SapientRazorfish...a necessary consolidation and harbinger of things to come

Sarah Sikowitz

This post is co-authored by Anjali Yakkundi, senior analyst at Forrester

Two years ago, we published our take on Publicis Groupe’s acquisition of then independent, digital powerhouse, Sapient. In that report, we predicted that it would be difficult to integrate the capabilities and culture of Sapient with existing Publicis agencies Razorfish and DigitasLBi to drive value for clients. 

We were right, it was difficult.  Clients struggled to find clear points of differentiation between the firms, which often competed against one another for new business. Revenue suffered. Meanwhile, consultancies like Accenture Interactive and Deloitte Digital continued to move into digital agency territory.

And now, two years later, Publicis Groupe is merging SapientNitro and Razorfish to form SapientRazorfish. The new entity will sit under Publicis Groupe’s digital arm, Publicis.Sapient and will begin fully operating in the new model on January 2, 2017.

This merger is smart because it:

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Call For Marketers In China – Join Forrester’s 2016 Global Mobile Executive Survey

Xiaofeng Wang

Forrester’s 2016 Global Mobile Executive Survey is open, and we are calling for marketers in China. If you’re a marketer who is involved in mobile consumer initiative in China, please take this opportunity to provide your perspective.

My colleagues Julie AskThomas Husson and Jeniffer Wise are collecting responses from marketers in the US and Europe. If you want to understand the role that mobile is playing in various organizations in different regions, what their objectives are, how they measure the success of their mobile initiatives, and a lot more, you just have to share with us your own perspective and we will aggregate the answers.

For your efforts, we will share a free copy of the survey results.

Click HERE to start the questionnaire.

If you’re not familiar with your company’s mobile consumer approach, please forward this survey to the relevant colleagues who are in charge of defining or implementing your mobile consumer approach.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

The survey will be live until November 29, 2016.

Responses will be kept strictly confidential and published only in an aggregated and anonymous manner.

Needless to say, we will filter responses and exclude irrelevant answers as well as answers from vendors or consulting organizations.

Marketers, You’re Also Culpable In Facebook's Metrics Mess

Jessica Liu

Yesterday Facebook blogged "An Update on Metrics and Reporting" to inform marketers that several of their organic metrics were misreported including organic reach, time spent on Instant Articles, and follower count. This follows Facebook's revelatory September announcement that their video metrics contained a discrepancy and were over-reported.

The industry was outraged. But who’s really at fault here? Tina Moffett and I break it down like Judge Judy.

For The Defense: Facebook

How long did it take TV to standardize measurement? The social media industry is young and a fast-changing work in progress. Lest we forget, Facebook is only 12 years old and started as a platform for people; metrics was the furthest thing from their minds. But, it’s now the biggest social network serving people, brands, and publishers and is constantly having to prove value to all three. We would be surprised if Facebook was not screwing up along the way. To build their platform, Facebook will continue to mess up and correct, mess up and correct. Instead, let's focus on how Facebook's metrics woes will impact their relationship with marketers (and agencies):

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What’s New For 2016 Singles’ Day: Live Streaming, VR, And AR

Xiaofeng Wang

November 11 is Singles’ Day in China — the biggest eCommerce event in the world. This year, Singles’ Day generated almost $18 billion in one day for Alibaba alone. For more results and analysis, see the Quick Take: AR, VR, And Global Brands Help Singles’ Day Surpass $18 Billion In Online Sales report that my colleague Lily Varon and I put together.

Singles’ Day is now a global phenomenon, blending shopping and entertainment both online and offline; it’s a far cry from its origin as a one-day, one-country, online-only shopping event. This year, newer trends like live streaming and virtual reality (VR) commerce show how eCommerce is evolving. Some of the highlights were:

  • Elevating online-to-offline promotions with augmented reality (AR). Alibaba created a Pokémon-Go-like augmented reality mobile game — “Catch The Tmall Cat” — to drive traffic to the offline stores of partner retailers like Starbucks and Suning and increase sales; players could “capture” discount codes to use in stores. 
  • Developing live streaming as an online shopping staple. This year, Alibaba held a shoppable, live-streamed fashion show during its kickoff gala and live-streamed more than 300 shows during its 24-day promotion period. JD.com and Suning also latched on to the trend: Both teamed up with live-video platform Huajiao to provide live streaming during Singles’ Day.
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The Marketers' Responsibility In Measurement

Tina Moffett

B2C marketers have taken ownership of data-driven decisioning from their customer insight colleagues. With the most holistic view of investment, execution, and results, marketers themselves are the ones best equipped to move marketing from gut-feel to results-driven. Thirty-nine percent of marketing measurement professionals in our recent Forrester Wave evaluation revealed that corporate marketing sponsors marketing measurement and optimization initiatives while only 14% indicated business intelligence or corporate analytics groups sponsor. (Source: Forrester's Q3 2016 Global Marketing Measurement And Optimization Solutions Forrester Wave™ Customer Reference Phone/Online Survey).

 
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Announcing Forrester’s Latest Wave Evaluation Of Digital Agencies In China

Xiaofeng Wang

The Forrester Wave™: Digital Agencies In China — Strategy And Execution, Q4 2016 is now live. It’s the second time we have evaluated digital agencies’ capabilities in the Chinese market; we published our first report on the topic in Q1 2015.

To reach and engage with more than 700 million online consumers, B2C marketing professionals have put digital atop their agendas. However, marketers in China are far from ready to go digital-first on their own, and need agency support particularly in the following three areas:

  • Customer understanding and segmentation. Digital consumers’ behaviors are changing fast, and marketers must better understand, reach, and engage with them. Marketers expect to get more data services from agencies, especially industry-relevant customer insights, to help them better understand their customers.
  • Multichannel strategy. Marketers increasingly realize that siloed thinking fails to tap the full potential of digital business, and their efforts are often disconnected when supporting digital marketing initiatives across platforms and channels. As a result, marketers’ demand for multichannel solutions is increasing.
  • Creative strategy. Marketers need creative strategies to improve the return on their digital marketing investments. Content marketing, creating relevant ideas, defining customer segments, and customer journey mapping are critical to developing an effective creative strategy where the ultimate goal is to deliver business outcomes.
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Webinar: The Marketing Measurement And Optimization Solutions Wave

Tina Moffett

You’ve heard it before - consumers move from their smartphones to their desktops, from in front of their living room TV to driving by a highway billboard, from their emails to their Facebook News Feed.  With this convoluted and dynamic path to purchase,  are you prepared to understand and measure every touchpoint your brand has with its customers?

 
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Join Our 2016 Global Mobile Executive Survey

Thomas Husson

For the past few years, Forrester has fielded a Global Mobile Executive Survey to understand and benchmark mobile initiatives. This year, my colleagues Julie Ask, Jennifer Wise and I are updating the survey again to help marketers and business executives benchmark and mature their mobile strategy and services.

Planning and organizing for the use of mobile technologies is a complex task. Integrating mobile as part of a broader corporate strategy is even more complex. However, some players are leading the way and working on infrastructure, staffing, and competencies that are hard to see unless you look closely. If you want to understand the role that mobile is playing in various organizations, what their objectives are, how they measure the success of their mobile initiatives, and a lot more, you just have to share with us your own perspective and we will aggregate the answers.

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Lead Agencies Demonstrate Commitment To Post-Digital Marketing

Sarah Sikowitz

The Forrester Wave™: Lead Agencies, Q4 2016 report is hot off the press! 

Companies that succeed in the post-digital era marry digital engagement, traditional marketing, data, and technology to create superior, customer-centric brand experiences. For marketers, this means staying ahead of changing consumer behavior and organizing your team to meet the needs of today’s empowered customer.

As marketers’ rise to this challenge, they look to lead agencies  to drive brand, creative, and experience strategy, along with campaign development across traditional and digital touchpoints. They also look for productive collaboration across diverse agency rosters and a commitment to attracting and retaining post-digital thinkers.  

We evaluated the lead agency capabilities of eight agencies — 360i, Barkley, Havas Worldwide, Hill Holliday, mcgarrybowen, Publicis NA, R/GA, and VML.

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The End Is Near: Advertising Ad Nauseam

Brigitte Majewski

Marketers: Face it.  Consumers are skipping, blocking, and paying to avoid your ads. 

We are in a Tragedy of the Commons for consumer attention.  Consumers are rejecting the modus operandi of “more” - more ads in more places more often.  Forrester Consumer Technographics data for 2016 shows that nearly one third of US online adults say they currently use an ad blocker and 48% say they actively avoid ads on websites. 

In 2017 B2C Marketers will choose quality over quantity advertising.  This doesn't mean no advertising - just better advertising. And better for everyone involved.

In Prediction 2017: The Dawn of ‘Less Is More’ In Marketing, we predict the entire marketing ecosystem will adapt to diminished ad consumption.   We will see new standards for higher quality formats, new pricing to reflect that quality, and new attention-based measurement.  Better access to data, adtech and martech, and super-marketers with skills to apply these tools make it happen. 

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