Forrester’s 2016 Predictions: All That Data Will Finally Drive Business Action

Carlton Doty

Do you consider yourself “data-driven”? If you’re like most business and technology leaders, you do. But the reality is that most businesses have only scratched the surface when it comes to transforming all of that data into insight that drives real business action. In our 2016 predictions report, my colleagues Brian Hopkins, Jennifer Belissent, PhD., and I predict what will happen in the hottest areas of big data, analytics, business intelligence, and systems of insight — and tell you what to do about it. Here’s a sneak at just a few highlights:

  • Chief data officers (CDOs) will gain power, prestige, and presence . . . for now. The trend toward appointing a CDO accelerated in 2015, and will continue in 2016.  CI pros should take advantage of this. How? Extend customer insights beyond marketing to drive a culture of insights-to-execution across the organization.
  • Firms will try to come to terms with data science scarcity. Two-thirds of firms will have built predictive systems capability by mid-2016, but will struggle to find data science talent. Customer insights teams must increase analytic yield without waiting for hard-to-find data scientists. How? Some analytics platforms from vendors like AgilOne, Custora, and Origami Logic can empower business users without a rigorous statistical background.
Read more

Neustar Acquires MarketShare To Close The Data to Insights Gap

Tina Moffett

Last Thursday, marketing data and analytics company, Neustar, agreed to acquire marketing analytics technology provider MarketShare Partners, for $450 million.  Neustar is an information services company, providing everything from complex registry management to deliver marketing insights. MarketShare Partners provides advanced analytics technology to help c-level executives improve marketing’s impact on revenue.    

The Neustar acquisition of MarketShare means:

A powerful insights engine will come to market.  The Neustar acquisition of MarketShare for $450 million indicates one thing:data is not enough. Neustar needed to expand on its existing data, marketing, and identity solutions and add an analytics technology layer to help CMOs measure, analyze, and optimize marketing initiatives.  The acquistion of MarketShare helps Neustar clients bring all that rich data to life, and will give MarketShare clients access to even more customer based data to enhance its current analytics.

Neustar to gain more access to CMOs .  Neustar’s primary stakeholders sit right below the c-suite. This acquisition will  hopefully change that; MarketShare’s strong experience  as a  trusted advisor Fortune 1000 to clients such as USAA, Hilton, and Neiman Marcus.  MarketShare has a proven track record of guiding executives through marketing planning decisions, changes in prices, and change management decisions.  This acquisition will potentially give Neustar more credibility with C-level executives, if they can speak their language.

Read more

Get Your Privacy House In Order, or 2016 Will Hit Your Business Hard

Fatemeh Khatibloo

Now that we’re firmly settled in the Age of the Customer, it’s time to take stock of the factors that are really going to drive business success -- or failure -- over the next few years. At Forrester, we’re betting our hats that privacy will be one a big one. In fact, we think that privacy is integral to each one of the 10 success factors in 2016.

Read more

Privacy & Personalization: two globally important initiatives, one tremendous opportunity

Fatemeh Khatibloo

I'm just back from two weeks in Hong Kong, where I'd been invited to give a keynote at the 10th anniversary conference of the Business Information Industry Association. Since I was there, I took the time to meet with some fantastic Forrester clients in industries ranging from travel to insurance to retail to consulting. In nearly every discussion, whether I was speaking to a BT or a marketing exec, we eventually got to the topic of the "privacy-personalization paradox."

This is an issue I've explored extensively, and have written about before. It's a challenge that marketers in the US dabble with when they're considering investments in tools like retail beacons and cross-device identity resolution. But it was enlightening to hear about the challenges that firms in APAC face: antiquated privacy laws, a dearth of third-party consumer data, and even the incredible difficulty of compiling a single customer view across their own first party data. Interestingly, though, the solution in both markets is similar: preference management

I've just published a report about enterprise preference management, which Forrester defines as:

The business practice of systematically collecting, managing, and utilizing explicit customer preferences — about frequency, channel, content, interests, and intent — in outbound communications.

Read more

The Enterprise Marketing Technology Landscape - Simplified

Rusty Warner

We’ve all seen comprehensive diagrams featuring hundreds of vendor logos across multiple marketing technology categories. So, when tasked with mapping the technologies required to deliver contextual marketing, I decided to simplify things. For more details, see my new report “Combine Systems Of Insight And Engagement For Contextual Marketing.”

Forrester has defined broad “systems of X” categories that include systems of record, design, operation/automation, insight, and engagement. The latter two lend themselves to the enterprise marketing technology landscape.

Real-time analytics and insights drive the contextual marketing engine (below), and these tools fit squarely into the systems of insight category. Customer data bases and big data repositories fuel the engine, and as customer behavior refreshes them frequently, they, too, are systems of insight (as opposed to more static systems of record).

Read more

Introducing The Marketing Measurement and Insights Playbook

Tina Moffett

It’s no secret that marketers are under increasing pressure to be accountable, while an increasingly fragmented media environment compounds the perennial challenges of marketing measurement.  Meanwhile, consumer insights pros are improving skills and gaining ever more powerful tools to harvest and analyze the data from web, mobile, and social marketing. The scale and speed requirement of today’s marketing world strained legacy marketing measurement approaches like attribution and marketing mix modeling .  

We knew the convergence of different marketing analytics approaches was inevitable so earlier this year, my colleague Jim Nail and I began sharing our ideas on where marketing measurement was headed.   We agreed each approach provides only a partial answer to the marketing ROI puzzle and they shared enough methodological similarity that merging them was plausible.

We’ve just completed research that shows that our intuition is correct and in our new report, Embrace Unified Marketing Impact Analytics to Deliver Value Across Interactions, we dubbed this converged approach as Unified Marketing Impact Analytics (UMIA), defining it as:

blend of statistical techniques that assigns business value to each element of the marketing mix at both a strategic and tactical level. 

Read more

Safe Harbor is dead. What does that mean for your customer insights & analytics practices?

Fatemeh Khatibloo

Yesterday morning, many of us in the United States awoke to some troubling news: the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled that the Safe Harbor agreement is no longer valid.  Security & risk (S&R) and data management folks kicked into high gear. Customer insights and digital marketing teams...? Well, the news slipped past mostly unnoticed. That's a mistake. 

Let's start with a primer on Safe Harbor. If you're a multinational company doing business in Europe, Safe Harbor is the agreement under which you've been allowed to bring European customers' data back into your servers in the US for purposes of targeting, analytics, campaign management, etc. If you work with a US-based database MSP, digital or CRM agency to manage customer data, they've likely been relying on the same agreement. It's a nearly 20-year old agreement that was put in place to bridge the gap between Europe's strict data protection laws and America's relative dearth of them. 

Now, that agreement has been deemed invalid, which means that every company serving European customers needs to reexamine its data practices. Of course, this is primarily the purview of our technology management peers. But customer insights professionals need to partner closely with them on two fronts:

  • Speak up about your third-party data sharing practices. This includes sharing between business partners (for example, passing customer data to a firm that administers your loyalty program or manages warranties), sharing CRM data with digital marketing vendors, and even using third-party tracker on your website that collect IP addresses. Any third party data sharing could come under scrutiny from the European Data Protection Authority, so you'll want to have a consent-based model for collecting and sharing that data soon.
Read more

MROCs Are The Missing Piece To The Research Puzzle

Kristopher Arcand

This past summer, we at Forrester continued to explore new and innovative methodologies. One of my highlights was visiting the IIeX conference in Atlanta back in June. And although I was impressed by the variety of new (qualitative) methodologies, it’s rarely a matter of choosing one or the other. The recent GRIT report by GreenBook shows, for example, that many market research online community (MROC) vendors dropped a few places in terms of innovation, but I agree with Andrew Leary from Ipsos SMX that these online communities will continue to play a relevant (and innovative!) role thanks to their flexibility and variability when it comes to size, duration, integration, and scale.

I recently researched the MROC space, interviewing all the major players to understand their capabilities and how they support organizations. I found that there are a number of ways that MROCs aid customer insights professionals, including:

  • Creating a better understanding of consumers’ drivers. MROCs allow us to ask consumers in an open-ended way to describe their experiences across the purchase journey, anywhere from the point they learn about or research the company to when they follow up for customer support. In turn, these findings can have an impact at any level of the organization. These insights become even more valuable for ongoing communities.
Read more

Microsoft Cortana Accelerates The Business Transformation Of Chinese Manufacturers

Gene Cao

Microsoft officially launched Cortana Suites — a key part of Windows Azure Intelligent Cloud — in China last week, together with MySQL Database on Azure. Windows Azure Intelligent Cloud provides real-time analytics and open source database services to Chinese customers in nationwide data centers operated by 21Vianet.

To give Chinese customers a better idea of how to use cloud-based analytics, Windows Azure demonstrated customer usage scenarios involving big data analytics on cloud. The China Meteorological Administration partnered with AccuWeather, using Windows Azure to monitor and analyze air quality data from meteorological satellites and local air monitoring stations in real time.

Chinese manufacturers face challenges from digital service providers that better understand customers and shorten the distance from product design to the end user. After implementing real-time analytics on sensor data and customer behavior, manufacturers can improve their business models via:

  • Product innovation. Chinese manufacturers have started tracking operational data from sensors embedded in their products to manage and predict product upgrade and maintenance cycles. Customers prefer to pay for the time they actually use the equipment — so mechanical manufacturers use cloud analytics to support this sales model. The recent rash of elevator accidents in China primarily involved elevators whose manufacturers had limited labor resources for post-sales services — a common complaint of Chinese elevator manufacturers.
Read more

Coalition Loyalty In The US Shows "Plenti" of Promise

Emily Collins

In May, American Express launched Plenti, a U.S.-based coalition loyalty program with eight partners, including Macy's, AT&T, Exxon Mobil and Rite Aid. These types of programs, which let consumers earn and redeem a single currency across multiple partners, are popular in other areas of the world, but coalitions have historically failed to gain traction in the United States.

Plenti's initial progress indicates that it might buck the trend: It signed up more than 20 million members in its first two months reaching around 16% US household penetration. For reference, established coalitions such as AIR MILES, Nectar and FlyBuys have household penetration rates of more than 50%.

But any decent loyalty marketer knows enrollment doesn’t tell the whole story. Three things, in particular, give coalition in the U.S. a fighting chance:

  • The loyalty program landscape is crowded. Plenti entered the market at a time when companies across industries – from retail to travel/hospitality to automotive – invest in loyalty programs to drive retention, engagement and loyalty. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, consumers belong to an average of nine loyalty programs. The proliferation of branded programs makes it hard to stand out, and it shows: 58% of loyalty marketers that Forrester surveyed in 2015 indicated they were dissatisfied with their loyalty strategy. Coalition programs offer a differentiated value proposition: members shopping across partners experience an increased earning velocity and wider choices for redemption, which boost the utility and perceived value of the program.
Read more