CMOs Who Kick Bad Habits For Adaptive Habits Are Stronger Performers

What does it take for CMOs to transition the organization from the well-known to the unknown? At Forrester, we call it adaptive marketing. In previous research, we identified the five habits of adaptive marketers. But many CMOs ask whether the destination is worth the journey.

Another way of putting it: What’s the implication of doing things the way they’ve always been done?

That’s the question Forrester sought to understand when we fielded a study in collaboration with The CMO Club to understand how well CMOs have developed capabilities that enable them to nimbly adjust to changing consumer behavior and market conditions.

You can read more about the findings of the study in the CMO Strategy section of Advertising Age.

Here’s the top line:

  • The vast majority of marketers are still struggling to adapt. Seventy-eight percent of marketing leaders are having difficulty with transforming their organization to embrace the habits of adaptive marketers.
  • Marketers who embrace adaptive habits report higher performance. (See chart below.)
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Yes, Content Must Be Managed Internally As Well


Peter O'Neill here. My first report on content management came out last week and it has already generated several conversations – please keep those comments and inquiry requests coming. Content management was also a significant part of a one-day workshop I delivered to a client in Lisbon last week. They offer eProcurement and eMarketing software-as-a-service. So an interesting discussion we had was, “Do you need different content as a SaaS provider compared to a product vendor?” We concluded that the information would be the same, but the sense of urgency about delivering digital content to a SaaS audience is greater than a more conventional buyer community, which changes the content style and vehicles. This question is on my 2012 research calendar and will be the basis for a report later in the year, so I would love to hear your opinions on that one.

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How Privacy Legislation Will Change The Ad Network/Exchange Paradigm -- Pulling Back The Curtain Of Oz

In my recent paper titled Privacy Laws Force Rich Dialogue with Customers I outlined some of the looming legal directives that will change the targeting dialogue between brands and consumers and how the industry should respond. 

The ad network ecosystem will ultimately be forced the pull back the curtain of Oz to reveal to customers the machines and levers behind targeting technology. As illustrated in my paper, the predominant approaches are full targeting vesus opt out, but this is not enough choice. Segmentation strategies and targeting techniques used by ad tools are hidden within engines and will need to be surfaced to customers so that they may verify, modify, and importantly play with them.

This isn’t easy, however, as the mathematical vernacular of targeting technology with confusing terms such as graphs, nodes, and vectors are unintelligible to most. Metaphors will be needed to distill the complexity for customers. One of the approaches to take will be similar to how optometrists work by showing the customer different "lenses" (perceptions) held about them and subsequently allowing them to choose. These "lenses" may not just be rich segmentation concepts but will include social and individual assumptions too.

Where does this transparency and explanation rationale take us?

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A Unified Digital Europe. Is It Possible?


Yesterday the European Commission outlined its ambition to create a “genuine Digital Single Market” by 2015. You can read the whole text here if you have some time to kill . . .

It has the bold aim of “doubling the shares of the internet economy in European GDP and of online sales in European retail by 2015.”

Bold? Not half!

Like many EU documents of this sort, it’s big on ambition but frustratingly light on the “how.” In short, the document outlines 5 key blockers to cross-border growth in the EU, as follows:

·         The supply of legal, cross-border online services is still inadequate.

·         There is not enough information for online service operators or protection for internet users.

·         Payment and delivery systems are still inadequate.

·         There are too many cases of abuse and disputes that are difficult to settle.

·         Insufficient use is made of high-speed communication networks and hi-tech solutions.

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Google Search Gets Social- What it Could Mean for Marketers

I don’t know about you, but my head is spinning from all of the articles and editorials about Google’s incorporation of Google+ content and other personalized search results.  While there’s lots of conversation about whether the changes are good or bad for Google and the future of search, whether Google is opening themselves up to more anti-trust investigation, and whether Google was simply too late to the social media game to make a difference,  I’m going to leave those arguments to others.   I’m more interested in the potential opportunities and challenges for marketers that this integration of search and social presents.


  • It may give marketers an additional metric to track for social media.  Google will be surfacing your brand’s Google+ social content directly into personalized results, for consumers who’ve added you to their circles.  These search results may also include content that a consumer’s friends posted about you.  That means qualified clicks on your social content—and that means possibly tracking how much search traffic you generate to your own sites through social marketing. 
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Have You Taken A Stand On gTLDs?

The window to apply for a dot-brand or dot-category generic top-level domain (gTLD) opens on Thursday, January 12th. Have you driven your company to a decision on what to do? 

Many of the 50-plus marketing leaders I've talked with about this program in the past six months still haven't figured out what they would do with a domain registry but are concerned about another applicant getting their string. This is a very real concern, and I have addressed this and several of the other most frequent questions I've been getting on this topic in my recent report, "It's Decision Time For gTLDs."

So if you don't have your gTLD application ready to submit, what should you do now? First off, don't get so stuck in the hype about the risk of cybersquatters or of someone else getting your dot-brand. Stick to the advice we gave back in June to evaluate this opportunity strategically, looking at what new business initiatives or models you could deploy with the ability to own and operate a registry.

It is not for everyone. In fact, of the 50 companies I've talked with, fewer than 15 have a strategic initiative in mind for gTLDs. It seems like a no-brainer for a pure web-based business, but what about the brick and mortars? Is the Internet core to how you do business? How you attract, sell to, and service customers? How do you distribute your products and services? What about your supply chain? If these questions are relevant, then you need to be taking a closer look.

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The Year In Web Intelligence: 2011

I've never made New Year's resolutions. Well, that's not exactly true. Last week, I promised my dentist I would floss my teeth more in 2012, but that's about the extent of it. But this shouldn't be interpreted as a lack of optimism; I'm absolutely certain that 2012 will be another great year. I fully expect that this will be the year we bring gamification to big mobile data in the cloud or some other delightful confluence of buzzwords.*

Although I haven't traditionally written an annual retrospective, 2011 was a particularly interesting year for the analytics community. So I couldn't resist taking the opportunity to recap the most significant events and trends that I saw over the course of the year. I've selected a few choice items that were both meaningful in 2011 and are likely to have an ongoing impact in 2012:

  1. Google Analytics Premium launches. In September, Google entered the paid web analytics market with Google Analytics Premium. The new offering takes Google Analytics' (GA) capabilities quite a bit further than the free version and introduced a new option for enterprise web analytics buyers with upgraded processing power, support, and product features. As we move into 2012, it will be really interesting to see how Google continues to develop GA Premium to close the gap with competitors and to what degree they fine-tune the commercial and support models.
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Hello Mobile Market Research. Where Have You Been? What Took You So Long?

My colleague Reineke Reitsma and I have been championing mobile market research for quite some time. In fact, we published the first Forrester report on this emerging and innovative methodology back in 2009. In the report, Reineke wrote about the value of its mobility and flexibility to gather insights into consumers’ behavior anytime and anywhere. And for mainstream adoption to occur, hurdles such as cost, technology, privacy, and representation must be addressed.

At that time, I thought the growth of mobile market research was soon upon us. I was off by about 2 years. But 2011 was a turning point for mobile market research. We started 2011 with seeing the number of global shipments of smartphones and tablets surpassing the global shipment of desktop and notebook PCs. Blog posts and Twitter chatter under the #mobilemr hashtag increased significantly. In July 2011 there was the first formal debate about the merits of this new technology. And also in July there was a conference completely dedicated to how early adopters have leveraged mobile market research.

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Goodbye Siloed Digital Messaging, Hello Customer-Focused Integrated Messaging

Digital messaging convergence is here – at least for consumers.  Consumers receive messages through multiple channels like email, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and mobile app push notifications.  And thanks to the smartphones and tablets they carry during their waking hours, they increasingly access these channels through a single device.  To consumers, the lines between distinct messaging channels are blurring.

Too bad marketers have been so slow to catch up.  Most marketers still manage messaging in channel-specific silos and don’t meet consumers’ expectations for integrated, synchronized messaging.  For example, many email marketing managers blast away at customers’ inboxes in an attempt to goose returns for their own channel instead of collaborating to execute a better mix of multi-channel messaging that will maximize overall customer value.

We just posted new research that explores what’s keeping marketers stuck in the siloed messaging rut and how they can better serve their customers (and themselves) by shifting to a new approach: Customer-Focused Integrated Messaging (CFIM).  Unlike siloed messaging, CFIM organizes data, resources, and processes to revolve around customers instead of channels.  In the report, we discuss why this desired state is more realistic and achievable now than ever before.  We also detail how marketers can make their digital messaging more integrated across channels and responsive to customers’ needs and behaviors.  These recommendations concentrate on changes marketers must make in three areas:

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A Look Ahead At eCommerce Technology in 2012

As the calendar flips to 2012 we all seem to feel the urge to assess the near past and look to the near future. 2011 was a year full of industry rattling M&A and meaningful growth in eCommerce channels in the face of tough economic head winds. But, we have all already read too many posts recapping and listing 2011’s big events. Besides, we lived it already, time to move on. So what is 2012 bringing the world of eBusiness technology? A few things to look for:

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