Just Published: The Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Attribution Providers

Marketers and CI professionals frequently tell us that they want a better measurement technique to accurately determine the true performance of channels and customers. I am pleased to announce that today we published The Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Attribution Providers, Q2 2012.  This vendor review is a result of countless hours of vendor reviews and assessments, in-person briefing reviews, customer calls, fact checking, and countless hours of intensive research work.

After long days and countless Starbuck lattes, I crawled out of this very intense research process, and a few key takeaways emerged:
 
  • Companies are investing in attribution. Marketers are seeking expert advice for the best ways to measure their channels with more precision. Attribution approach can provide a more concise way of measuring true channel and customer performance. And that’s something organizations are hungry for. To do this, they need help developing attribution models and making sense of all their data.
  • Cross- channel attribution is a relatively immature market. Vendors have fairly immature cross-channel attribution offerings. Most continue to emphasize digital attribution but are rapidly expanding to include additional channels, while also developing future marketing scenario-planning capabilities.
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The Leading Vendors Behind Social Intelligence

Social media is too big, too fast, too messy, and too important to manage without the assistance of technology vendors. With its growing significance, more and more companies want to use the data social media creates to inform their strategies. Companies want social intelligence, but they need help getting there.

That's why I'm eager to announce that after almost two years since the last report, we're releasing a new market evaluation that will help companies understand their vendor options for social intelligence. Today we published The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Listening Platforms, Q2 2012 along with an updated market overview, The Enterprise Listening Platform Landscape. These reports are the culmination of more than fifty vendor briefings, hundreds of client calls, two end user reference surveys with hundreds of respondents, two weeks of hands-on lab sessions, and too many hours of writing and fact-checking to count. 

The reports are now available for client access, but here are a few key takeaways for everyone:

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Intelligent Dialogs: Julie Bernard, VP Customer Centricity And Database Marketing

I caught up today with Julie Bernard in advance of her presentation at tomorrow's Marketing Leadership and Customer Intelligence Forums. Julie's keynote focuses on "Putting The Customer At The Center Of The Business." I had the opportunity to ask her what that means for Macy's. Here's what Julie had to say:

Q: What does it mean for Macy’s when you talk about “putting the customer at the center of the business”? 

A: At Macy’s, this means that the customer has a seat at the table. As all of us in retail know, the customer is queen/king and as such, focusing on delivering against her needs and wants is of paramount importance. When we start a meeting, we ask ourselves “What decision do we have to make today and how will this decision positively impact the customer in terms of relevant product offerings, great value, and fulfilling shopping experiences wherever she chooses to shop with us?” Then, at the close of the meeting, before we all leave that table, we revisit our decisions and action plans to ensure that we have taken the customer’s perspective into account. When we make customer oriented decisions and take action against customer needs, those actions deliver against sales and profit goals. 

 Q: What do you see as the greatest opportunity for retailers as it relates to customer centricity? 

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Joining The CI Analyst Ranks

I’ve been on the CI team for a few years in a supporting role and, more recently, working behind the scenes with Suresh Vittal to drive our research around loyalty. I’m excited to announce that, going forward, I will be the analyst leading our coverage of the technologies, services, and analytics that support customer loyalty.

My first report in this new role will provide best practices on building a world-class loyalty program. Then keep an eye out for an analysis of existing and emerging loyalty program features. Future research will dive into topics that include reward design, revenue models for loyalty programs, the future of loyalty, and more Wave evaluations of the loyalty vendor ecosystem.

I am looking forward to getting to know many of you better and following the evolution of this exciting space. Whether you have insights to share, questions to ask, or loyalty technology and services that you want to tell me about, I want to hear from you! Please engage with me via our Inquiry and/or Briefing teams, or track me down at Forrester’s upcoming Customer Intelligence Forum (April 18-19 in Los Angeles).

Social Intelligence M&A: Visible Technologies Acquires Cymfony

Big news in the social intelligence world: Two of the larger listening platforms become one as Visible Technologies acquires Cymfony. You can read more about the acquisition here

From my perspective, this is a smart move for both Visible Technologies and Cymfony. Although they have overlapping backers, the real benefit comes from their complementing offerings. Visible Technologies has its Visible Intelligence platform — one that receives consistent praise from end users for its usability, functionality, and data quality. But while Visible Technologies provides a strong tool set, the vendor has had some trouble growing internationally — both within its technology offering and in research and consulting services.

In an almost-exact contrast, Cymfony has one of the stronger international offerings — through its services and data sourcing — but its dashboard and technologies lagged behind the market's evolution. Combining Visible Technologies' dashboard with the support of Cymfony's services and international strength should create a powerful union.

Congratulations to both parties. I am — and I know both vendors' many clients are — eager to see what comes of this acquisition.