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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Blinded By The Dream Of Having A Single Marketing Services Partner?

Carlton Doty

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said "the only thing that is constant is change." Well, the CI services landscape seems to live and breath this saying. Today’s market demands are leading traditional database marketing service providers (MSPs) to deliver broader digital marketing capabilities, either through partnerships, acquisitions, or organic growth. While this trend has been unfolding for the last couple years, it shows no signs of slowing down. One of the latest examples of this activity is Alliance Data’s acquisition of Conversant for their Epsilon division. This is the latest in a series of moves by MSPs to build a bridge between the data business, digital marketing, and overall customer strategy - all key capabilities in the evolution toward Customer Engagement Agencies (CEA).  

Customer Insights (CI) professionals and marketers have managed relationships with their MSPs for decades to execute conventional direct marketing campaigns. While the classic database marketing business won’t dry up any time soon, the CI pros and marketers who manage these vendor relationships are grappling with:

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Q&A with Olivier Mourrieras, Vice President, Customer Experience Centre of Competence, E.On -- Part 1

Harley Manning

Here’s an objection I sometimes hear when I talk to people about how improving  customer experience can boost business performance: “Sure, it sounds great for glam industries like automotive or fashion.  But I sell widgets.”

Okay, it’s fair to say that the business value of CX is more obvious for industries that advertise in magazines with slick, glossy paper. But the reality is that focusing on CX can also do a lot for less sexy industries.

That’s why we invited Olivier Mourrieras of E.On to speak at Forrester’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals EMEA in London on November 17 and 18, 2014. E.On is one of the world's largest investor-owned electric utility service providers. And even though utilities don’t exactly captivate their customers, E.On has made huge, measured advances in the customer experience it provides, resulting in corresponding improvements to business results.

Olivier recently responded to our questions about what E.On has been doing and how it’s evolved. He gave us such amazingly detailed insight that I’ve broken his answers into two parts, with Part 1 appearing below.

I hope you enjoy what he has to say and I look forward to seeing some of you in London!

Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?

Prior to 2009, customer focus had not been a crucial part of E.ON’s strategy. Customer satisfaction scores were often lower than market average scores across the group resulting in high customer churn.

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The Data Digest: Align Technology Investments To Thrive In The Age Of The Customer

Marc Jacobson

Forrester is helping its clients better understand the Age of the Customer, a tectonic business shift characterized by technology innovations that have empowered customers in new and disruptive ways. With computing power we could only have dreamed of just a generation ago now in the hands of well over a billion individuals, businesses are scrambling to keep up with relentlessly growing customer expectations and demands.

A recent Forrester report, called ‘The CIO's Blueprint For Strategy In The Age Of The Customer’, provides CIOs with a strategy to help their companies thrive in these new times. In addition to transforming customer experience with a measurable approach, the authors argue that customer obsessed organizations must:

1.       Accelerate digital business to deliver greater agility and customer value

2.       Embrace the mobile mind shift to serve customers in their moments of need

3.       Turn big data into business insights for continuous improvement

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Big Billion Day Exposes The Opportunities And Weaknesses Of eCommerce In India

October 6, 2014 — “Big Billion Day” — was marketed by Flipkart extensively, both online and offline. The founders of Flipkart, Sachin and Binny Bansal, sent a personalized email to registered users announcing the date and mentioning their emotional connection with the number 610 (the number of the apartment from which they launched Flipkart in 2007). October 6 falls in the festive season of Diwali, a period that accounts for 40% of the total sales of key brands in India. Online and offline retailers are competing for a major share of sales during this year’s Diwali.

2014 was a year of massive eCommerce investment in India. Flipkart raised $1 billion; Amazon announced it would invest $2 billion in its Indian subsidiary; and Snapdeal raised $234 million from private equity firms and an undisclosed additional sum from private investors. These three players are spending approximately 2 billion rupees ($33 million) this season on marketing — and a lot more on improving last-mile delivery and adding fulfillment centers to get a bigger piece of the sales pie.

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New Streaming Service From ESPN And The NBA Rumored: No Cable Subscription Required

Jim Nail

This morning, the NBA and ESPN are announcing terms of the renewal of their licensing contract. The numbers are huge, but that's not what caught my eye.

Early reports say that ESPN will launch a streaming service for live games — and viewers won't need a cable or satellite subscription to view them.

This is the first crack in the structure of the television business that has been in place for decades, in which the programmers and MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors, aka cable, satellite, and telco companies) have a strong co-dependence and why today viewers must authenticate their cable/satellite/telco subscription in order to stream programming from the TV-everywhere app or network app.

Will other networks and programmers follow suit? Will more consumers cut the cord if they can now get their live sports content online?

Stay tuned for more details . . .

Update 11:45 eastern time. 

I just watched the video of the press conference. Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, and John Skipper, president of ESPN, both mentioned the new OTT service, but there are scant details and a promise for more later. Mr. Skipper down played the potential impact on pay TV, stating that "the preponderance of the deal is to invest in new products that go on pay TV . . . "and saying ". . . there is no contradiction in continuing to enhance and buttress the current system while building new businesses and new ways to reach fans. We think they are complementary."

Turner President David Levy emphasized that they retained TV-everywhere rights as well as NBA's digital properties, including NBATV, NBA.com, and League Pass, a service that streams games not broadcast.  

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Q&A With Siqi Chen, Cofounder And CEO, Heyday

John Dalton

Thinking you know your customers will no longer cut it when it comes to delivering a top-notch customer experience. To create the most compelling differentiated experiences, firms not only need to know their customers but also understand what their customers care about most. 

Siqi Chen, Heyday cofounder and CEO, gets this. The "effortless journaling" app goes the extra mile to deliver a seamless delightful experience — particularly for first-time users "where there aren’t obvious motivations to invest," in Siqi’s words.

I had a chance to sit down with Siqi in advance of his keynote session at Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience Professionals West to talk about how Heyday competes on experience in the competitive mobile playing field. Hear more of Heyday’s story next month in Anaheim, California, November 6th to 7th.

Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?

A: We focused on the customer experience from the inception of the company. As a mobile company, the way our customers interact with their devices is intensely personal. We run on a device that is the primary computing device for most people, a device that is with our customers physically for most of their waking life and a device that our customers interact with in the most intimate way: through touch. Because of this, great products on mobile devices require a very high bar for attention to detail and emotional value, in addition to the foundations of speed and value delivered that every great product requires.

Q: What aspects of the experience that your company delivers matter most to your customers?

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As Tablet And Video Display Gains Momentum In Europe, Forrester Expects Online Display Revenues To Reach €11.9 Billion In 2019

Luca Paderni

This is a guest post by Samantha Merlivat, a researcher serving Marketing Leadership professionals.

Forrester’s Western European Online Display Advertising Forecast projects that online display advertising spend will rise at a CAGR of 10.3% between 2014 and 2019, jumping from €7.3 billion to €11.9billion. Two factors will account for the double-digit growth rate:

  • Mobile display will pick up quickly over the next five years, with tablet taking off full speed in virtually every European market. With their larger screen real estate and growing role in customers’ path to purchase, tablet-based ads will grow at a 40.5% CAGR over the period, attracting a third of total online display revenue by 2019.
  • Video and rich media formats are also growing strong. Video in particular will increase 20% annually over the next five years. Attracted by the higher opportunities for story-telling and building engagement, marketers will be willing to invest higher CPMs in these formats.
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Video Growth Drives Display Advertising Spending To $37.6 Billion In 2019

This is a guest post by Samantha Merlivat, a researcher serving Marketing Leadership professionals.

US online display advertising will grow from $19.8 billion in 2014 to $37.6 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate of 13.7%. The offline ad market, in comparison, will grow at a modest 1% CAGR over the same period. Forrester just released the latest US Online Display Advertising Forecast report, which details why the online display industry will have video and mobile to thank for the double-digit growth rate:

  • Video advertising will represent nearly 55% of online display advertising revenue on desktop by 2019. Its growth will be cannibalizing primarily static display. Marketers’ preference for video and rich media reflects their new ambitions for online display: They are moving beyond the notion of display as a direct response tool, and starting to explore display as an engagement and branding tool.
  • Mobile ads will represent 39% of total online display in 2019 compared with 24% in 2014. Tablet display, in particular, will be a medium to be reckoned with in the future as it comes to play a greater role in customers’ path to purchase and in web-influenced shopping.
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It's time to fall back on the loyalty basics

Emily Collins

Blogged in collaboration with Samantha Ngo, Senior Research Associate, serving Customer Insights professionals.

As a kid, I loved going back to school. The beginning of September always meant new classes, new classmates, and of course new notebooks, pens, and pencils. And even though I’m not in school anymore, I still see September as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf, and approach things — both personally and professionally — with a fresh perspective. So, in honor of the first few weeks of Fall, let’s all take some time to study the loyalty basics. Process, while not the most exciting aspect of loyalty marketing, is necessary for building a sound foundation. Without processes, your ability to execute on your loyalty strategy is shaky at best and sudden changes to the market or unforeseen obstacles may leave you in disarray.

To avoid loyalty strategy failure, you must streamline processes around these three objectives:

  1. Building a deep understanding of customer needs and motivations. Loyalty starts with knowing your best customers and asking for their input. But, if gathering data from your customers, make sure you use it. They will expect it.
  2. Preparing for relentless adjustment. Digital business is booming, and loyalty can’t miss out on opportunities to innovate. Test and learn new customer engagement tactics on a small scale. Don’t be complacent with your strategy, but don’t over spend on improvements that won’t last.
  3. Establishing enterprise wide alignment. Do you know who your key internal stakeholders are? Identify them then build teams and processes to help create seamless customer experience.
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