When Sourcing Enterprise Marketing Capabilities, Start by Understanding Customer Expectations

Michael Barnes


To successfully grow in Asia Pacific (AP), you must excel at understanding customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors and have the capabilities necessary to transform this insight into improved customer engagement. But that’s true everywhere. What sets the AP region apart are the continued vast differences between markets. Appreciating these market differences, and the impact they have on customers’ expectations, is critical when sourcing enterprise marketing capabilities.    

In my recent report, entitled “Consider Regional Factors When Evaluating Enterprise Marketing Software Suites”, I highlight key regional trends affecting marketing priorities and the likely impact on organizations’ marketing technology requirements, including:

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The Data Digest: Emotion Is The Hidden Driver For Consumer Choice

Anjali Lai

Here in the US, we’re gearing up to celebrate July 4, the day that everyone knows signifies America’s independence. But most people don’t know that the 1776 congress didn’t actually declare American independence on July 4. This date didn’t mark the start or end of the American Revolution. America’s Declaration of Independence wasn't even written, signed, or delivered to Great Britain on July 4.

We celebrate July 4 in the name of tradition — and we defer to assumptions rather than unearthing the true story. But when we dive a level deeper and look beyond the surface, we gain new depths of insight. When it comes to understanding customers, it’s time to take a deeper look.

The role of emotion is one of these “unknowns” in consumer behavior: An incisive view into consumer behavior reveals that emotion is more powerful than commonly thought. More than a mood, emotion is a key driver of customer decisions, actions, and perceived experiences —and pervades each stage of the purchase life cycle. For example, Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that Etsy inspires extremely positive consumer sentiment before, during, and after making a purchase: 

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The Customer Insights Research Team Is Hiring!

Srividya Sridharan

Gone are the days when we have to “sell” the idea of using customer and marketing data to drive better business decisions. The sheer scale and diversity of customer data will provide rich new sources of insight and allow firms to effectively engage with customers using enterprise marketing technologies. In fact, customer analytics solutions, one of the emerging business solutions in our latest Top Emerging Technologies To Watch research, will have a significant impact in the age of the customer. And in order to activate insights from these customer analytics solutions, you need a robust set of marketing technologies to serve as systems of customer engagement.

If you are excited about challenging thinking and leading change for our clients in customer analytics and enterprise marketing technologies, we’d love to hear from you. We have two open Customer Insights analyst positions to focus on these critical coverage areas – customer analytics and enterprise marketing technologies. You will write research for, present to, and advise Customer Insights Professionals to help guide their customer data, analytics, and marketing technology decisions.

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Synthesis Is "In"

Anjali Lai

As researchers, we can’t underestimate the power of perspective. When the Eiffel Tower was erected 125 years ago, it became the tallest manmade structure in the world and, more importantly, allowed visitors to look down over Paris for the first time; perhaps it was the first real instance of a “birds-eye view.” At the same time, artists like Picasso and Stein were pushing the limits of perspective by portraying every angle of 3-dimensional concepts in one painting or poem. In many ways, the research world today is akin to this historical period of creativity. With more data at our fingertips than ever before, we are able to observe consumer behavior from new vantage points and produce a fresh understanding of customer trends by analyzing multiple angles at the same time.

Here on the data insights innovation team at Forrester, we’ve called our multiperspective research approach Technographics 360. Officially launched this year, Technographics 360 blends Consumer Technographics® survey output, ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community insight, social listening data, and passive mobile behavioral tracking to synthesize a 360-degree view of consumer behavior. Instead of analyzing research questions by breaking them down, we can synthesize comprehensive solutions by building our knowledge up.

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The Data Digest: Knowledge Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Anjali Lai

Language is evolving; the written word is giving way to visual vocabulary.

Interpersonal communications are shifting from being text-based to image-based, and you don't have to look far for the evidence: We spell using the Emoji alphabet; we comment with photographs; we engage through pictures.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that consumer adoption of visual social networks is growing and that social chatter is becoming increasingly pictorial. Forrester's Consumer Technographics® data shows that US online consumers across generations are interacting with content on Instagram and Pinterest more than before:



As consumers become increasingly versed in the language of visual content, curated images become a powerful means of expressing opinions, conveying emotion, and recounting experiences. As a result, pure text analytics no longer suffice to interpret social chatter; instead, insights professionals have an opportunity to mine the wealth of media-rich data that increasingly pervades social networking sites.

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Future-Proof Your Customer Insights Practice with Adaptive Intelligence

Fatemeh Khatibloo

We've been talking about Adaptive Intelligence (AI) for a while now. As a refresher, AI is is the real-time, multidirectional sharing of data to derive contextually appropriate, authoritative knowledge that helps maximize business value.  

Increasingly in inquiries, workshops, FLB sessions, and advisories, we hear from our customer insights (CI) clients that developing the capabilities required for adaptive intelligence would actually help them solve a lot of other problems, too. For example:

  • A systematic data innovation approach encourages knowledge sharing throughout the organization, reduces data acquisition redundancies, and brings energy and creativity to the CI practice.
  • A good handle on data origin kickstarts your marketing organization's big data process by providing a well-audited foundation to build upon.
  • Better data governance and data controls improve your privacy and security practices by ensuring cross-functional adoption of the same set of standards and processes.
  • Better data structure puts more data in the hands of analysts and decision-makers, in the moment and within the systems of need (eg, campaign management tools, content management systems, customer service portals, and more).
  • More data interoperability enables channel-agnostic customer recognition, and the ability to ingest novel forms of data -- like preference, wearables data, and many more -- that can vastly improve your ability to deliver great customer experiences.
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Is The Data Broker Industry Really Ready For A Sea Change?

Fatemeh Khatibloo

Yesterday, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill published an essay on AdAge.com that calls on data brokers to join -- or, rather, establish -- an initiative called "Reclaim Your Name." The goal of the program would be to provide a single portal where consumers could see what data the industry has collected about them, provide options to opt in and out, and to correct data that might be inaccurate.

While the commissioner's article is a bit heavy on the "big data" rhetoric, her point is well taken: We have entered an era where the volume of data that individuals make available about themselves -- often inadvertently -- is increasing daily. Unfortunately, guidelines for how marketers and the larger data industry collect and use personal data are in short supply. This conflict is one of the major challenges that our industry faces in the coming decade: How can brands excel in the age of the customer if they're constantly under scrutiny about their privacy and data practices?

Acxiom, one of the world's largest data brokers, recently launched its own version of the kind of portal Commissioner Brill calls for. AboutTheData.com lets individuals see a subset of the data Acxiom knows about them, provides correction and opt-out opportunities, and aims to provide consumers with education about the data industry as a whole.

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Announcing the 2013 Customer Analytics & Measurement Survey

Srividya Sridharan

Last year, we published The State of Customer Analytics 2012 (subscription required)  based on the results of our annual customer analytics adoption survey where we uncovered key trends of how customer analytics practitioners use and adopt various advanced analytics across the customer lifecycle and highlighted challenges and drivers associated with customer analytics.

This year, I am teaming up with my colleague and attribution guru Tina Moffett to further explore measurement, attribution and customer analytics practices ranging from the type of attribution techniques in vogue to the adoption of advanced analytics methodologies.  With this expanded survey we want to understand how you use and apply measurement and analytics in your organization to optimize both cross-channel marketing campaigns as well as customer programs.

In particular, we’re fielding questions to understand the goals and challenges associated with measurement and analytics, the adoption and application of measurement and advanced analytics methods, the use of several marketing and customer metrics, the customer insights process and workflow as well as the organizational aspects that support measurement and analytics. We encourage you to participate in this survey, as this information will help you benchmark your measurement and analytics adoption efforts.

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Participate In Our TechRadarâ„¢ Research On Customer Analysis Methods

Srividya Sridharan

Customer insights professionals have many customer analytics methods (sub's reqd) to choose from today to perform behavioral customer analysis, and new techniques emerge as the complexity of customer data increases. Analysis of customer data involves the use of data-mining and statistical methods that span descriptive and predictive analytics. But how do you decide which customer analysis methods are right for you? How do you plan your customer analytics capability with the right mix of methods that address specific questions and uncover customer insights?

Using our Forrester TechRadar™ methodology we are kicking off research that will address many of the questions above as well as explore:

  • The current state of each customer analysis method, its maturity, market momentum, ecosystem interest and investment levels.
  • The potential impact of each method on your ability to understand and predict customer behavior

The customer analytics methods to be included in this report range from behavioral customer segmentation to propensity models, social network analysis, next-best offer analysis, lifetime value analysis, customer churn analysis to name a few.

If you are interested in participating in this research as an end-user/client, expert or customer analytics technology or services vendor reach out to me directly at ssridharan [at] forrester [dot] com.

Thanks in advance for your participation! All research participants will receive a copy of the published report.

Set Your Digital Marketing Programs On Fire With Tag Management

James McCormick

This year tag management is a sizzling hot topic. Why? Firms are really struggling to with their JavaScript tags and scripts on their websites and other digital channels.  As they get serious about their digital marketing programs the number and types of digital tags being managed is exploding. Costs are increasing, errors are creeping in, customer experience is negatively impacted, and costly digital marketing programs have been rendered useless in some cases.

Tag management tools are much more than the management of tags. Strategic use can:

  1. give control of digital marketing campaigns to marketers – relieving significant IT burden,
  2. significantly reduce digital marketing implementation and operational costs,
  3. garner support for digital marketing programs – even in highly regulated firms – by offering detailed multi-stakeholder visibility and control of scripts and digital data,
  4. reduce the “stickiness” and dependence on digital technology vendors, and
  5. enable digital data syndication, which in turn drives dynamic segmentation and bottom-up attribution programs.

Forrester is currently assessing the tag management capabilities of top global brands, advising on their strategies and guiding them with their digital marketing road maps.  Also; tag management research is ongoing with a few papers due for release later this year.