Digital Government: Digitally Enabled, Not Necessarily Digitally Delivered

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

The new eGovernment Benchmark 2016: A Turning Point For eGovernment in Europe? was published this week. Although many countries show progress toward the goals, the transformation is not happening as quickly as expected.  Public services are increasingly accessible, with 81% available online. However, one area that disappoints is user-centricity. While business-related services have improved significantly, citizen-related services lag particularly in ease and speed of use.  Results, however, differ by geography as delineated by a “digital diagonal” running from south-west to north-east. Those countries running diagonally through the middle of Europe seem to be digitizing more effectively. (See the figure to the right). Not all countries are transforming at the same pace – and not surprisingly.

I’ve been thinking a lot about “e-government” and “digital government” these days, and one thing bugs me: the push for online services. Yes, I like the convenience of being able to get things done online: renewing driver’s licenses, requesting permits, paying fines. But I also recognize that there are some things that might be better done in person. Yet not everyone has easy access to a government office.  My own regional administration is over an hour away by car, and I certainly don’t want to have to go there to get things done.  Therein lays a tension that isn’t necessarily solved by “digital services” but that can be addressed by “digital government.” 

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Salesforce Closes their Marketing Cloud Gap with Krux

Susan Bidel

Posted in collaboration with Richard Joyce and Joe Stanhope, with Melissa Parrish.


With 150,000 customers, Salesforce, one of the world’s largest providers of customer relationship management (CRM) technology, is a trusted steward of its clients’ first-party customer and sales data. In acquiring Krux, a data management platform that ranked as a Leader in Forrester’s November 2015 Data Management Platform Wave, Salesforce supplements its capabilities with more substantial analytics, artificial intelligence tools, marketing data, and digital audience capabilities and positions itself as a significant competitor to other marketing cloud vendors like Oracle and Adobe. This is a smart acquisition for Salesforce, as Krux is a well regarded vendor in the DMP space, and it fills in a increasingly obvious hole in their Marketing Cloud offering.

The Krux buy, came in at a reported cost of $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.just about double the cost to Oracle of BlueKai 18 months ago. The DMP aggregates, normalizes, segments, and syndicates data for approximately 200 marketers and publishers, making 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data available for marketing and advertising .

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How Do Buyer Journeys Relate To the Customer Life Cycle?

Lori Wizdo

At Forrester, we’re pretty zealous in our recommendations that B2B marketers must shift their marketing focus from a product and channel centric approach to a customer-centric approach, using the customer life cycle as a design framework for company-wide engagement. The customer life cycle is simply the enterprise’s view of the phases a customer passes through in the course of an ongoing relationship with a company.  This shift triggers a number of pivots:

  • From “what we do” to “what your customers want”  
  • From your process to the customer’s
  • From one stage (e.g. acquisition) to the entire life cycle  
  • From “transactions” to “relationships

In our B2B research, we also evangelize about the importance of buyer journey mapping.   Conceptually these two customer processes seem very similar, and I often get this question:

Q: “How should we use Customer Lifecycle when thinking about Buyer Journey? It feels like two different (similar models)”

A: Well spotted!  They are two different models. The Buyer Journey is about one particular decision journey.  There will be multiple buyer journeys throughout the typical customer life cycle, such as:

  • Initial purchase decision
  • Decision or renew (or expand)
  • Entirely new purchase decisions for entirely new stuff (cross-sell/upsell)
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The Canada Customer Experience Index For 2016, Part 1: A Year Of Stagnation

Rick Parrish

I’m happy to announce that we just released this year’s Customer Experience Index report for Canadian brands. The report is based on Forrester's CX Index™ methodology, which measures how well a brand's customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. We use this methodology to create an annual benchmark of CX quality at 193 Canadian brands.

We found that between 2015 and 2016, the Canadian customer experience stagnated.

  • Score changes at the brand level were remarkably minimal. Only about one-quarter of brand scores changed at all, and those changes were small across the board. A similar number of brands rose as fell.
  • Fourteen industry averages showed slight movement. Four industry averages rose and 10 fell. However, these movements were usually very small and rarely changed the rank order of industries significantly. Only two industries’ performance changed substantially: The wireless service provider industry rose, and the PC manufacturer industry fell.
  • Leaders and laggards by industry were mostly unchanged. Within the 18 industries we studied, 12 industry leaders and six industry laggards held their positions. However, some top and bottom spots changed hands only because we added new brands this year that scored higher or lower than last year’ languishing leaders and laggards.
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Here Are Your Native Advertising Options Mapped Out

Ryan Skinner

Native advertising corresponds to many types of advertising, from paid search and social ads to the sponsored editorial offerings from media companies. Put simply, it’s confusing as hell to understand.

Success at native means both the user of a media site or app and the advertiser explicitly get value out of the experience. To understand if a particular kind of native advertising is going to be successful, marketers should assess four criteria: Format, reach, context, and identification.

The seven core types of native advertising** all function to varying degrees against these criteria.

For example, the paid search ad is a proven format that generates a reasonably predictable response rate; an in-feed ‘click to play’ cinematograph will be less predictable, and probably less reliable. Pinterest’s promoted pins provide considerable reach for some populations; a native ad appearing programmatically in apps and targeted for a specific behavior may have far lower reach. Likewise, there’s wide variety for context and identification.

To help marketers make smart decisions, we broke down all seven native advertising types against these four criteria, and explored compelling examples of each. For Forrester clients, have a look at the analysis – our Vendor Landscape: Native Advertising Technologies, Q3 2016. Not a client? This’ll have to do as a teaser. 

*** those seven types: paid search, paid social, in-feed exchanges, native ad vendors, publisher networks, publisher-specific custom native, and influencer activation.

Predictive Marketing Analytics and The Link to Customer Engagement Action

Allison Snow

Since 73% of companies understand the business value of data and aspire to be data-driven, but just 29% confirm that they are actually turning data into action – it’s not a leap to suspect that organizations are at risk of collecting data without deploying them in ways that support deeper customer engagement.

This concept – linking insights to action – is an example of a mission-critical imperative that transcends client roles. Consider:

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The Trust Crisis in Advertising

Jim Nail

Facebook's admission that their video viewing numbers have been inflated for two years is one more shoe dropping in an ongoing breakdown of the relationships between advertisers, agencies and media companies in the advertising ecosystem. Coming after the ANA's work on transparency, and the unresolved issue of fraud in the programmatic ecosystem, this points to a larger, more fundamental problem in the advertising industry.

I won't try to diagnose them all (my colleague Sarah Sikowitz did a good job on the agency transparency issue on her blog). And I won't even go into the fact that the agencies didn't challenge these bogus counts. 

But I have a word of advice for the digital industry: stop obsessing over bits and pixels and clicks (Oh My!). I've been in digital for 20 years and by now the industry should have learned that no matter how readily available this data is, it is meaningless relative to what advertisers really want to know: is my message getting through and having an impact? I may sound old fashioned, but in contrast to these irrelevant, spurious, and potentially inflated data, I'll take a good-old exposed/unexposed ad communication/awareness/attribute association/purchase intent lift survey any day.

True, I give up the individual-level data the digital prides itself on. But if the data is this weak and subject to manipulation, it is at best an inaccurate view of ad performance and likely to be downright misleading.

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A Closer Look at the Monetary Value of Emotion

Victor Milligan

Human beings are emotional. The chemical reactions that trigger emotions determine our feelings toward a brand and our likelihood to spend. This fundamental, primal relationship is baked into how humans operate; however, it is not yet baked into how most companies operate.

Initial CX efforts gave us better insights into customer journeys across digital, physical, and human touchpoints. That opened a window into what causes emotional responses and provided an early warning system for emotions that provoke actions. But we’ve only begun to uncover the profound relationship between emotion and revenue. For example:

  • In the hotel industry, among customers who felt valued, 90% will advocate for the brand, 67% plan to increase their spending with the brand, and 87% plan to stay with the brand, per Forrester’s Customer Experience (CX) Index.
  • According to CX Index data, the TV service provider industry had the largest percentage of customers who felt annoyed compared with any other industry in our study. The result is that just 8% will advocate for the brand, only 13% plan to increase their spending with the brand, and barely 15% plan to stay with the brand.
  • Users can abandon digital sites and purchase paths within 50 milliseconds if the experience does not meet their (ever-increasing) expectations.
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Asking The Right Questions: A Socratic Approach To Sales Enablement Automation

Steven Wright

 “The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.” 
― Thomas S. Kuhn

The Socratic method proposes that you can learn much by asking questions to test the logic of various facts and beliefs to stimulate critical thinking. Forrester's 30-minute inquiries often become a miniature version of the Socratic approach, usually with the client having an initial set of questions and the analyst then having a few questions in return to clarify the topic.

“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.” 
― John Ruskin

After 11 months, I have engaged in dozens of inquiries with customers from many industries — all of them asking about sales enablement automation (SEA). Questions range from what technology to use to how to organize and support it, among other areas. As you'd expect, certain questions come up more than others. My latest report, “Brief: Six Sales Enablement FAQs — And Three More That Should Be On Your List,” presents the most common questions (and answers), which — I hope — stimulate some critical thinking about how B2B marketers can use SEA to sell better and more.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” 
― Attributed to Voltaire

It’s worth looking at the first six questions and determining how you would answer them for your own organization:

  1. What should SEA include?
  2. What are the benefits of SEA?
  3. Who should be responsible?
  4. Who else should be involved in SEA projects?
  5. What are other companies doing successfully?
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Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Let’s Move From Cacophony To Euphony

Peter O'Neill

In the spring of 2015, we began to hear a curious cacophony around ABM. ABM stands for “account-based marketing,” a marketing concept that’s been around for decades. All of a sudden, it was being used in reams of promotional copy distributed by marketing consultancies, data service providers, and software automation vendors alike.

Marketing-led prophesies can sometimes be self-fulfilling. So now, B2B marketers everywhere are busy researching, launching, and conducting ABM initiatives — ostensibly to engage prospects at target accounts with personalized messaging, content, and offers. And as a growing number of product vendors, service providers, and event organizers enter this gold rush, B2B marketers are in danger of falling for the “fool’s gold” of unrealistic revenue windfalls and investment returns.

It is time to take stock and sieve this topic more effectively. The musicians among us would prefer to hear more harmony than discord. But the truth is that ABM means different things to different people; our recent survey of 120 B2B marketers on their strategies and tactics shows that:

“73% agreed that ABM is a term that lacks specific meaning and is used inconsistently today.”

The same survey showed that four out of five found ABM effectiveness falls short of their expectations.  So much for 18 months of marketing spend by all those vendors! 

Forrester’s research, in comparison, can be somewhat boring: We have long been talking about the age of the customer, the need for customer obsession, and post-digital marketing — and, of course, we tell our B2B marketing clients that customer obsession should be account-based if that aligns with their business strategy.

We do not make markets; we observe and provide insights about them, so we have been quiet on ABM in that respect.  

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