Sony Should Fight Fire With Fire And Post "The Interview" Online For Free

James McQuivey

Late last night Sony revealed it would pull "The Interview" from its release schedule. This decision was made in response to the step taken by the major theater chains that all agreed they would not screen the movie on its release day. The unprecedented decision is causing consternation among entertainment media types who feel that Sony has put the right of free speech in jeopardy. That's a conversation worth having and I'm glad it's happening. But there is an entirely new question that this situation brings into dramatic relief, one that didn't exist before and one that our premeditations won't help us resolve. The question is this:

Can companies participate in cyberwar?

Up until now, companies have prepared to defend themselves against cyber attacks as one-off nuisances. Such attacks are now so common that they no longer make the news. Even massive breaches where millions of customer datapoints are compromised tend to give us pause for only a few moments, perhaps a few days, and then we move on. But what Sony experienced was not just a security breach. This hack was a declaration of cyberwar intended to bring Sony to its digital knees. A low-cost, digitally effective cyberwar that puts none of the hackers' assets in harm's way. And given yesterday's announcement it appears to have worked.

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Four Lessons On Wearables From LeWeb Paris 2014

James McQuivey

I'm packing to leave Paris and it's a hard town to leave. Not only because I managed to catch a glimpse of a Paris sunset last night from the top of Notre Dame, but because I'm leaving LeWeb Paris 2014 while it's still in full swing. There's no denying LeWeb is one of the most invigorating events I've attended. Highlights in the first two days included a candid discussion on Uber with celebrity venture capitalist Fred Wilson and amazing comments from Web founder Tim Berners-Lee on everything from robots to net neutrality to Europe's "right to be forgottten" laws. Most invigorating for me personally was the day one session on wearables. LeWeb invited me to curate this hour-long track as part of its new format, tackling multiple themes in short bursts over several days. Curation required pulling together experts on the topic which was both simple and difficult. Simple because there are some great ones to choose from, difficult because I would have had 10 people on stage if I could have managed it. But that's where the hard task of curation comes in.

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Innovation Agency Wave: Learn more about the 10 agencies driving innovation

Sarah Sikowitz

I am very excited to announce that the Innovation Agency Wave is now live! 

Marketers need data, technology support, ideas, experience design, and change management — not just channel expertise — in order to differentiate themselves in the age of the customer. To accommodate, agencies are redefining their core competencies to better align with three areas of marketers' demandinnovation around products and business models, integration of channels and customer data, and implementation of enabling technology systems.

This research reminded us that "innovation agency" is a label that Forrester assigned to agencies with specific aptitudes. Most agencies don't have neatly packaged innovation offerings. But those we reviewed do offer strategy, change management, customer experience, and design and development services — capabilities that are core to enabling digital business innovation. Since CMOs may not find a standard blueprint for an innovation agency, this wave provides guidance as you review potential innovation agency partners. 

In addition to the report, please make sure to download the interactive scorecard tool to build your custom wave and gain a more in depth look at each agency.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the agencies that participated.  The teams that I worked with are all so talented and put in a lot of time and effort, which I appreciate. 

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Storytelling: The Key To Connecting With Business Buyers

Laura Ramos

It's the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US tomorrow. Soon we will gather around the table with family and friends to feast and give thanks for our many blessings and the things we most appreciate in life. If your home is anything like mine, it's also a time when we get together to share stories, both past and present.

What is it about stories that makes them so compelling?

Neuroscientists have shown stories stimulate our brains.  Actually, our limbic systems which house our emotional life and form memories. Anthropologists identify storytelling as a universal feature of every culture and country. As humans, we are hard-wired to want to listen to, remember, and retell stories. And attention is the reward listeners bestow on the storyteller. What marketers doesn't want that?

Well, look at any business-to-business website and you would never know this to be the case.

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It’s Time To Revamp Your Agency Roster

Sarah Sikowitz

Continuing the theme of agency selection, my next report, Revamp Your Agency Roster To Lead A Connected Brand Experience (subscription required), came out yesterday. 

This report helps CMOs reorient themselves to the shifting agency landscape and identify partners to help move them from channel expertise to leading a connected experience.

In establishing this new model, CMOs must partner with agencies to:

  • Create transformative experiences
  • Craft and distribute a connected brand story
  • Deliver technology to drive a connected brand experience

This report makes up the Performance Management module of the Brand Experience Playbook.

Please reach out to schedule an inquiry if you would like to discuss further.  I look forward to hearing from you.

CMOs And CIOs: A Couple Still In Need Of Therapy To Reach Power Status

Sheryl Pattek

A new pneumonia virus first infected a few people in China in November 2002. A scant seven months later, the virus known as SARS had infected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries and caused 774 deaths. The international medical community mobilized: Within one short month, it discovered the virus that caused SARS, completed its genetic sequencing, outlined its modes of transmission, and communicated guidance for managing the outbreak.

How did this happen so fast? The power of collaboration. A network of 11 laboratories in nine countries came together and collaborated to identify the cause of SARS and how best to combat it. They shared research in near real time, empowering each lab to build on the work of the others. Compare the success of this collaborative effort to the three years it took to discover that HIV led to AIDS as well as the slow movement to solve our current Ebola crisis. Clearly, collaboration when mobilized can have a huge, positive impact on the world in which we live, work, and play.

Now, just because CMOs and CIOs are not curing world hunger or an infectious disease, that does not mean they can choose to ignore the power of collaboration. In fact, as CMOs and CIOs, you too need to be collaboration superstars in order to prosper in the age of the customer

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Screen For These Four Criteria During Your Next Agency Search

Sarah Sikowitz

Being asked to pitch for a new piece of business strikes both excitement and fear in the hearts of many agency folk.  When I started research for my latest report, The Fit Test For Strong Agency Relationships, there was no shortage of people who wanted to weigh in on how to make the process better for both CMOs and agencies. 

After many interesting and spirited conversations, I settled on the four things CMOs should screen for when selecting an agency to help drive their business forward in an increasingly competitive and real-time environment.

Check out my report (subscription required) for a how to guide to screen for:

  • Vision: Does they agency’s vision for the future of consumer behavior, technology and marketing align with yours?
  • Experience: Can the agency provide a fresh perspective to your acute business challenges?
  • Passion: What is the agency doing to create a culture where its employees are passionate about coming to work?
  • Process: Will the agency be able to enact change across your organization?

If you are interested in discussing your next agency search or how to get the most from your current agency relationships, please schedule an inquiry with me.  

CMOs Boldly Reach For More Influence Across The Enterprise In 2015

Sheryl Pattek
For as long as there have been children and travel, frustrated parents have been subjected to repeatedly hearing a simple, “Are we there yet?” In their innocence, children seem to understand that all journeys should lead to a final destination; with those journeys never reaching their destination quick enough.
 
Empowered buyers have raised the ante to successfully win, serve, and retain them, increasing the pressure on organizations to accelerate their journey to customer obsession. But almost halfway through the decade, we find organizations struggling to find the right leader to seize the reins and transform the organization to be laser-focused on the customer. Enter the CMO.
 
In 2015, Forrester believes CMOs will step forward and take responsibility for turning the enterprise toward the customer, evolving their role into the engine that fuels customer-centric company growth. It’s time for CMOs to cultivate the trust, respect, and collaboration across the entire C-suite and use that influence to ask for the right to not only hold but also turn the keys to the customer.
 
My colleagues, James L. McQuivey, Moira Dorsey, Laura Ramos, Sarah Sikowitz, Tracy Stokes, and I therefore studied the landscape and expect CMOs to seize this new opportunity to both shape their personal success and accelerate the growth of their organizations in 2015. In particular, we predict that:
 
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Heads Up: Marketing And Advertising Technologies Are Converging

Corinne Munchbach

Last week, I published a new report called "The Marketing Technology Meet-Up," which examines the consolidation trend of ad technologies and marketing technologies and helps marketers understand how to use it to their advantage. Why is this happening now, you ask? Three reasons: customer expectations for brand interactions are (still) increasing; vendors want a bigger piece of the marketer's technology budgets; and the prevalence of investments in contextual experiences.

We see the convergence happening in four areas:

  • Data, because the single view of the customer is as tantalizing as it is elusive.
  • Media, which half of marketers say they struggle to buy correctly.
  • Measurement, as various methodologies provide vastly different performance results.
  • Operations, where siloed marketers find more and more reasons to work together on coordinated programs.
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It Takes A Village To Make Your Marketing Technology Investments Thrive

Sheryl Pattek

Having its root as an Igbo and Yoruba Nigerian proverb, “It takes a village” has come to mean that the responsibility for raising children is shared across the larger family and community. But it hasn’t stopped there. Hillary Clinton adopted this proverb as her own when she published a book on children and family values in 1995. And in May 2014, Pope Francis had a crowd of more than 300,000 school students outside the Vatican chant the saying over and over again.

This simple proverb has taken on an important meaning throughout the world, as it communicates the importance of community, cooperation, sharing, and bringing together the skills of many different parts of the community to produce the best result — the raising of a well-rounded child.

But at its core, “It takes a village” applies to more than just raising children.

In a business environment, “it takes a village” applies to how you find and then bring together the best resources to grow your business.  Speaking at Salesforce Dreamforce 2014 this morning, Hillary Clinton shared her views of how organizations must do good while doing well by adopting the core values of innvation, fun and giving back to the "village" at large.

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