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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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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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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Brace Yourself. 2017 Is Coming.

Shar VanBoskirk

Check out our Predictions 2017: The Post-Digital CMO Appears piece that just went live this morning.

We can’t help but think CMOs feel a great deal of empathy for the characters in, Game of Thrones.  Westeros is a cutthroat environment riddled with cunning strategy, but also a profound amount of character turnover, shall we say. Marketing is no less strategic, what with digital disruption, an evolving customer base, and brand strategy calculus also creating drama and departures.

So in 2017,  what will smart  CMOs do to survive until  2018? CMOs must demonstrate their  brands’ promises everywhere.  Specifically:  evolve their brand and CX strategies to close the distance between brands.  We expect that:

Brands will go Post Digital. To customers, there are no longer boundaries between the digital and the physical worlds.  CMOs who get this will work to connect with customers emotionally, create one-to-moment, personalized interactions, and  stress a human, helpful, and handy charter as the guiding principles of their marketing efforts.  

Organizations will update talent and structure. The scramble to do the right thing by empowered customers next year will finally force CMOs to consider the skills shortage ever-present on their teams.  This will lead to much needed training of existing talent and realigning teams with brand visions and customer needs.

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How Are Hotels Embracing Mobile Moments?

Xiaofeng Wang

Mobile is changing travelers’ behaviors and expectations worldwide, making mobile moments the next battleground for hospitality and travel industry. Following up on my earlier brief for airlines, my latest Brief: Hotels Differentiate With Mobile Moments shows hotel brands how to better embrace mobile moments.

Hotel customers’ usage of mobile is increasing rapidly all over the world. They use mobile devices for multiple hotel-related activities beyond booking, such as using their mobile as a room key, ordering services, and controlling smart hotel rooms. Hotels have the urgency to embrace mobile moments because they need to:

  • Keep up with the fast-changing behaviors and expectations of mobile travelers. The bar is higher: Services that hotels are starting to offer, like using mobile phones as room keys, are no longer that new to mobile-mind-shifted travelers.
  • Deal with increasing mobile competition from online travel agencies. Large online travel agencies and travel aggregators are consistently creating better mobile services and experiences for consumers and providing more options at the discover, explore, and buy stages than hotels do.
  • Manage a complex, fragmented ecosystem to deliver consistent mobile experiences. Travelers experience a hotel brand through multiple mobile touchpoints; these interactions also occur before, during, and after the stay. Aligning all of these touchpoints under such conditions is a challenge and often takes more time and effort.
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Predictions 2017: The Year Of Action

Cliff Condon

Your business model is under attack. And it’s not by your competitors. It’s under attack from your customers. Three years ago, Forrester identified a major shift in the market, ushering in the age of the customer. Power has shifted away from companies and towards digitally savvy, technology-empowered customers. They now decide winners and losers: Our Empowered Customer Segmentation shows that more than a third all US online adults want new and engaging digital experiences. They will switch companies to find these experiences. In this environment, being customer-obsessed can be your only competitive strategy.   

In Forrester’s 2017 Prediction Reports, we are tracking firms’ progress on their customer-obsessed journeys. In our annual collection of predictions, we look at business strategy, leadership, customer experience, and technology dynamics to examine progress and predict the key events, changes, and trends that will occur in 2017.

Here are three key findings from our 16 predictions reports:

  • The next wave of Customer Experience will have a profound impact on firms’ P&L: The shift to a customer-led market represents an immediate and prolonged threat to company survival. Our research shows a clear correlation between the quality of customer experiences and revenue growth; it also affirms that emotion is a core driver of customer loyalty and spending. The next wave of CX will connect these dots, blending analytics, technology, and design to evoke emotions to drive affinity and directly impact revenue.
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Media Agencies Must Provide Value Beyond Buying

Sarah Sikowitz

Changes in consumer behavior and technology are driving seismic shifts in media buying. Marketers are feeling this acutely as they reach out to media agency partners for strategic support and solutions. At the same time, media agencies are struggling to carve out ways to differentiate — broadening capabilities and moving into new marketing realms. 

The result: a crowded market where it’s difficult to identify which agency partners can strategically engage customers through paid media.

In our Vendor Landscape: Media Buying Agencies (subscription required), we surveyed marketers and over 40 agencies and found an environment where efficient buying is table stakes.

Marketers want media agencies to provide value beyond planning and buying with:

  • Data-driven strategies
  • Cross-channel measurement
  • Creative ideas
  • Unprecedented, but necessary, transparency

Marketers should read this report to understand how media agencies are evolving and what to prioritize in the agency selection process.

I am currently taking inquiries and offering advisory on this topic.  Please reach out to learn more or share your experience in media agency selection.