Meet Our Speakers For Forrester's China Summit For Marketing Leaders: March 25 In Shanghai!

Disruption is increasingly commonplace for businesses today facing data breaches, innovative startups, or simply, more technology-empowered customers. The agenda for our third annual Summit for Marketing Leaders in Shanghai on March 25, 2015 therefore, is geared towards helping traditional enterprises better prepared for the age of the customer.  

Besides industry keynote speakers who will share their real world experiences, we have brought together a stellar lineup of Forrester analysts who will present an arsenal of frameworks, methodologies, tools and case studies to help organizations better connect, engage and deliver in the digital world. Based on decades of experience, hundreds of globally relevant research reports, Forrester analysts will share with you what works and what doesn’t in an era of digital disruption and transformation:

  • Navigate Digital Disruption, by Dane Anderson, Vice President, Research Director & Region Manager for Asia Pacific
  • Build An Ecosystem To Win In Your Customers' Mobile Moments, by Julie A. Ask, Vice President, Principal Analyst
  • Path To A Digital Business: Build An Architecture That Supports Your Customer-Centric Strategy, a panel discussion moderated by Charlie Dai, Principal Analyst
  • Build Contextual Marketing Engine To Propel Customers To Next Best Interaction, by Gene Cao, Senior Analyst
  • Select The Right Agency In The Digital Era, by Xiaofeng Wang, Senior Analyst
  • How To Build A Customer Experience Strategy, by Ryan Hart, Principal Analyst
  • Getting The Most Out Of Social Media, by Clement Teo, Senior Analyst
  • Why Measure Customer Experience, by Vikram Sehgal, VP, Research Director, Data
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Running A Micro Store: My Hands-On Experience With Social eCommerce In China (Part 1: Why Am I Doing This?)

Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts I am planning to document my eCommerce experience. 

Over the past 12 months, my colleagues and I have had many discussions about the next big thing for the eCommerce market in China. Key questions include:

  • Who will be the next Taobao or Tmall in China?
  • How will social commerce affect the dynamics of the current market, in which Alibaba owns the majority of the consumer traffic and overall gross merchandise value (GMV)?
  • Will WeChat be the top challenger and platform for social commerce?
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Forrester's China Summit For Marketing Leaders: Connect, Engage, & Deliver To The World's Most Digitalized Consumers

In the age of the customer, marketers face three acute strategic and operational challenges: how to powerfully and consistently connect with distracted, empowered customers; how to deeply engage with customers once you make that connection; and how to consistently deliver on customer obsession throughout your organization. In China, this is even more critical and challenging for marketing leaders, as they face the most digitalized and mobile consumers in the world — 90% of the metro Chinese online adult population used a smartphone as their primary phone in 2014, according to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data. At the same time, China has emerged as the world’s largest eCommerce market, estimated at $440 billion in 2014 and expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 19.9%, topping $1 trillion by 2019.

With this in mind, we are kicking off our third annual Summit for Marketing Leaders in Shanghai on March 25, 2015. The agenda will focus on real-world solutions to each of these critical challenges — taking into consideration the China context, where traditional retailers and brands are far from prepared for the age of the customer, and emerging digital service and platform providers are actively disrupting businesses.

Our program will deliver outcome-oriented analysis and advice, driven by Forrester’s latest research and detailed case studies from industry leaders in China and around the world. Learn how to:

  • Master the key concepts and skills for brand leadership across the age of the customer.
  • Create seamless brand experiences across the digital and physical divide.
  • Lead a customer-obsessed marketing organization.
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CEM For Telcos: Just Started With A Lot More Potentials

Telcos across the world — and especially mobile operators — are now struggling with increasing network complexity and lower customer satisfaction due to exploding data traffic, decreasing ARPU, and OTTs marginalizing their opportunities to generate new revenues via content. The Japanese market, with one of the highest ARPUs, has been the battlefield for technology providers to offer local telcos to services their high-value customers in a country where people have very high expectations of telecommunications services. Two weeks ago, I participated in Nokia Networks’ analyst days in Tokyo and was interested to see how the company has increased its share in Japan in the past couple of years. To continue its success in the age of the customer, Nokia Networks must help Japanese telcos better win, serve, and retain customers.

Two days of briefings and discussions convinced me that Nokia Networks’ must address three critical items to maintain its leadership position in LTE radio in Japan:

  1. Optimizing its networks to make its coverage and performance the best it can be in this very high-density market.
  2. Introducing customized features from its Japan R&D lab to meet the most demanding operators in the world.
  3. Helping telcos meet or overfulfill their customers’ expectations via a customer experience management (CEM) solution, although the revenue contribution is much smaller. Obviously, what customers experience and perceive are what really decides how effective all of the network improvements have been.
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Are Hong Kong And Taiwan Losing Out In The Age Of The Customer?

In the past three weeks, I’ve been in Hong Kong and Taiwan; several things that happened while I was there led me to think about their competitiveness in the age of the customer.

I was in Hong Kong to moderate three panels at a CIO summit. During a break, I chatted with a Singaporean CIO who’s been working in Hong Kong for 15 years but is thinking about moving back. We discussed the recent criticisms of mainland Chinese who allow their small children to pee by the curb of main thoroughfares. Hong Kong media and residents have been quick to criticize mainland parents without listening to their explanations that the city doesn’t have enough public toilets and that there are long queues at every shopping mall — hardly a surprise given that Hong Kong attracts more than 100 million visitors from mainland China each year.

Yesterday, I read that Hong Kong’s chief executive is considering limiting the number of mainland visitors to address local residents’ complaints. I wonder what impact passing such a bill would have on the city’s retail revenue growth, employment rate, commercial property prices, attractiveness towards global investment — even its economic freedom index ranking. As my CIO friend asked me: “Imagine what would happen if, for just one day, no mainland tourists came to Hong Kong. What impact would that have on Hong Kong’s retail, property, and financial markets?” I had no answer for that.

On to Taiwan: I was just in Taipei for a couple of days on business. I go to Taipei at least once a year, but this is the first time I’ve gotten the impression that Taiwan is really losing its attractiveness, despite the fact that I really love the city’s culture and food.

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Nokia Unveiling Android Models Represent New Strategies From Microsoft

At Mobile World Congress this week, Nokia announced the first three models of its new Android product line, Nokia X. Nokia X is positioned as entry-level smartphones below the Lumia range that nonetheless deliver a more complete smartphone experience with Android application availability than the Asha range. With both 4-inch and 5-inch screen models, the Nokia Store and Microsoft services will also be available on these devices; Bing Search, Outlook, OneDrive, and Skype will come preloaded. Although I am disappointed with the super-old Qualcomm MSM8225 chipset used, it brings high-quality Nokia products to the Android world at only €89 to €109 before tax and operator subsidies. 

It was not surprising that Nokia started trialing Android models before the Microsoft deal. However, it is interesting to see that Nokia is now not only launching it just to prove to the public that it has tried to do so, but also that it wants to make it a serious strategy. What does this mean when we are expecting the Microsoft acquisition to complete in just merely a month? And why did Microsoft approve it? Some possible reasons why:

  • Microsoft can’t yet deliver a good Windows Phone experience at the low price points they want to hit. Now it can — by using Android and old, low-cost chipsets.
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Announcing Speakers For Forrester's Summit For Marketing & Strategy Professionals, APAC 2014: March 19 In Shanghai!

Improving the customer experience is the path to achieving business results. In these challenging times, there’s nothing more critical for marketing and strategy professionals to pursue than the customer experience. At our Summit in Shanghai next month, we’re eager to discuss the theme of “Driving Digital Customer Experiences In A Slowing Chinese Economy”..I’m proud to announce the illustrious list of speakers we have pulled together for this year’s summit:

Kicking off the agenda for the day, Harley Manning will speak on customer experience innovation and sizing disciplines that companies need to consider Harley is the co-author of Outside In, Forrester’s book about the customer experience that draws upon 14 years of research. At the summit, Harley will also officially launch the Chinese version of Outside In in conjunction with our publishing partner CITIC Press, a leading business and financial publishing house in China.

China is forecast to become the largest eCommerce market in the world. Zia Daniell Wigder, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester, will address China’s market potential and speak about “Creating Customer-Centric eBusiness Experiences.” Her session will explore opportunities to build successful sales and service ecosystems in China, including what the age of the customer means for Chinese eBusiness customers, and explain how digital tactics are essential to creating customer-centric eBusiness experiences.

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Forrester's Summit For Marketing & Strategy Professionals APAC 2014: Drive Digital Customer Experiences In A Slowing Economy

As the second largest economy in the world, China is moving toward digital faster than anyone can imagine. The number of online buyers in China alone will reach 356 million in 2014 — surpassing the total US population. In addition, the value of China’s online retail market reached $294 billion in 2013, the first time it’s ever taken over the US market, which is estimated at $262 billion. However, the experience that Chinese consumers are receiving in digital media, either on PC or mobile, is still far behind many mature markets.

At the same time, the Chinese economy is slowing down; annual GDP growth will slow from 10% in 2010 to a probable 7% in 2014. The slower economic growth is a challenge for multinational companies and local enterprises to win customers, be it in tier one or tier six cities. Under such circumstances, we believe that China has entered the “age of the customer,” which Forrester defines as “a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.”

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China Tech Market In 2014: Five Key Predictions

Since 2012, China has become the second-largest economy and third-largest IT market in the world, but IT spending per capita in China is still less than 5% of US. The potential for IT spending growth is obvious in the coming years. For CIOs in China to succeed, they need to go beyond retaining “control” of technologies to focusing on retaining and winning customers.

Forrester recently published its technology predictions for Asia Pacific in 2014, highlighting to technology professionals that the ability to embrace the age of the customer will determine success or failure of an organization. We believe that we have entered “a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.”

In particular, CIOs in China should take note of the following five key 2014 predictions:

  • Technology spending is slowing down in China and local vendors will gain share. According to my latest China Tech Market Outlook: 2014 report, Forrester estimates that China’s enterprise IT purchases will grow by 6% in 2013, to RMB 698 billion, and a further 8% in 2014, to RMB 752 billion. This is slower than then 11% growth in 2011 and 9% growth in 2012. The new government is focusing on economic reforms to overcome both internal and external challenges. In the meantime, local vendors like Huawei, Inspur, and Lenovo will likely benefit from the NSA/Snowden issue; they will gain share mostly in the hardware space, including server, storage, and networking, in 2014.
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Chinese Government Raises Security Concerns for IBM, Oracle and EMC

On August 16, a branch of the Chinese government said it would investigate three large U.S.-based technology firms due to “security concerns”, naming IBM, Oracle and EMC.  The move – feeling somewhat similar to the US government’s security concerns on Huawei – is the first time Chinese government officials have openly addressed this issue.

However, this issue extends beyond IBM, Oracle and EMC. There is talk that Chinese government entities and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will begin to shun foreign IT vendors in their IT environment, and instead replace them with local vendor solutions.  A number of foreign vendors are already feeling the heat.  In Cisco’s FY13 Q4 financial statement last week, its China bookings declined 6% YoY.  We have observed similar trends for IBM in China, and believe it is a headwind that will challenge MNC vendors to further expand their China businesses. 

While it has never been confirmed officially, the latest development seems to suggest the possibility of the Chinese government formalizing it as policy. In the past couple of months, I have already seen SOEs seeking out local suppliers, like Huawei, Inspur, Lenovo, and ZTE. The primary considerations were:

·        CIOs are concerned that critical business and customer data might be compromised after the Snowden revelation.

·        CIOs are cautious about holding off buying foreign equipment, pending new governmental policy in the coming years.  Hence, they want to prepare to protect their current investments.

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