When Google announced its intention to acquire DoubleClick six weeks ago, it sparked upheaval in the interactive marketing industry with aQuantive, Right Media, and 24/7 Real Media subsequently being gobbled up. Then two weeks ago, offline marketing powerhouses Acxiom and Epsilon's parent company, ADS announced that they will both be acquired by private equity companies for sizable chunks of change. So what’s going on in the marketing and media arena? And, is there a link to between these ‘old’ and ‘new’ media company deals?
As private equity deals, the Acxiom and ADS acquisitions are pretty distinct from those of the interactive marketing companies. Private equity has become a business story in its own right during the past few years, partly because of the factors that have enabled such a slew of PE deals – cash is easy to come by, credit is cheap, interest rates are low, and balance sheets are clean and relatively debt-free.
In the name of “humanizing the digital experience” – the theme from Forrester’s 2006 Consumer Forum -- we’ve decided to try a new way to deliver you relevant research content to make you more successful in your job: Forrester Podcasts!
Our first installment of podcasts focuses on interactive marketing including: mobile marketing, social computing, consumer generated content, word of mouth marketing. And it includes a conversation with Pete Kim about his big idea for re-inventing the marketing organization, and the work I have in progress about the interactive marketing organization. Our podcasts also sample some great Forrester and industry presentations from our Consumer Forum featuring Jim Skinner the CEO of McDonalds, Michelle Peluso, President and CEO of Travelocity, and Jeff Hicks the CEO and Partner of agency giant Crispin Porter & Bogusky among others.
We're all finally settling down from our blockbuster of a consumer forum in Chicago last week (check out http://blogs.forrester.com/consumerforum for summaries, thoughts, and highlights from the event) and processing some of the learnings that came out of our client conversations. I didn't end up listening in on very many of the main tent speakers as I was pretty booked with one-on-one sessions. These are 30 minute, in person meetings that forum attendees can book with the analysts of their choice to discuss business issues. I was definitely tired after my few days of back to back one-on-ones, but to be honest, I came back to the office pretty recharged. I've been so heads down on research of late, that it was really nice to engage with clients face to face. I really enjoyed sharing ideas and meeting the real people who are out there reading my research!
One topic that came up several times in one-on-ones with different clients is: the role of the service provider in the next era of marketing. We've all been talking about integrated marketing for years. And this year's forum theme pushed integrated marketing even further by looking at how to "Humanize the Digital Experience." This means the entire integrated customer experience.
Andy Castonguay, Program Manager, Yankee Group Erin Cole, Media Supervisor, Avenue A | Razorfish Brian Costello, CEO, MaMoCo Jeff Janer, COO, Third Screen Media Michael Weaver, Senior Product Planner, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions
Roger introduced the discussion by saying that he thought we all agreed that mobile marketing was poised to really explode and that was why we were all attending the panel. But I must admit, I’m still skeptical on this point, and the issues raised during the panel only made me more so. Here are the current challenges with mobile marketing.