI path. 

Thank you!