The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

Rusty Warner

Apologies to those purists who recognize this post’s title as a misquote of Mark Twain. In this case I’m not referring to myself, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or indeed any human being, so I’ve gone with the more popular expression. Instead, I’m talking about campaigns – you know, those marketing tactics declared dead by many, but which brands continue to leverage for cross-channel communications. Back in February, Forrester’s Tracy Stokes used a similar analogy in her excellent post “Digital Marketing is Dead; Long Live Post-Digital Marketing: What It Means for CMOs.”

I’m resurrecting the theme because campaign management is alive and well. That being said, Customer Insights (CI) professionals now approach campaigns much differently than in the past. Smart marketers know they must engage their customers with contextually relevant content that sparks an interaction cycle and provides utility while creating a value exchange.  Orchestrated appropriately, campaign management can be a key enabler for post-digital marketing.

Read more

Facebook Has Finally Killed Organic Reach. What Should Marketers Do Next?

Nate Elliott

After years of pushing brands’ reach lower with one hand (and opening marketers’ wallets with the other) Facebook has finally announced the end of organic social marketing on its site.

In a Friday night blog post the social giant warned brands that “Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content [promotional page posts] in their News Feeds,” and admitted that brands that post promotional content “will see a significant decrease in distribution.”

It’s not as if marketers could count on much organic reach or engagement anyway. Ogilvy reported that in February 2014 large brands’ Facebook posts reached just 2% of their fans (a number that was falling by .5% per month). And earlier this year a Forrester study showed that on average, only .07% of top brands’ Facebook fans interact with each of their posts. But Facebook’s latest announcement will certainly make matters worse.

What should marketers do now? Today we published a report called “Social Relationship Strategies That Work” that details several options. Two of the most important things brands can do are:

Read more

US Mobile Payments Will Reach $142B By 2019

Denée Carrington

The media frenzy around mobile payments — most recently Apple Pay — has reached fever pitch and led some industry spectators to conclude that a payments revolution is at hand. Not so. The adoption of mobile payments is an evolution — not a revolution — and the evolution is well underway. Although the landscape of mobile payment providers is in an ongoing state of flux, the ecosystem and mobile capabilities are maturing and consumer and merchant adoption is accelerating.  Over the next five years, US mobile payments will grow from $52 billion in 2014 to $142 billion by 2019 with both national brands and local merchants.  Over the next five years, we can expect: 

  • Consumers undergoing a mobile mind shift will create new mobile moments in commerce. Over the last five years, US consumers have adopted smartphones at a breakneck pace – growing from just 19% in 2009 to 66% in 2014.As consumers integrate mobile into every aspect of their lives, they are turning to their mobile devices to get things done wherever they are. Consumers are undergoing a mobile mind shift: “the expectation that I can get what I want in my immediate context and moments of need. Their increasing reliance on their mobile phones gives rise to higher expectations — it has ushered in the emergence of mobile moments in which businesses can find new opportunities to meet or surpass customer expectations in payments and commerce.
Read more

Ready to Write Your Digital Strategy? Read This First.

China Will Become The First $1 Trillion Online Retail Market By 2019

During Tuesday’s 11.11 (Singles’ Day) Shopping Festival, Alibaba set new online retail records: 278.5 million orders with a GMV exceeding RMB 57 billion ($9.3 billion) (43% of which came from mobile devices). This comes on the heels of the world’s biggest IPO earlier this year, in which Alibaba raised $25 billion. Alibaba’s smaller rival JD.com, which raised $1.7 billion in its own IPO, received more than 14 million orders (40% of which came from mobile) on Singles’ Day 2014, an increase of more than 120% over November 11, 2013. Powered by the cash that their IPOs generated and growing demand among Chinese consumers, Forrester forecasts that China will become first $1 trillion online retail market by 2019.

Several factors contribute to this tremendous growth, including:

  • The rise of mobile shopping
  • eCommerce’s increasing wallet share and category expansion
  • Improving logistics
  • Penetration into lower-tier cities
Read more

Welcome to Carmine's blog

I'd like to introduce myself.

I joined Forrester's ForecastView team in May and am focusing my forecasting efforts on digital marketing. Before I came on board, I worked with the sales & marketing teams at ad tech vendor [x+1], now part of Rocket Fuel. In writing over a hundred proposals and countless other pieces of collateral and correspondence around RTB, DMPs, DSPs, SSPsPMPs, ATDs, etc., I came to develop an understanding not only of how ad tech works, but also of the marketer and agency agenda. I realized that the most satisfying part of my job was articulating esoteric concepts for internal and external audiences, bringing tactical order to the chaos Terry Kawaja visualizes in his LUMAscapes. So I came to Forrester as an Analyst to do this full time.

I cut my teeth at Deloitte Consulting, where I worked across industries (healthcare, insurance, banking, tech, manufacturing) and functional areas (marketing, finance, operations, IT) to develop master data management strategies, implement supply chain improvements & savings, redesign organizations, and streamline operations.

Read more

Who Does Mobile Commerce Well?

Sucharita  Mulpuru

As mobile becomes a critical component of your digital strategy and overall business, eBusiness professionals should have an answer when their executive teams ask, “Who does mobile commerce well?” Forrester has answered that question for you in our new report published today.  Using a proprietary framework, we analyzed top retailers’ mobile experiences (sites and apps) and measured how well they addressed key challenges to mobile commerce sales and supported mobile-enabled commerce in other channels. We selected the best of the best for our review to highlight the strongest functionality and uncover cross-category best practices.

Our framework evaluates the strengths of these mobile phone websites and their corresponding apps across six elements:

  • Findability. The ease of finding a mobile site or app altogether.
  • Utility. How useful the site or app is for shoppers.
  • Searchability. How well search and search functionality like predictive text works on mobile phones.
  • Browsability. How easy it is to browse the retailer’s mobile site or app.
  • Buyability. How easy and frictionless the buying process is on the mobile site or app.
  • Overall design. The ease of navigating content on mobile sites and apps, as well as other mobile content that shoppers engage with including email and text messages.
Read more

The Truth About Showrooming

Adam Silverman

As we enter the 2014 holiday season, retail news outlets are latching on to dramatic headlines highlighting the risk of showrooming - the act of checking prices on a mobile device in a store and then purchasing at another retailer. Yes it’s true; customers use their mobile phones to compare prices in-stores. However the behavior of shopping multiple stores to find the lowest price is nothing new. My grandmother often "showroomed" a bag of peanuts at the farmers market just to save a few cents.  I suspect this behavior has been occurring as long as humans have been bartering goods.

 

While the behavior is not new, mobile phones have enabled customers to compare prices immediately across a vast set of digital retailers.  As mobile phones afford customers greater choice in-aisle, showrooming has instilled fear in legacy retail organizations who quickly realized they no longer completely control the experience in their stores.  At first, retailers responded with force by removing Wi-Fi, which in a world with rich cellular connectivity did little to curb showrooming behavior. Today retailers are reacting to showrooming by providing margin-eroding offers in-aisle. In the future, advanced retailers will begin to embrace showrooming, using the signals from price-checking on mobile phones (either by observing behavior or using retail store analytics) to offer greater convenience and rich experiences at the customer’s moment of need.

 

Read more

Secure Your 2015 Social Marketing Budget Now

Kim Celestre

The 2015 budgeting season is underway, and my colleague and Research Associate Mike Carpenter has provided some excellent guidance on how to secure the resources you will need to run your 2015 social marketing programs:

Say the words social media marketing in a budget meeting and C-suiters immediately flip on their ROI blinders. Many marketers assume that executives will just “get” social, but lack of organizational buy-in continues to limit funding for social marketing programs. Thankfully there is a way to secure your budget just in time for 2015: speak in a language executives understand by building a business case for social.

In our report Get Approval To Fund Your Social Marketing Initiative, we detail the full cycle for getting an ample social marketing budget, including the steps to building a solid business case. Here are four data sources listed in the report to help you inform your case and win the funding you need:

 

 

1. Previous Campaigns

Arguing with history is tough, so flaunt your successful campaigns to fund new ones! Showing wins from previous social campaigns trumps mere speculation by providing confident directional data. By the same token, avoid highlighting campaigns that did not impact business objectives.  Budget holders will be unlikely to dole out the dough if they can not see social's connection with real business outcomes.

2. Competitive Benchmarks

Read more

What Retailers Can Take Away From Singles’ Day Binge

Vanessa Zeng

The two most noteworthy recent events in China are obviously the APEC Summit and the Singles’ Day shopping festival. Since its creation five years ago, Singles’ Day has become the online shopping feast that almost every Chinese consumer expects.

The shopping event was created by Alibaba in 2009 as a promotion to drive sales on Tmall and Taobao on the November 11 Singles’ Day holiday. Alibaba uses the event to reward consumers and reinforce its eCommerce influence in the Chinese market. Now the most influential eCommerce event in China, Singles’ Day is no longer Alibaba’s monopoly — almost all e-tailers and even offline retailers are getting involved.

Compared with past years, the Singles’ Day 2014 campaign has several new features:

  • Global reach. Top eCommerce players such as Alibaba, Amazon, Jingdong, and Suning have all announced “globalization” plans and activities around this year’s event; these plans include offering a broad selection of discounted products, preferential tax rates, free or low-cost international shipping, and speedy delivery.
  • Big data. According to Alizila, Alibaba will apply predictive analysis to Tmall transaction data to project order volume. The Cainiao smart logistics network and its delivery partners can use this information to allocate resources and respond to demand more precisely.
  • Interactions between online and offline. To expand the impact of online retail to offline businesses, Alibaba conducted offline-to-online promotional activities for home renovation and home decoration projects. It also rallied more than 300 department stores in 18 cities to join the event by offering special discounts to shoppers who buy store-value cards online and use them to redeem goods in physical stores.
Read more