Why More Is More

James McQuivey

"Thank you for coming to this urgent, last-minute meeting today," I say to you and seven of our mutual colleagues. Pointing to a plate of 10 cookies on the table between us, I explain, "We're in luck, though. As a reward for your willingness to squeeze this meeting in, I have managed to sneak some cookies out of the executive meeting next door!"

We all smile, and that look on your face tells me that you already feel better about this meeting than you did just minutes ago. As I drone on about the urgent topic of the meeting, your mind does the math. Counting you and me, there are nine of us. It doesn't take much to figure out that there is at least one cookie for everyone in the room. Your brain signals a salivary response and depending on your current blood sugar levels, possibly a preemptive insulin release from the pancreas.

In other words, you begin to act like that cookie is yours. If I were to survey you at that moment about how appetizing the cookies seem and how much you expect to enjoy yours, you and the others might collectively estimate the cookies at 6.5 on a scale from 1 to 10. Good cookies, to be sure.

That's when a knock is heard at the door and someone enters — a confederate of mine, though you don't know this — who explains that they made a mistake in letting me take the cookies. In fact, the executives ran out of cookies, and they need eight of them back. I apologize, take two cookies from the plate and put them on a napkin for us to keep. My confederate leaves the room with the eight other cookies.

If I survey you now and ask you how appetizing the two cookies left on the table appear, what do you think happens to your estimate? If you guessed that your desire for the cookies goes up, you are in tune with human nature. Indeed, the average score for the cookies will be higher, coming in at more like 7.5, even though the cookies did not change.

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How To Transform Your Organization Into A Customer Experience Powerhouse

Keith Coe
In my previous blog, I discussed why customer experience is important and what the indicators are that your organization needs to transform itself and its customer experience. In this follow-up blog, I cover how an organization transforms to provide a better customer experience as well as lessons that we've learned from our consulting work.
 
Q: How does an organization begin to transform to provide a better customer experience? 
 
A: Transforming customer experience requires a strategy — a vision for what an organization wants the experience to be and a plan to make it happen. Customer experience professionals whom Forrester surveyed identified the lack of a clear strategy as the biggest obstacle to customer experience success. To overcome this obstacle, Forrester recommends a three-phased approach.
 
 
In practice, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for transforming customer experience. And it’s not just the customer experience that needs to change. Oftentimes, so does the organization itself. It depends on the current situation as well as the nature and scope of the transformation needed. For example, does an organization need to reinvent to compete and lead in a rapidly changing sector? Is it trying to escape commoditization and build the competencies to stay ahead of the pack? Or is the challenge to repair critical customer journeys and better orchestrate customer experience management across functions?
 
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MARKETING 2016 Guest Q&A with Antonio Sciuto, Nestlé Waters

Carlton Doty

The customer journey is vital to success in the age of the customer, and as technology advances, collecting data can help personalize the experience from start to finish. At MARKETING this week, Antonio Sciuto, CMO of Nestlé Waters, will share insight into the company’s brand new ‘war room’ that displays real-time data showing customer journeys and tracking customer touchpoints.

You don’t want to miss Antonio’s talk on Tuesday afternoon. I had the chance to chat with him to get the inside scoop on how he’s leading his organization with a customer-obsessed mindset, from real-time data to customized customer journeys. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: Some may find it hard to see the applicability of customer journey analysis to a product as "simple" as bottled water. When did you first begin focusing on the customer journey? Why?

Antonio Sciuto: Digital is accelerating and changing several aspects of our lives.  In the US consumers are now spending 52% of total time on digital media channels. This is evolving the consumer journey shifting marketing focus from building databases to fostering communities. We aim to offer a seamless brand experience evolving from “simple” bottle water to healthy hydration solutions across all touch-points, online and offline.

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"Sustainability" - What Does It Mean For Your Business?

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.
Forrester is kicking off research on what it means to be a sustainable business and why it matters. In short, it matters because customers and investors care. But what do they care about? And, what does sustainability mean to them, and to the companies they do business with? 
 
First stop in exploring the definition of something is, of course, a search for the term. “Sustainable” means that something can go on, and continue and “be maintained at a certain rate or level.” For consumers, that might mean their health, their environment, or the health and environment of others -- but also their budgets. The literature on sustainability often refers to three pillars: social, environmental and economic. But how does this translate into business metrics?
 
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The Data Digest: The Yin And Yang Of Consumer Decisions

Anjali Lai

The tug of war between reason and emotion has fueled contentious debate since the days of Socrates. But, Socrates and subsequent thinkers didn’t anticipate the influx of data in our contemporary world. Today, our modern media saturation, infinite social connection, and sensor-laden bodies and buildings mean that we create, consult, and critique data more than ever before. How does the vast amount of information – that is now literally at our fingertips – actually influence our daily decisions, and why?

Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data proves that individuals are steeped in information and are keenly aware of it. In fact, the insight shows that US online adults increasingly lean on data to make daily choices across spheres of life:

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Master Mobile Moments To Win In The IoT World

Thomas Husson

Marketers are always falling in love with mobile’s latest “shiny new object” and new technology acronyms — 5G, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), NFC (near-field communication), RWD (responsive web design), etc. — and they’re constantly looking for the next platform, whether it’s virtual reality (VR), bots, artificial intelligence (AI), or the internet of things (IoT).

However, it is time to stop this quixotic quest for a paradigmatic new platform to replace mobile! Instead, recognize that mobile will activate these adjacent technologies to enable new brand experiences.

I’ve just published a new report, “The Internet Of Things Redefines Brand Engagement,” which looks at the benefits that IoT will open up for marketers and how IoT and mobile will overlap in the years to come.

Over the past decade, smartphones have become a sort of black hole, integrating a huge array of sensors, but mobile is now exploding back out to our environments. Sensors and connectivity are expanding beyond smartphones to our wrists, bodies, cars, TVs, and washing machines as well as to buildings and “invisible” places in the world around us. The IoT is generating tectonic shifts among digital platforms and tech vendors, signaling a new wave of disruption, and unleashing new forms of competition.

The IoT is also redefining brand engagement by enabling marketers to:

  • Listen to their customers and analyze their real behaviors.
  • Create more frequent and intimate consumer interactions.
  • Differentiate their customer experience.
  • Build new offerings and business models.
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Let’s Put Enterprise Marketing Technology Into Context

Rusty Warner

Context – noun –  con·text – \ˈkän-ˌtekst\

What is context? According to Merriam-Webster, context is “the situation in which something happens or the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens.” We’ve been using it since late Middle English speakers adapted the Latin contextus, from con (together) and texere (to weave). For marketers, context means understanding attitudes, behaviors, and preferences to address the requirements of individual customers in their moments of need.

It is critical for marketers to embrace customer context. Why? Winning in the age of the customer depends on the interactions that people have with your brand, and compelling customer experiences materialize only when your firm understands its customers and anticipates their needs.  The context of all those interactions determines whether customers will engage and, more importantly, transact with your brand again. Marketing’s job is to harness the power of customer context to create a repeatable cycle of interactions, drive deeper engagement, and learn more about the customer in the process.

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United States of #Engagement’s Declaration of #Engagement

Ryan Skinner
Just go with this for a moment:
 
We hold these #engagements to be self-evident, that all #engagements are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are #engagement, #engagement and #moreengagement.--That to secure these rights, #engagements are instituted among Men, deriving their just #engagements from the consent of the #engaged, --That whenever any Form of #engagement becomes destructive of these #engagements, it is the Right of the [brands/advertisers/publishers/viral video creators/social agencies/engagement metrics vendors] to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new #engagement, laying its foundation on such #engagement and organizing its #engagement in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their #engagement. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that #engagements long established should not be changed for light and transient #engagements; and accordingly all #engagement hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to #share, while #engagements are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the #engagements to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of #engagements, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute #engagement, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such #engagement, and to provide new Guards for their future #engagement.
 
Signed,
The #Engaged
 
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MARKETING 2016 Guest Q&A – The Next Wave: Age Of The Customer

Carlton Doty

You might have read my blog post last month about why you should attend this year’s MARKETING Forum in New York. The event is just around the corner, and I’m looking forward to all the sessions we have in store that will help marketers learn to deliver brand promise in every customer touchpoint.

I recently caught up with a few of our guest speakers to chat about their sessions, their brand strategies when it comes to innovation and personalization, and how leading their organizations with a customer-obsessed mindset has brought them success.

Be sure to check out The Next Wave: Age of the Customer sessions that will close out the event on Wednesday afternoon, which will feature talks from Anna Fieler, EVP of marketing at POPSUGAR Inc. and Michael Medenhall, CMO at Flex.  

I hope to see you at the Hilton Midtown next week – register here! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect at the Forum.

Q: Personalization is one of POPSUGAR’s core strategic pillars. Can you explain how you create personalized experiences for your customer base? Some make a distinction between "personalization" and "individualization" -- what do those terms mean to you?

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Transforming Your Organization Into A Customer Experience Powerhouse

Keith Coe
Not surprisingly, most executives whom Forrester surveys want their organizations to deliver a better customer experience and to become more customer-centric. But few organizations are achieving this aspiration: 84% of brands in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) got scores of “OK” or worse by customers.
 
Stakes in the race for customer experience excellence are high: Each year, billions of dollars in revenues are in play, to be won or lost due to customer experience. Many organizations are at risk of losing customers and revenues to competitors and digital disruptors that can provide a better customer experience and respond more nimbly to changing customer needs.
 
Executives often ask Forrester how to deliver a better customer experience. I’ve summarized their most common questions and the answers that we base on our consulting work and research:
 
Q: What do you mean by “customer experience”? 
 
A: Forrester defines customer experience broadly: It’s how customers perceive their interactions with an organization. These interactions range from their overall relationship to specific customer journeys and touchpoints, both digital and nondigital.  
 
Q: Why does customer experience matter?  How does it affect financial results?
 
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