Software Is Your Business - Forrsights Survey Data To Help Bust "No Software" And "Software Development's Not Important" Myths

Just over 3 months ago, I made note of three things I'd tell your CIO, all of which focused on your need to build a software development competency to help your firm thrive in this age of software-fueled, consumer-led disruption. Since then, we've heard from a number of clients stating that they're having a tough time convincing their executives, from COOs and CFOs through to CIOs, that they need to stop looking at software and app development as a commodity. 

Vendors you work with aren't helping. System integrators and consultancies continue to tell your CFO and CEO to outsource your software development work to them, that they can deliver more quickly, and more cheaply, than you can. Software application vendors build their marketing around needing no customization, even "no software." This helps fuel the perception and myths many executives hold that software development, especially app dev, is a commodity.

Recent research published by Phil Murphy and survey data we recently collected in our Forrsights Software Survey, Q4 2011 can help you bust those perceptions and myths and help you show your executives the importance of software development. 

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Marketers: Have You Defined Your Technology Roadmap?

In a recent report, my colleague Robert Brosnan correctly spotlights that marketers require ever more technology to capture, integrate, analyze, and apply customer data to marketing programs. Indeed, the technology portfolio that marketing leaders must understand and manage is exploding. Marketers typically have a portfolio of technology assets to support marketing planning, marketing asset management, campaign management, segmentation, and predicative modeling. And most marketers work with online marketing tools for email, mobile, social, and web analytics.

Rob recommends that marketers establish an enterprisewide marketing technology office (MTO) to ease and take advantage of technology development. The office, working through a chief marketing technology strategist, sets marketing technology strategy, makes the business case for embedding new technology within marketing programs, and manages technology-related partnerships. The marketing technology strategy should summarize the road map for how you plan to employ the technologies necessary to understand and engage more deeply with your target customers.

Forrester defines the marketing technology road map as:

A plan that matches short-term and long-term marketing goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals.

So how do you formulate the marketing technology strategy and road map?

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Don't Let CRM Pitfalls Trip You Up

My Twitter feed is going wild with #social, #mobile, #CX, and #bigdata hype. But Forrester clients want practical advice for today, in addition to spotting changes on the horizon.

One of the most common questions I get is: “What are the CRM pitfalls I need to watch out for?” I surveyed nearly 150 companies to find out the problems they faced with their CRM initiatives. Here is what you need to pay attention to:

  • Crafting a customer relationship management strategy. Eighteen percent of the problems at the companies I surveyed pertain to CRM strategy. Within the CRM strategy category, specific pitfalls identified include: inadequate deployment methodologies (40%), poorly defined business requirements (25%), and not achieving organizational alignment on objectives (18%).

“Reaching a consensus between IT’s objectives and those of the business unit was a problem.” (Marketing manager, manufacturing company)

“Internal disagreements on how to implement were the cause of our problems.” (Senior director, customer support, media, entertainment, and leisure company)

  • Rearchitecting critical customer-facing processes. CRM processes consist of the work practices associated with major customer-facing business functions within an organization. Twenty-seven percent of the problems reported center on difficulties with business process management. Within the business process category, specific pitfalls to watch out for include: technical/integration difficulties in supporting company processes (48%), poor business process design (31%), and the need to customize solutions to fit unique organizational requirements (21%).
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Social Technologies Will Drive Businesses To Focus On The Complete Customer Experience

Consumers across Asia Pacific are using multiple touchpoints to obtain and share information and purchase products and services. Organizations — both public and private — are struggling to support and enhance these new customer experiences across rapidly evolving channels like application marketplaces and mobile devices that are increasingly contributing to revenue growth.

  • Customer relationships will continue to change faster than CRM tools. Organizations are unable to cater to non-traditional touchpoints using their legacy systems. They are beginning to understand how these new touchpoints are impacting engagement at every phase of the customer lifecycle and across multiple channels and touchpoints. Organizations that truly value customers will invest in social tools (and platforms) in 2012 to better manage relationships.
  • Organizations will increasingly be forced to evolve from "transactional" customer interaction methods to customer "engagement." Organizations across multiple industries like FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), retail, professional services, and media & entertainment in Asia Pacific are already thinking about the customer lifecycle beyond legacy CRM tools — which were typically designed to support organizational processes, not customer ones. Over 2012, we expect organizations across Asia Pacific to expand their use of social technologies, mobility solutions, and analytics to improve engagement.
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