Marketing Mondays: December 31st, 2012

 

Hello Fellow B2B Marketers, Marketing Mondays is a weekly blog post highlighting our ongoing research focused on B2B revenue acceleration, as well as an exclusive look into what outputs you can expect in the coming weeks. Kick off your week here every Monday to get a burst of support for your professional success.

Today is fitting for our 2012 Year-In-Review edition of Marketing Monday. While we are researching the challenges that will seed the content you will see in the New Year, I thought it would be valuable to take a moment to recognize some of the very best content and ideas from the past year (that will still be relevant in 2013 and beyond). Without further ado, here are our greatest hits of 2012:

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The Holiday Shopping Season Hasn’t Ended Yet: The Chinese New Year Is Coming To Town

We have just celebrated Christmas, but I’m increasingly looking forward to the Chinese New Year as this will be my first time spending the Chinese New Year in China in 12 years!  

Reading the reports on how much US consumers spent this year during the holiday month made me reflect on what Chinese consumers do during their single most important holiday of the year — and how they spend their money. While the Chinese New Year is traditionally about celebrating the New Year with friends and family, in recent years an increasing number of people have chosen the unconventional route and used this time to visit other countries. According to Ctrip.com (quoted by Sina Finance), more than 50% of the packages to the US, Middle East and Africa, and Australia were booked two months before the Chinese New Year. And wherever Chinese travelers go, they shop: If you’ve ever seen a Chinese travel group’s itinerary, you will know that a couple of stops at a shopping mall or an outlet are usually incorporated into the plan.

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The Danger Of Big Data

A couple of months ago, I spoke at a conference in Las Vegas. Immediately before my talk, two advertising execs, one a professed quant geek and the other a “creative,” spoke about how their agencies rely less on hunches these days and more on quantitative data to drive emotional relevance between their clients and consumers. “We can identify human emotions in massive rivers of data,” the ad men said. When I pressed them for an example during the Q&A session, they described how they had recently mined millions of clickstreams, search queries, video views, website clicks, and the like for a major mortgage lender. All in, the technology investment behind their analysis must have stacked well into six figures. And their big emotional insight? When people start shopping around for a mortgage, that’s all they can focus on until they’ve gotten it all sorted out.

I could hardly believe my ears! Any skilled ethnographer could have discovered that same insight — and then some — through a day of in-home customer visits and $150 in taxi receipts.

Customer experience professionals can now glean customer insights from social media, financial systems, emails, surveys, call centers, and digital and analog sensors. It’s amazing and wonderful, yes. But here’s the danger: Companies that become mesmerized by big data put themselves at risk of spending enormous amounts of time and money amassing new data sources — and in the process, forgetting that research methods like observation and one-on-one interviews even exist. This has the potential to create a large, and exceedingly expensive, blind spot.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big data hater. However, to create a complete picture of who your customers are and what they really need, you need a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.

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Accelerating Revenue In A Changed Economy: Scottsdale AZ March 4-5

 

We are all facing some stiff and common head winds to achieving our companies' revenue goals in 2013.  Not the least of which is that the economy has reset itself into a "do-more-with-less" state. At the Forrester Forum in March, our growing community of leaders and teams will tackle head on the core challenges to revenue acceleration including:

  • How do we overcome repeated cross-selling disappointments?
  • Our funnel fall out is out of control, how do we increase the odds of some new business actually closing?
  • Channel disruption is on the rise, what is our path to greater loyalty? 
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Sale Enablement Forum 2013: March 4-5th Scottsdale AZ

We are all facing some stiff and common head winds to achieving our companies' revenue goals in 2013.  Not the least of which is that the economy has reset itself into a "do-more-with-less" state. At the Forrester Forum in March, our growing community of sales enablement leaders and teams will tackle head on the core challenges to revenue acceleration including:

  • How do we overcome repeated cross-selling disappointments?
  • Our funnel fallout is out of control, how do we increase the odds of some new business actually closing?
  • Channel disruption is on the rise, what is our path to greater loyalty? 
  • Our market research is overwhelming in volume, how do we tease out the buyer insight sales people can use?
  • Our collateral is grossly underused in the field, how do we redesign something more useful?
  • Our sales force is so uneven in its performance, how do we develop our folks to be more consistently effective?
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Tech Marketing Mondays (or close enough): December 26th, 2012

 

Hello Fellow B2B Marketers, Marketing Monday (or a bit later on a holiday week) is a regular blog post highlighting our ongoing research focused on B2B revenue acceleration, as well as an exclusive look into what outputs you can expect soon. Kick off your week here to get a burst of support for your professional success.

Tis’ the season to look back on where you excelled during 2012, and forward to some things in your business to improve upon in the New Year. Whether you want to place a renewed focus on yourcustomer experience, you want to draw inspiration from some of the leaders in social strategy, or you are a B2B marketing professional focused on driving revenue (that should apply to all of our readers), Forrester has you covered. And because your competitors and your customers are more informed than ever, we aim to give you the leg up you will need to make 2013 a banner year for your company.

Graphic of the Week: Customer Experience Management (CXM) Solutions Will Emerge From The Convergence Of Many Solution Categories

 

August 10, 2011 “The Emergence Of Customer Experience Management Solutions” Forrester report.

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Top Twelve B2B Tech Social Marketing Highlights Of 2012

Last January, I kicked off 2012 with a report titled “The New Year Of Social Marketing”. The theme of that report was that B2B marketers would begin to emphasize the “social” of “social media” by focusing more on engagement and  interactions and less on broadcast marketing. I explained how marketers would continue to adopt social media listening and community platforms, that social media tactics would be used across various marketing functions within the organization and that marketers will start taking a community perspective to their social marketing strategies.

I humbly admit that my 2012 predictions were very conservative.  2012 was a remarkable year for B2B social marketing as seen by the acceleration of B2B social media adoption, rapid consolidation of  the social media platform market and the evolution of digital and social marketing. Savvy B2B tech marketers are quickly adapting to these changes in order to effectively (and efficiently) engage with prospects and customers.

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Oracle Acquires Eloqua: A Quick Take on What it Means

Oracle announced today that it will acquire Eloqua, a SaaS marketing automation provider. Oracle’s stated motives address, head-on, the zeitgeist facing the 21st century marketer.   Today’s buyer definitely controls the buying process more than today’s seller controls the selling process. Digitally active and socially connected, buyers demand consistent, seamless, and seemingly sentient engagement across multiple (online, offline, digital, physical, social) channels and touch points.  I agree with the assessment of my colleague Rob Brosnan, in his blog that this is a move that has large ramifications for the future of all customer relationship marketers and marketing vendors. In this blog, I wanted to ponder some of the near term implications, the WIM – What it Means – as we like to say at Forrester, especially for the B-2-B marketer.  I see some clear winners, but it gets a little hazy after that.

Winner: Oracle

Oracle presented a grand vision -- a comprehensive customer experience cloud that enables business to create an integrated, end-to-end process of marketing, sales, service, and support with the goal of delivering a delightful customer experience.  Oracle made a big bold move to deliver on that vision. They have picked up a company with a robust product, happy customers, and (arguably) the best brand in the B2B marketing automation space.  For B2B marketers, Oracle is now the first vendor to actually have a shot at providing a unified automation platform for the end-to-end lead to revenue process. 

Winner: Eloqua

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Oracle Acquires Eloqua: A Do-Over For The Era Of Digital Disruption

Today, Oracle announced that it will acquire Eloqua, a marketing automation firm. Oracle positions the deal as a comprehensive customer experience cloud that enables business to create an integrated, end-to-end process of marketing, sales, service, and support. I look forward to insight from my colleague Lori Wizdo on what the Oracle-Eloqua deal means for a marketing and sales alignment.

I think the deal has larger ramifications for the future of all customer relationship marketers and marketing vendors. Here’s my take on the deal:

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The Digital Banking Strategist’s Wish List

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, you probably have a wishlist for your business. We thought it would be fun and interesting to find out what some of your wishes are, so the Digital Banking Strategy team at Forrester reached out to some of our eBusiness clients at banks and asked them “What one ‘wish’ do you have for your team’s digital banking efforts or strategy in 2013?”

Here are some of the answers we got back:

  1. “We wish we could transform every branch and call center employee into an advocate for marketing and educating customers on our digital capabilities.”
  2. “I wish that our execs would understand how understaffed we are.”
  3. “I wish we had better live help for our digital banking customers.”
  4. “I wish I knew which area of mobile payments to focus on and what is going to ‘shake out’ and actually ‘stick,’ so to speak.”
  5. “We wish for a digitalized branch pilot that focuses on advice and guidance.”
  6. “We wish all of our customers – including the most skittish and skeptical – would try out our digital banking capabilities (online, mobile, and tablet)… and those who already use them would do so even more regularly.”
  7. “I wish I could spend 3 hours with our CMO – and have his full attention – to show him how much impact our online and mobile banking efforts have.”
  8. “I wish we could sort through the clutter of mobile wallet vendors and offerings to know which will actually pan out.”
  9. “I wish I could snap my fingers and have great secure site search and intelligent cross-selling on our secure site.”
  10. “a pink pony.”
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