iPhone: advertising and brand monitoring

IphonetodayThe iPhone goes on sale today, which you probably knew.  Do you remember seeing any ads for it?  TV?  Print?  Banners?

I've seen some paid keywords on Google.  Given the amount of buzz, hype, anticipation around the launch - why even bother?  (unless you're marketing Blackberries.)  Today I got an email with the image at left.  Search ads and email - that's it.  Compare that to the consumer-generated content around the product:  on YouTube, Flickr, and in blogs.

Here's what brand monitoring experts have to say about the launch:

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What North American banks can learn from Europe

Cliff Condon, Head of Research for Forrester's Marketing & Strategy cohort, gave Finance Forum attendees an eye-opening look into European online banking trends.  Cliff happens to be the perfect person to deliver this cross-cultural perspective, originally from Boston and having lived in Amsterdam for the past seven years, working in the financial services industry on both sides of the Atlantic.  His charge to the audience:  benchmark globally, differentiate locally.

Europe's leading innovators are ahead of the game in three areas:

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Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

This morning at Forrester's Finance Forum, Bill Doyle released the results of how consumers rate their financial institutions on customer advocacy:

"the perception that a firm does what's best for its customers, not just the firm's bottom line."

Why does customer advocacy matter? Our research shows that it's the strongest predictor of future purchase intent - even more so than customer satisfaction.

For the fourth straight year, USAA has finished with the highest rating in our research.  Insurers in general did well as a group; large banks languish in the bottom third of the list.  The full report shows where 52 other brands ended up; I recently published a case study on USAA's culture as well.

Fidelity Investments: Moving beyond customer satisfaction

FidelityFidelity Brokerage Company has over $1,900,000,000,000 $1,770,000,000,000 in assets under management administration.  With success like that, you can imagine they've learned a thing or two about customer service.  But some of the best insight from today's Q&A session between Bill Doyle and Ellyn McColgan was where Fidelity is moving beyond customer satisfaction:  customer success.

What is customer success?  Not being satisfied with how well you did yesterday and looking in the opposite direction:  thinking about how an individual can reach a goal.  Success is not only a number but also a series of choices and Fidelity intends to help customers make the next best choice at each step along the way.  For example, you call in and want to open an IRA.  They should ask if you have a 401(k) at work - and if you're taking advantage of any employer match.  If so, after you've maximized that option, then opening an IRA is your next best choice.

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Turning Customer Experience Into A Competitive Weapon

Ebd_3Bruce Temkin delivered this morning's opening keynote at Forrester's Finance Forum in New York.  New Forrester research with American Banker indicates that 97% of banking executives indicate that focusing on customer experience is important to competitiveness over the next three years.

A great way to think about customer experience (CXP)?  It's a production, just like a movie.  Successful firms practice "experienced-based differentiation" based on three key areas.

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Three things about Avenue A/Razorfish

While in New York this week, Brian and I paid a visit to Avenue A/Razorfish.  A few things were notable:

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The luxury market, Google, and Critical Mass

I was down in New York earlier this week to discuss the luxury market at events sponsored by Google and Critical Mass, leading up to the Luxury Interactive 2007 conference.  The premise was a lot of fun for me personally, having worked with PUMA's design partners to bring collaborations to life online (e.g. Christy Turlington, Philippe Starck, Neil Barrett).

Some might argue that luxury and interactive go together like a Porsche with automatic transmission.  Not so!  Forrester's Consumer Technographics data shows that in comparison to the general U.S. population, luxury shoppers are more technology-optimistic, are veteran cross-channel shoppers, and spend almost double the amount of time using the internet.

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Brand monitoring update

I'm not going to be updating Forrester's Brand Monitoring Wave in 2007 - although many companies have emerged from the woodwork, most of the buyer's side appears to remain in education mode.  However, in certain industries like pharmaceuticals, brand monitoring solutions are in wide use and treated like marketing mix models - that is, no one wants to talk about their "secret weapon."

So until the Wave gets updated, we've created a Brand Monitoring Vendor Product Catalog (client access required).  I say we because Sarah Glass, a research associate on our team, did most of the work to put it together.  Information on 27 vendors has been included; we identified over 40 potential participants.

If you are reading this post and would like to be included, please let us know.  (Every participating vendor gets a copy.)

Moreover, if you are a client-side marketer and would like to share your story - on or off the record - I'm all ears.  I have heard a lot of talk about client attrition from "the market leaders" but few clients to go public about it.

Digital Agencies at ARF re:think

Rethink_2
The second panel of the day at ARF's re:think conference was "The
Agency of the Future" including R/GA, Avenue A|Razorfish, Nitro and
Digitas.

Continuing on the one-of-these-outfits-is-not-like-the-other theme,
Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer from R/GA shows up in short sleeve
shirt, jeans, and swooshes in stark contrast to other panelists in
standard business casual.  Interactive is the new traditional and its
agency executives appear to have followed suit, so to speak.

Get it?

Followed suit?

Ok moving on, Rance Crain of Ad Age
did a nice job of moderating and stirring up the pot.  He suggested an
alternative title for his panel as well:  "Digital:  Just Another
Silo?"  BTW, I'm guessing he's not a big fan of subservient chicken,
either.

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Research Agency CEOs at ARF re:think

Rethink
The second day of the ARF's re:think conference opened with a panels
research agency executives, called "The Research Agency of the Future"
with the CEOs of GfK, Kantar, TNS and Nielsen.  Moderator Jim Figura of
Colgate-Palmolive said it should have been called "Insights Agency of
the Future."

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