Twitter Takes Control Of Its Social Ecosystem

Facebook may play host to nearly a billion users, but Twitter controls the social ecosystem today. Twitter just announced its "Certified Products Program" and introduced a literal seal of approval for select third-party Twitter developers. Twitter explains that with the plethora of social technologies out there, it aims to simplify the ecosystem and "make it easier for businesses to find the right tools."

Twitter defined three categories of certified products: engagement tools to help businesses publish content to Twitter, analytics tools to help companies measure and learn from Twitter content, and data resellers that help distribute tweets to the masses. Twitter also announced the first 12 certified products, which we've mapped into the ecosystem:

Forrester Research Twitter Certified Products

Why is this worth blogging about? (It's not just a challenge to see how many times I can write "Twitter" in one post.) It's because Twitter is finally putting a stake in the ground and letting third-party developers know who's in charge. Over the past few years, Twitter has grown into the successful social network it is in great part because of its third-party developers. The apps we use - both for personal use on our varied devices as well as the data-driven technologies we use for business - helped make Twitter popular. But now that it's become one of the social kings, it's starting to lay down the law.

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Understanding Tag Management Tools And Technology

Last week Forrester published Understanding Tag Management Tools And Technology. The new research couldn't have arrived at a better time; by any standard, 2012 has been a banner year for tag management as the market momentum I wrote about at the end of last year continues unabated. JavaScript tagging is the instrumentation technology of choice for a wide variety of digital marketing and analytics solutions, but managing tags over the long term is an expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone endeavor. Ultimately, tag management systems (TMS) help provide control, flexibility, and efficiency to ensure the efficacy of digital intelligence. Ever since the enthusiastic reception of Forrester's inaugural report on tag management, it's been abundantly clear that deeper and ongoing research on this topic is essential. I've been bullish on tag management for the past couple of years because it's one of the rare technology solutions that truly addresses a pervasive challenge for practitioners. But I'm hardly alone; tag management is top of mind for several other important constituencies:

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The State Of Customer Analytics 2012

I’m excited to announce that our new research on how firms use customer analytics was just published today.  The new research reveals some interesting findings:

  • Customer analytics serves the customer lifecycle , but measurement is restricted to marketing activities. While customer analytics continues to drive acquisition and retention goals, firms continue to measure success of customer analytics using easy-to-track marketing metrics as opposed to deeper profitability or engagement measures.
  • Finding the right analytics talent remains challenging . It’s not the just the data. It’s not the just technology that hinders analytics success.  It’s the analytical skills required to use the data in creative ways, ask the right questions of the data, and use technology as a key enabler to advance sophistication in analytics.  We’ve talked about how customer intelligence (CI) professionals need a new breed of marketing scientist to elevate the consumption of customer analytics.
  • CI professionals are keen to use predictive analytics in customer-focused applications,  Forty percent of respondents to our Global Customer Analytics Adoption Survey  tell us that they have been using predictive analytics for less than three years, while more than 70% of respondents have been using descriptive analytics and BI-type reporting for more than 10 years. CI professionals have not yet fully leveraged the strengths of predictive analytics customer applications.
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How Do YOU Organize For Open Innovation?

Quickly: Open Innovation is about engaging external parties (e.g., customers, partners, employees, etc.) to source new ideas for products and services. We've developed a Forrester playbook for open innovation, complete with a self-assessment, a strategic road map, and even a view into the landscape of tools and vendors that can help you along the way.

However, one of the questions that we haven't answered yet is how product strategists get their firms to organize for open innovation. Our hypothesis is that this is more of a cultural shift than a straightforward change in organizational structure. We are kicking off some research on this important topic now, and in the spirit of being "open," I'm asking you to either post your comments in reply to this blog post or reach out to directly to my colleague srose@forrester.com to schedule an interview so we can discuss how you are organizing for open innovation at your firm.

In return for your participation, we'll send you a copy of the report (if you're not already a client), and perhaps even feature your organization as an example — depending on your willingness to be included, of course. So please chime in and tell us about your best (or worst) experiences in trying to make your product innovation more open. We look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

Thanks,
Carl