Is It Time For Customer Decision Management?

The essential shape of the enterprise marketing landscape hasn’t changed much over the years. In last week’s Revisiting The Enterprise Marketing Software Landscape, I dissect technologies into the four basic categories of marketing management, brand management, relationship marketing, and interactive marketing. Consumers are rapidly changing behaviors, and marketing as a practice is evolving dramatically, but the technologies that marketers buy continue to come in essentially the same containers.

Notice, however, all of the decision management systems employed across the marketing landscape. From interaction management to online testing to recommendations to contact optimization, marketers are using automated systems to make an increasing number of customer-facing decisions. Viewed from the perspective of those decisions, the landscape of marketing technologies is shifting under our feet.

So is it time for a new take – say, customer decision management (CDM) – on marketing technology?

Why Do We Need Customer Decision Management?

Given that we’re already awash in marketing technology, do we need another three-letter acronym? Yes, because customers are:

Read more

Customer Intelligence Teams Need Analytics "Translators"

Any big data or analytics conversation would be remiss without the mention of "data scientists." Much has been written about data scientists– who they are, who they should be, and where to find them. My colleague James Kobielus wrote an interesting series of blog posts about the skills required to become a data scientist.

From a customer intelligence (CI) perspective, we outlined four segments of CI professionals — marketing practitioners, marketing technologists, marketing scientists, and customer strategists. Of these, marketing scientists typically orchestrate the customer and marketing analytics function. They manage the reporting, analysis, and predictive modeling processes using marketing and customer data.

In a CI context, we find that the role of the marketing scientist has evolved from being a pure data analyst drowning in data analysis to that of an analytics translator — someone who is equally comfortable with building advanced predictive models and also adept at embedding the output of the models into customer-facing processes. What type of marketing scientist does your analytics team have?

We recently published a report on why "Customer Intelligence Needs A New Breed Of Marketing Scientist" (accessible to Forrester clients). In the report, we highlight ways to develop analytics translators across the staffing cycle — starting from attracting the right talent, nurturing the relevant skills, training with new skills, and incenting them based on business impact.

Read more

Explore Emerging Data Sources At Forrester's Customer Intelligence Forum

With winter winding down and marketers coming out of hibernation, the fresh air means one very important thing: It must be conference season!

Along with South by Southwest and a variety of vendor conferences, you'll find me gearing up for Forrester's Customer Intelligence Forum, being held on April 18th and 19th in Los Angeles. The Forum theme is "From Cool To Critical: Creating Engagement In The Age Of The Customer," and we will explore the ways customer-obsessed marketers will win in the next digital decade. This will be an excellent opportunity for data-driven marketers to connect and learn about industry best practices and future trends.

One trend I find most fascinating (and this will be no surprise to regular readers) is the abundance of new data sources for customer intelligence. As a result of my interest — and of course, attendees' interest — this year, I'm leading a track about identifying customer insights from emerging data sources. With help from my awesome colleagues Tina Moffett and Roxie Strohmenger, we're going to host four interactive sessions around new data, how to evaluate the various channels, and how to harness data from these sources to uncover actionable insights.

Read more

Dear Marketer: The Oval Office Called. It Wants Its Privacy Back.

 Yesterday, the White House released a long-awaited set of recommendations that are focused on helping individuals take greater control of how their data is collected and used for online marketing purposes. It includes what's being referred to as a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights."

The language is vague. The timeline to completion is long. The guidelines, for now, are "opt-in" for organizations. All true.

But folks? The glory days of scraping and selling and repurposing customer data are over. The Oval Office has spoken on the issue of privacy and personal data, and its bill of rights is crystal clear: Tell me what you’re collecting, how you’re using it, protect it well, give me a copy, and give me a chance to correct it, delete it, or opt out entirely.

Sound familiar? It should.  

We've written about personal identity management because we recognize that:

  1. Individuals want relevant offers and content, along with all the other great stuff that comes with sharing personal data.
  2. But, they are worried about privacy, security, and identity on the Web — and these concerns are only increasing.
  3. So, Do Not Track, the Privacy Bill of Rights, and similar guidelines will gain widespread approval and adoption . . .
Read more

Participate In Our 2012 Customer Analytics Adoption Survey

Does your firm use customer analytics to optimize relationship marketing efforts? Does your firm use analytical techniques to understand and predict customer behavior? If so, we want to hear from you.

We are launching our first Customer Analytics Adoption Survey for customer analytics users. With this survey, we want to understand how you use and apply customer analytics in your organization. In particular, we’re fielding questions to understand the goals and challenges with using customer analytics, the descriptive and predictive analytics techniques and models you use, the business impact of customer analytics, the customer metrics you track, and how you prioritize customer analytics initiatives across the customer life cycle. We encourage you to participate in this survey, as this information will help you benchmark your customer analytics adoption against peers and assess future opportunities.

Click here to take the 2012 Customer Analytics Adoption Survey now. We will send you a complimentary copy of the completed research with aggregate results, scheduled for publication in Q2 2012. Please feel free to share this link — http://forr.com/Cust_analytics — with clients and analytics colleagues involved in customer analytics.

Thank you in advance for your time; we look forward to sharing the results with you.

Calling All Product Strategy Professionals!

We're looking for a new analyst to join Forrester's Consumer Product Strategy practice. Are you experienced in the field of product planning, development, and innovation? Do you have an insatiable curiosity for where the digital economy is headed and how digitally disruptive products are changing the world in which we live? If this sounds like you, keep reading . . .

Digital disruption is transforming consumer products, inverting industry economics, and redefining customer relationships for companies in all industries. Forrester is helping our clients adapt their businesses and innovate their products in response to the unprecedented pace of technology change that characterizes this revolution. We need a Senior/Principal Analyst with cross-industry experience to join the team and help serve Forrester’s clients with forward-looking research and advice on how product strategists can capitalize on digital disruption. 

If you’re interested, apply online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Welcome To The Era Of Digital Intelligence

I’m excited to announce the recent publication of Welcome To The Era Of Digital Intelligence. This idea has been brewing for a long time, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody who follows interactive marketing or web analytics. The macro marketing environment has changed – and continues to rapidly evolve – to accommodate new touchpoints, sophisticated consumers, and highly coordinated multichannel customer experiences. And as the remit of marketing expands, so too must that of marketing analytics.

It’s clear that traditional analytics approaches were not designed or intended to handle the breadth of channels, devices, volume, and speed that fuel today’s digital interactions. The endemic symptoms of these gaps are plain for anyone to see: the proliferation of analysis tools, the explosion of data warehousing projects, and the struggle to translate analytics into actionable insights. It is abundantly clear that we need to take a step back and re-imagine an analytics framework that adequately supports modern digital marketing.

Forrester calls this updated approach to marketing analytics “digital intelligence,” defined as:

The capture, management, and analysis of data to provide a holistic view of the digital customer experience that drives the measurement, optimization, and execution of marketing tactics and business strategies.

Digital intelligence comprises six “layers”:

  1. Digital data inputs – incorporating data from all digital marketing touchpoints
  2. Business data inputs – putting digital marketing data into context with data from the business
  3. Data processing – collecting, integrating, and managing data with a high degree of speed and granularity
Read more

The Cross-Channel Attribution Landscape

As a new analyst at Forrester, I’m taking over coverage of cross-channel attribution, metrics, and measurement for customer intelligence professionals. It is a wide-spanning topic to cover, but I’m up for the challenge!

One of the major topics that I’ll cover is cross-channel attribution. Cross-channel attribution is essentially an advanced measurement approach to measure channel performance and customer performance metrics more accurately by calculating the true credit given to a specific marketing effort that leads to a desired customer action. It’s a daunting task for marketers because it requires organizational support and a deep understanding of attribution modeling.

For support, marketers often turn to external vendors — the subject of my latest research: Understanding the Cross-Channel Attribution Landscape. As I was researching this report, it was clear that cross-channel attribution is top of mind for marketers and CI folks alike. Why? It’s a more advanced, precise way to measure channel and customer performance. In an age of austerity that requires responsible and efficient marketing investment, it’s no wonder that it’s a priority.

Read more

Forrester’s First Evaluation Of Loyalty Program Service Providers Is Now Live

For just over a year, we’ve been writing a stream of research around customer loyalty programs. Loyalty is “en fuego” right now, and it’s an exciting time to be covering the technologies, services, and analytics that support these programs. To make things even more thrilling, we just published The Forrester Wave™: Loyalty Program Service Providers, Q1 2012.

This is Forrester’s first evaluation of loyalty program service providers. We screened more than 30 companies that build and manage loyalty programs but narrowed down the field to Aimia, Brierley+Partners, Epsilon, Kobie Marketing, Maritz, and Tibco Loyalty Lab. These players demonstrate market momentum, offer a full range of loyalty services to support the entire loyalty life cycle, and generate strong customer interest.

Our assessment consisted of executive briefings; reference calls and online surveys of user companies; and a 60-criteria evaluation. These criteria included the vendor’s approach to loyalty strategy; technology offering; integration capabilities; program management services; and analytics and reporting services; as well as the strength of their roadmap and vision for the future of loyalty.

Forrester clients can read the full report to see how vendors ranked, including scorecard details and the ability to customize the evaluation criteria with personalized weightings.

Read more

Categories:

CI FAIL: The Valentine's Day Edition

Despite being something of a romantic, I don't really go in much for the so-called "Hallmark Holidays." In fact, this XKCD comic sums up my feelings rather perfectly:

Still, I'm very aware that lots of other people enjoy Valentine's Day, and that it's a holiday that's just begging for CI pros to get more strategic about. Leveraging shared wish lists is one use case I really like, as is intelligent (read: permission-based) householding. Imagine, for example, a travel company that enables a couple to "gift" each other a special dinner or spa treatment during a shared vacation. 

But sometimes, CI goes horribly awry, as I recently experienced with Proflowers.com. I offer Exhibit A:

This email was sent to my email address, but addressed to my ex-husband. It's not hard to understand how this could happen: householding snafus might sometimes create a false connection between an email address and a first name, for example. In the grand scheme of things, if I was going to put CI Fails on a TSA-scale rating, I'd give this one a very bright yellow.

But embarrassingly (for all involved) it got worse. Just a few days later, another of Proflowers' brands, Shari's Berries, sent me this email:

In case it wasn't obvious? I'm not Kimberly.  

Read more

Categories: