Greetings from Forrester's EMEA consumer and finance forums in Barcelona! We've just finished the first two speakers of the event: Forrester's VP and Research Director, Jaap Favier and Wunderman's Chief Marketing Technologist Officer, Mark Taylor.
The presentations were an excellent introductions to the themes for both the consumer and the finance tracks: Share Your Brand (for the consumer track) and Beating the Competition With Superior Customer Experience (for the financial track).
Jaap had a few particular soundbites which I thought really crystalized the current state of marketers today, and also the changes they need to make in order to accommodate the growing influence of user generated content and virtual communities.
AdAge just announced Gino Bona, a sales exec out of Portsmouth, NH as the winner of the NFL's "create your own Super Bowl commercial" contest. And the NFL is not the only sponsor of viewer-created commercials. Chevy and Frito-Lay sponsored similar contests for their own Super Bowl spots.
Then last week the news broke about the entrepreneurial "J.P" who was seeking corporate sponsors to pay him to propose to his girlfriend during a Super Bowl commercial. The notion of using consumers to create ads isn't new and clearly consumers are actively creating their own media. But these last few stories got me to thinking: What happens now that not only are consumers creating media, but consumer actually are media? Reality TV is huge. And I would bet most of us have some fairly close connection with someone who has been on a reality TV show (my ex-boyfriend was fraternity brothers with the guy who "won" ABC's second season of "The Bachelorette.").
So it looks like Peter Kim and Eric Kintz have innocently conspired to whittle away at the precious little time standing between me and a long end-of-the-quarter winter's break. While some corporations may frown on an employee spending a few minutes to join a game of corporate blogging, I suspect the outcome will be both a little surprising and beneficial to the bloggers who decide to play. The Internet has truly made the world a much smaller place, as I believe this blog tag game will show. Here's my contribution, 5 things about me that some of you may not have suspected:
1) I was born in Japan, but am not a Japanese citizen. (My dad was in the US Navy for 23 years.)
2) During college summers, I worked onboard Navy ships in San Diego for the Naval Sea Support Center (See a common theme here?)
3) Everyone in my immediate family plays golf. While my handicap is too embarrassingly high to mention (my 9-year-old daughter occassionally hits the ball farther than I do,) my 14-year-old son's handicap is around 12 and my husband's is a 9. As further proof of our golf insantity: over the summer, we had an artificial putting green installed in our backyard.
We’ve been talking a lot in our research about the importance of “Humanizing the Digital Experience” – that is, using ever more and more prevalent digital channels to extend the personal connection marketers have to their customers.And yet, I feel like most marketers actually need to focus on humanizing the human experience first.In fact, I would argue that advances in technology are actually limiting the inter-personal interactions we have with human representations of a given brand.Let me explain what I mean.
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.