Summer's winding down and it's time for people to get serious about closing out the year and looking forward to a digitally disruptive 2014. I can tell because the phone is ringing off the hook these days and nearly every call has the same focus: What steps can we take now to get the jump on digital disruption?
First, I'm thrilled to get these calls because implicit in the question is the belief that digital disruption is real. I've found that to be the case in the many months I've been on the road speaking about my book Digital Disruption and calling people to adopt the digital disruptor's mindset. Very few people doubt the unique power of digital disruption, in fact, they often have better examples of disruption to offer me than the ones I came prepared to talk about.
But after the mutual thrill of excitedly comparing case studies, these conversations have rapidly settled down to the same question: What can we do about it? It's precisely in that spirit that Tom Pohlmann, Forrester's Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, sat down with me to get the straight scoop on what companies can do right away to understand and act on digital disruption. The result is an 18-minute interview that we're serving up as a podcast under the Forrester Talks Podcast. You can either listen to the whole thing in one shot (episode 1) or consume it in bite-size, topic-focused chunks under episodes 2, 3, and 4.
I was fortunate to take an extended vacation this summer to visit my daughter who is serving in the Peace Corps in Madagascar, with a stop in South Africa and Victoria Falls on the way. Although you see amazing animals while on safari, experience the incredible power of Victoria Falls, and find the undiscovered treasures of Madagascar, it was the beauty of the night that really struck me. Without city light pollution, you find yourself immersed in a night sky full of the most incredible stars. A clear view of a streaking Milky Way and a strong Southern Cross just takes your breath away. Night after night, the stars are there to light up the sky.
But being in the Southern hemisphere, the North Star that I am so used to seeing was nowhere to be found. That got me thinking about how comfortable we are in this half of the world with having the North Star to act as a beacon to guide navigation to true north.
I published a report based on a Q2 2013 survey that benchmarked marketing innovation culture and indicated that most marketers are still not investing enough to accelerate their innovation efforts. Only 11% indicated that they are currently setting aside budget specifically for marketing innovation programs. Budget is both an indicator of intent and lifeblood for these programs to succeed. Today, Advertising Age published an article based on this report — "Most Brands Aren't Budgeting For Innovation." Below is the article Forrester submitted to Advertising Age.
Only 11% of marketers set aside a specific budget for marketing innovation efforts, and only 9% make marketing innovation a part of every marketer’s budget, according to a recent study of 45 marketing leaders. What’s more is that 95% of these marketers agreed, mostly agreed, or partially agreed that they are achieving positive ROI from their innovation programs. Why the difference? Mastering marketing innovation is getting harder and harder due to the ever-changing customer landscape caused by digital disruption, perpetually connected customers, and shifting customer expectations.