What Marketers Can Learn From The Chicago Cubs

Tina Moffett

Bleary eyed baseball fans are waking up to the unimaginable: the beloved Cubs broke their 108 year old dry spell and won the World Series. Their quest to World Series champions was a mix of talent, dedication, heart…and data.  Data, you say? Yes, data. Baseball franchises are enamored with using data to make smarter trades, shift line-ups, field position, and predict player performance.  But how did the Cubs move to a data driven baseball organization? One man helped transform baseball from a gut decision strategy to using information, using data to make decisions: Theo Epstein.

Theo Epstein is credited for the breaking the Red Sox World Series curse using data and insights to make strategic player acquisitions, changes in field play, and predict how players would perform. He took his data talent over to the Chicago Cubs, where he made some major trades and empowered the coach to make data driven field and batting changes. His data driven approach helped transform the way franchises think about baseball. Less gut, more information to help drive decisions.

Marketers must embrace the baseball management mentality: use data to shift marketing strategies at the moment of need. Marketers can use past marketing performance data, customer insights, and competitive information to:

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Forrester’s Predictions For B2B Marketing Professionals In 2017

Peter O'Neill

Just like many other research groups at Forrester Research in the past weeks, our team has gotten together, discussed, and agreed on a series of predictions for 2017 that will affect business-to-business (B2B) marketing professionals’ work. Forrester’s clients can review these in full detail in the published report, but here are some of the highlights. We have grouped our predictions into three sections.

Part 1: Account-Based Marketing Will Come Of Age In 2017

In 2016, vendors and consultants seriously hyped account-based marketing (ABM) — such that B2B marketing interest in it skyrocketed. In 2017, marketers will seriously consider new customer-obsessed approaches that team up marketing and sales to grow long-term highly engaged revenue relationships with key clients. ABM is a retro idea with revolutionary impact — especially when B2B marketing pros apply it to deepen relationships with the right customers at scale. And in 2017, we predict that ABM will:

  • Make the lead funnel (or waterfall) essentially obsolete.
  • Give marketing more ownership over post-sale customer experience (CX).
  • Drive advocate marketing as a key process.
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The Data Digest: What Millennials Need From Your Loyalty Program

Anjali Lai

If you follow my blog regularly, you already know that I love to travel. And while I’ve had my fair share of travel hiccups (missed flight connections, last-minute assignments to the dreaded middle seat, lost luggage – you name it), I’ve always glossed over these snafus and accepted the fact that traveling inevitably comes with a few small challenges.

Until this year, when I hit executive traveler status on a major airline thanks to the loyalty points I amassed during my trips. Suddenly, my tolerable travel experiences became overwhelmingly enjoyable ones, and I quickly came to love (a word I don’t use loosely!) flying with this airline because of the VIP treatment. My reaction isn’t unique. In fact, it’s characteristic of my generation: Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data shows that Millennials highly value loyalty programs that reward customers with enhanced customer service and special status, as Millennials cherish this sense of validation and exclusivity.

Specifically, our data shows that the loyalty program reward tactics that work for middle-aged and older consumers are not enough to satisfy Millennials. While customers of every generation want discounts, Millennials also expect loyalty programs to offer a premium customer experience. And what’s more, younger consumers want the flexibility of applying loyalty points to a variety of benefits – from travel upgrades to digital media content to charitable donations – while their older counterparts are happy using their points to get cash back.

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Media Industry 2017: No Rest For The Weary

Melissa Parrish

With mergers and acquisitions, agency executive turnover, and movie studios working with Google to make your (and my) Harry Potter dreams come true, there’s never a dull moment in the media industry. We expect 2017 to bring more of the same, which is to say, there’s even more disruption and surprises headed our way.

We media analysts here at Forrester think that next year:

·       Big, established media companies will disrupt themselves. As consumers’ media consumption continues to both increase in the aggregate and fracture across even more devices, media companies will invent new ways to develop content that captures their attention. The AT&T/Time Warner deal isn’t the end: look for other content and distribution companies to explore how to partner for the most advantageous commercial relationships between them and advertisersand consumers.

·       Marketers will step up to change the advertising calculus. Historically, marketers have been reluctant to upset the delicate balance among them, content providers and agencies. But in 2017, we’ll see advertisers demanding better quality ad products, inventive sponsorship opportunities and clearer measurement from their partners in return for their massive dollars.

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Now Accepting Entries For The 2016 Digital Marketing Awards China

Xiaofeng Wang

2016 is the second year that Forrester is co-sponsoring the Digital Marketing Awards China with the China chapter of the CMO Club. The goal: Inspire Chinese marketers by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.

We’re now accepting entries online. This is our chance to recognize the very best digital marketing programs in the country, and we’d love to give an award to you for your best work. Our deadline for entries is November 18, 2016.

We are looking for digital marketing programs that clearly deliver against business goals. To determine the winners of the annual Forrester/China CMO Club Digital Marketing Awards China, we focus on how marketers use digital marketing at each stage of the customer life cycle. We create awards in three categories corresponding to different aspects of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR:

  • Reach: programs that generate brand visibility. Reach efforts drive discovery and awareness. These include word-of-mouth marketing, paid social advertising, and thought leadership.
  • Depth: programs that close sales. Depth programs pave the path for exploration and buying. These include ratings, reviews, and brand communities for information that helps to close existing prospects or leads.
  • Relationship: programs that build loyalty. Relationship tactics increase the loyalty and lifetime value of existing customers. These include a consistent presence on a WeChat public account and loyalty programs designed to create repeat business.
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India Inc.: Here's What Indian Customers Think Of Their Experiences With You (The India Customer Experience Index 2016, Part 1)

Amit Bhatia

When it comes to their customers, Indian organizations are an ambitous lot. In a Forrester survey of Indian business and technology decision-makers, 70% of respondents said CX was going to be high or critical priority for their companies. But that is just one part of the story. CX is about what customers perceive, not what companies claim. What do Indian customers think about the experiences they have with companies in India?

To find out, in 2016, Forrester used its Customer Experience Index (CX IndexTM) methodology to measure and benchmark the CX of 72 India brands across eight industries. 

Forrester’s CX Index score measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. CX Index scores were based on an online survey (fielded in May through July 2016) of 18,033 individuals ages 18 and older in nine metropolitan areas in India.

The India CX Index 2016 report containing the highlights of the 2016 survey results is out.  Here’s a sneak peek into the report.

Compared with 2015, we saw few interesting improvements. For example,

  • Most industry average scores went up. Each year, we rank industries by the mean scores of their brands. This year, some industry averages increased as much as six points over last year. But last year’s leaders — banks and mobile manufacturers — found it tougher to do, and made only modest gains overall.
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Fighting FOMO: Join The Customer Analytics Party

Brandon Purcell

The first U.S. presidential debate was the most watched in history, with 84 million people tuning in.  Sure, many of us wanted to educate ourselves before practicing our solemn duty as democratic citizens in November.  However, many of us also didn’t want to miss out on what (hopefully) promised to be a once in a lifetime political event .  We were motivated by FOMO.

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Categories:

Assess Your Digital Store Functionality

Michelle Beeson

The role of the store is changing. Consumers are increasingly able to research products and services they are interested in buying, via their own digital devices, anywhere they choose - whether it’s browsing on their tablet while watching TV or their smartphone during the morning commute.

Customers often arrive in store armed with a wealth of information, which can put sales associates on the back foot. Retailers are currently exploring how to bring digital capabilities in store to improve customer service and engagement – both via their sales associates and directly to customers. But retailers must not get side tracked by shiny new “star wars” style technology. For digital store experience technologies to be successful, they must integrate with enterprise wide systems and have a tangible impact on in-store customer experience and/or operations.

To help digital business executives assess their digital store capabilities, Forrester has developed the Digital Store Functionality Benchmark as part of the Digital Store Playbook 2016. In this new benchmark Forrester assesses 20 retailers across the US and the UK for their use of in-store digital technology to support customer engagement and service as well as store operations.

Key takeaways from the evaluation are:

It Is Early Days For The Digital Store. Retailers are just starting their digital store transformation projects, with 16 of the 20 retailers scoring less than 50 of a total of 100. Many are still developing supporting technology and in the process of piloting various applications for new technology in-store.

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UK Brands Have Upped Their CX Game

Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha

We’re pleased to announce that this year’s UK Customer Experience Index report is now live! The report is based on Forrester's Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) methodology, which measures how well a brand's customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers.

 
Overall, it’s been a good year for UK brands, with the percentage of good and OK scores increasing thanks to a significant drop in poor scores. We found that:
 
  • Six of the eight industries surveyed improved their average score.
  • Twenty-four of the 56 brands surveyed made significant improvements in their experiences.
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The FCC Ruling And Why It Foreshadows Big Changes In Privacy

Fatemeh Khatibloo

Like other privacy nerds all over the land, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the results of the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on some stringent new privacy rules for internet service providers (ISPs). Last week, we got news that the vote passed, and now it’s time to start taking stock of what this means for digital advertisers, publishers, and the US privacy landscape overall. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The opt-in requirement represents a sea change in US privacy management. Until now, the US approach to data collection has largely been opt-OUT oriented. The FCC ruling changes that. The commission is requiring broadband internet access service (BIAS) providers – that is, mobile carriers and ISPs – to gain explicit opt-IN before making their personal data available for ad targeting. It’s important to note that de-identified data and “non-sensitive” data don’t fall under the opt-in requirement. These data can continue to be shared as it is today, and can be used for the providers own business and marketing purposes without the consent requirement.
  • Speaking of “sensitive” data… there’s a lot more of it to consider now. Historically, sensitive personal data has been limited to financial data, health data, data about minors, and a few other categories. The new rules broaden the definition significantly to include data that’s become the lifeblood of online advertising:
    • Precise geolocation
    • Web browsing history
    • App usage history
    • The content of the communication
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