Don’t bet on your video subscribers

Ryan Skinner

Here’s an interesting discrepancy: Marketers and agencies fuss over how many people subscribe to a brand’s YouTube channel. Yet, the ease of subscribing suggests little commitment, and YouTube buries notifications of new videos from subscribed channels.*

Thus, in the context of a report I’m writing, I hypothesized that YouTube subscribers were worthless; brands that had collected thousands of subscribers had only a number. Nothing more.

And I tested the hypothesis.

  1. Take 60 brands with at least 1K YouTube channel subscribers (the average was 350K).
  2. Count views for a dozen videos, each between two weeks and 12 months old.
  3. Establish an average view count, and divide by the subscriber total.
  4. Graph it.
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The Age of the Customer Hits The Media World

Ryan Skinner

Do you hear something?

Is someone banging on the door?

Yes, I think someone’s banging on the door. Pretty hard actually.

In fact, it’s deafening.

The knocking is empowered digital media buyers. The slowness to answer is the media ecosystem of publishers, media agencies, and broadcasters.

I shared the video below a week ago on LinkedIn and people clearly like it. It’s the parable I just stated, but acted out. Listen to Gabe Leydon of Machine Zone (big digital media buyer) slam the media ecosystem. It’s painful. Cathartic. Iconoclastic. Focus on two segments: 11:00 -> 11:45 and 12:55 -> 13:55.

This is the advertising ecosystem’s reckoning with the age of the customer. The customers want to cut through all of the layers of BS that advertising has traditionally wrapped itself up in.

I had a few takeaways given Leydon’s analysis:

  • Media businesses are trying to be technology platforms, but are mostly houses on fire.
  • Analytics agencies are the new media agencies.
  • Media agencies are just houses on fire.

If you’re a marketer, pull your media-buying capabilities close to your chest. Invest in better analytics. And do everything in your power to get a measurable, direct-to-consumer sales channel on its feet, if only to provide insights to the marketing that feeds your indirect channels. 

Boomerang: More Than Just a Weapon

Melissa Parrish

Forrester has a long tradition of boomerangs— former employees who re-join the company—and I joined their ranks back in January. It’s been an incredibly busy first few months, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The quick re-immersion has meant that I’ve started to solidify my coverage area (social marketing primarily with a bit of overall marketing strategy sprinkled in), had some great collaborations with the rest of the social team (Erna, Jessie and Sam), and already have an updated piece of research to share.

We’ve just published our updated Vision report for the Social Marketing Playbook, Integrate Social Into Your Marketing RaDaR. With the near-ubiquity of social—both in consumers’ lives and marketers’ plans—it’s more important than ever to ensure that you have a strategic, measurable approach to social marketing. This updated report has new data and examples to help you make the most of social across the entire customer lifecycle, making the just-checking-the-box style of social planning as unnecessary as it is obsolete.

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Instagram Loses Its 'Insta.'

Jessica Liu
Instagram announced this week that it is joining Facebook and Twitter and ditching its clean chronological feed in favor of an algorithm-based personalized feed. No one is surprised given Instagram has inched closer and closer to Facebook since its 2012 acquisition. 
 
What does this mean for users? Instagram's initial appeal was its simplicity: mobile only, pictures only, square size only, chronological order, and one-way friendship. In the last year, Instagram has abandoned those simple principles by introducing an inordinate number of ads, varying visual sizes, and auto-play video, seemingly resulting in a 40% drop in interaction rate in 2015. The big social networks seem committed to complicating their feeds as their companies mature and financial expectations grow. For purists, replacing an elegant user experience with a bogged down interaction is a turnoff. My own Facebook and Twitter usage nosedived once their feeds became messy; Instagram, currently my #1 social app for time spent, is facing a similar fate. 
 
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Hot Off The Press: Mobile Marketing TechRadar -- Master Your Mobile Technology Decisions

Jennifer Wise

I’m not going to bore you by reiterating how “mobile” everyone is these days, how the vast majority of online adults in markets like the US, UK, South Korea, and more own mobile phones, or how mobile is so pervasive with 30 billion mobile moments happening every day in the US alone.

But I will say that mobile moments are the new battleground to win, serve, and retain customers. With mobile in play, consumers move from brand discovery to exploration to purchase in seconds. And they expect this experience to not only be possible – but positive. To deliver, mobile demands that brands adopt a new engagement model and new technologies. 

But finding a solution isn’t as clear as knowing you need one. The landscape is constantly changing. There is an overwhelming number of vendors. And wading through the industry jargon to understand what vendor solutions will actually do can be trying.  

We have heard these pain points loud and clear. And to help, Julie Ask and I have investigated the 12 most important mobile marketing technologies that you need on your radar this year in our latest report: TechRadar™: Mobile Marketing, Q1 2016 (subscription required). These technologies span your mobile needs from creating websites and apps, to grabbing consumer attention with ads, to engaging your customer with messaging, to the analytics to track success and optimize. Focused more on eBusiness than marketing? We have a report with 11 of the most important categories tailored to your needs: TechRadar™: Mobile Commerce, Q1 2016.   

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Millennials Arrive In Force!

Mary Shea
We’ve been hearing so much lately about the changing dynamics between B2B buyers and sellers. Not only are buyers engaging more and more online as part of their evaluation and purchase process, but sellers have the ability to track prospects’ behaviors and interests in order to contextualize their outreach as well. There is another exciting transformation underway...the arrival of the Millennials in force!
 
Today, Millennials make up a third of the workforce; by 2020, they will be half. This generation of employees may work more to your advantage than you think. Born in the digital age to tech-savvy parents, Millennials have experienced everything from the pseudo Y2K crisis to the 2008 downturn to the social media explosion in the mid-2000s. They don’t quite function or react in the workplace like Boomers and Gen Xers, and they have different needs. But, there’s an upside and a divergent side to be considered with them.
 
Not having the right tools or enforcing restrictive schedules can work against sales and marketing leaders…and don’t forget to give and take feedback at each step of the way. And what about the rest of your sales team? Is it possible for Millennials and more tenured reps to work synergistically? You bet! Make sure you encourage collaboration through reverse mentorship and in-tune management approaches, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The right tools and technologies are only the tip of the iceberg in thinking about how you can support your sales force both today and in the future. 
 
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Social Listening Platforms Wave Is Hot Off The Press

Samantha Ngo

You all know them: people who won’t let you eat until they’ve Instagrammed their meal, pedestrians who’ve walked into you because they’re staring at their phones and scrolling through Facebook. Our society is immersed in social media- and the numbers and expectations are growing. In fact, only 28% of the online US population spurns social interactions with companies.

The pervasive use of social channels made marketers hungry for insights and feedback coming directly from the consumer’s mouths and social is one of the cheapest and best ways to do that. But social listening has been around for years, what’s so different about it now?

The gears are turning- and social listening is turning to social intelligence (finally). In the last couple of years, social listening platforms have doubled down on analytics to keep pace with the needs of customers and prove their worth for use across the enterprise by enabling insights to action. In our recent Forrester Wave™ report, we evaluated 12 vendors (Brandwatch, Cision, Clarabridge, Crimson Hexagon, NetBase, Networked Insights, Oracle, Prime Research, Salesforce, Sprinklr, Synthesio, and Sysomos) along 30 criteria that measured their abilities to:

·        Integrate with other marketing and business tools. Social maturity involves tying social metrics to business objectives. Marketers in search of a social platform should include in their critical selection criteria the ease of integration with their existing CRM, customer analytics tools, or voice-of-the-customer (VoC) tools.

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Musings on Mobile World Congress 2016: IoT Generates Insights From Cows To Customers

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

More than 100,000 people descended on Barcelona, Spain last week to be part of Mobile World Congress (MWC), one of the world’s largest annual technology events. My new report, IoT And Insights Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin, recaps some of  the MWC 2016, including expectations for new 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), and applications that will deliver value from the multitude of connected things — and people. A few of those highlights include:

5G Networks Promise Speed But Require Patience. 

Telecom operators and network equipment providers eagerly discussed the faster speeds and lower latency of new 5G networks.  And, fast it will be. While reports vary, network tests show download speeds peaking at more than 20 Gbps; average 5G speed is expected to be 100 times faster than current 4G networks. With that kind of speed, true video streaming becomes a reality for consumer and business uses. And, that reality can be with virtual or augmented: AR and VR were all over the exhibit hall. I successfully fought with a dragon but had to bail out of the helicopter I was flying as the experience got a little too real.

But alas, these good things only come to those who wait. The 5G standards will not be finalized before 2018; and commercial availability not before 2020 at the earliest. Large-scale network rollouts will likely take much longer. For now, we’ll all have to live with 4G reality as it is.

Interest In The Internet Of Things Is Exploding – Well Beyond Things.

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Brace Yourself For The 2016 Digital Re-Org.

Martin Gill

Our annual organizational and staffing survey of digital professionals heralds change in 2016. The meteoric growth in digital team sizes has plateaued, and as line-of-business teams take on responsibility for digital execution and technology management teams step up to manage digital development, the nature, makeup and role of the digital team is shifting. The demand for skills like analytics, customer experience and product management is growing as digital teams take on end-to-end ownership of their firm’s digital experience. Our latest report, Trends 2016: Staffing And Hiring For Digital Business, outlines the key organizational trends and benchmarks for digital teams in the coming year.

Our key findings from the survey are:

  • Headcount Growth Plateaus As Operating Model Shifts. Digital headcount growth has plateaued, with teams averaging 94 people, down from 95 in 2014 and 103 in 2013. As technology and line-of-business teams step up to the digital plate, digital teams focus their resources on strategy and governance, channeling execution headcount into operational teams.
  • Technology Skills Aren’t The Biggest Headache Anymore. Technology skills are still hard to find, but roles like analytics and product management are increasingly vital, and much harder to source. As the role of digital teams shift from being operators and executors to strategists and coaches guiding line of business teams as they embrace digital, so to does the nature of the skills in digital teams. This way of operating demands more strategic and consultative skills than operational or technical specialists.
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Data Digest: Social Apps Buzz During Super Bowl 50 Game Day

Nicole Dvorak

By: Nicole Dvorak and Kristopher Arcand

On February 7, 2016 112 million viewers tuned in to watch the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, the 3rd largest in TV history according to Nielsen data.

To help companies understands consumers’ mobile behaviors on the big day Forrester used its Technographics 360 approach, which combines multiple data sources*.

Our behavioral data indicates that people don’t drastically change their mobile behaviors for the game. However, Twitter’s app attracted a 23% larger audience than the Sunday before. But increased usage isn’t everything: Even though it’s audience size grew by just 1% from the previous weekend, Facebook’s broad reach accounted for 1 in four smartphone owners using the Facebook app during Super Bowl 50 game time hours. Instagram - also popular during Super Bowl game time despite seeing a smaller audience from the previous week - reached 5% of smartphone owners (most of whom were 18 and 24 years old).

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