Live today is Forrester’s new free benchmarking tool that can help you compare your company’s interactive marketing budget and organization against your peers’. Simply answer a few questions and our tool will compare your answers with similarly sized companies against five metrics:
The size of your interactive marketing budget
The share of your advertising budget dedicated to interactive marketing
The percent of your interactive budget earmarked for emerging media
The size of your interactive team
The number of agencies you work with for interactive support compared with other companies of your size
Today, Apple’s product strategists revealed their newest premium smartphone: the iPhone 4S. Just like the 3GS at its introduction, the 4S relies on a leap in processing power and a new interaction paradigm but eschews technology upgrades upon which product strategists building Android-based devices rely today, such as LTE and behemoth screens.
Apple’s new iPhone lineup provides a complete portfolio of products, from the premium 4S in memory configurations up to 64 GB, to the 8 GB iPhone 4 which will allow all of Apple’s carrier customers (including new partners Sprint and KDDI in Japan) to offer a mid-tier iPhone. Apple’s product strategists have opted to add an entry-level option for its GSM-based carrier partners by maintaining the 8 GB iPhone 3GS.
With the iPhone 4S, have Apple’s product strategists designed a product that will maintain Apple’s leadership in the high-end smartphone battle? Forrester believes so — even though Apple chose not to include features that its competitors use to command a premium position, including:
Marketing mix modeling solutions have been around for quite some time, providing marketers in several key categories with complex statistical models that aim to find the correlation between past marketing activities and business outcomes, like sales or market share.
However this space has recently seen significant changes, due to a few specific dynamics:
The proliferation of digital and social media with increasing importance in the marketing mix.
Marketers' increased demand for tools that are not only able to deliver insights on past campaigns but also able to give forward-looking recommendations on how to improve marketing return on investment (ROI) in the future.
The rising role that sophisticated software plays in integrating the ever-growing number of data streams and in enabling complex analysis to be navigated and customized via powerful graphic user interfaces.
To help navigate this complex and highly relevant space for senior marketers, our research team has published the first Forrester Wave™ for vendors in the marketing mix modeling space. We screened more than 30 vendors, shortlisted six that we consider to be the key players in this very fragmented market, and ranked them according to more than 40 different criteria. The evaluation uncovered a market in which:
MarketShare, Marketing Management Analytics, and ThinkVine lead the pack.
SymphonyIRI is a Leader but lacks collaborative functionalitites.
Marketing Analytics and Ninah are competitive Strong Performers.
European marketers are as excited about social media today as ever before. In fact, according to our annual survey, three-quarters of interactive marketers in Europe either already use social media or plan to use it by the end of 2011 – and they expect social media marketing to grow in effectiveness more than any other online or offline marketing channel in the coming years. But there’s a problem: European marketers still aren’t spending very much on social programs. In fact, a quarter of the marketers in our survey plan to spend less than €35,000 on social media this year – and many of the rest won’t spend much more than that. And most European marketers said they had no plans to increase their social media budget this year compared to last.
I think this lack of spending is both a symptom, and a cause, of problems inherent in how European marketers use social media:
It’s a cause, because the resources aren’t there. One of the biggest problems social media marketers face right now is a lack of resources. When it comes to social media they have trouble finding budget, staff, time, and even good help from their agencies. And that actually makes a lot of companies afraid of success. You’d be surprised how often I hear statements like "I want to start a Facebook page, but what if it takes off? I don’t have the budget to staff it full time!" When marketers are afraid of success, rather than failure, then you know you’ve got a problem.
Thanks to the phenomenal popularity of Apple’s iPhone and Android’s growing traction — more than 550,000 Android devices are activated each day — many product strategists tend to assume that smartphones are a mass-market phenomenon.
The reality is that in a global population with more than 5 billion subscriptions, smartphones are still niche. However, in the US and some European countries, smartphone penetration is racing past 25%; smartphones are going mainstream, albeit at a varying pace across the globe.
Consumer product strategists should anticipate the consequences of moving from a smartphone target audience of early adopters to one that is more mainstream.
When targeting the second wave of smartphone users, we believe strategists should:
Design specific mobile products by better understanding new smartphone owners. New segments of smartphone owners will emerge, with a much more diverse profile than the first wave of smartphone early adopters. One way to obtain more detailed information about these consumers is to use the basic connectivity of the smartphone to establish the beginnings of a digital customer relationship. The promise of ongoing product upgrades is one incentive that may convince these new customers to share their information, but free content such as an application is more likely to win their confidence.
Carefully monitor new smartphone owners’ usage. There is always a huge gap between the features available on a smartphone and the actual use of these features. It is critical to constantly analyze how smartphone users are using their devices; this will allow strategists to optimize the road maps not only for new devices but also for those products and services to be delivered to the second wave of smartphone users.
I’m currently working on a report around how to hire and retain good digital talent. So the CMO panel featuring Brian Lauber of OneAmerica, Jared Blank of Tommy Hilfiger, and Chris Krohn of Restaurant.com that addressed hiring and staffing was music to my ears. A few takeaways on how to nurture your digital employees:
*Create an emotional connection between employees and your brand. This helps to brand your company externally. OneAmerica CMO Brian Lauber finds that “Your employees are your best branding. He tells every single employee that they are the brand. “I tell them to look like it, act like it, talk like it.” Every day. In everything they do.
*Don’t rely on HR to do everything alone. Creating a strong digital organization isn’t just about having good recruiters. It’s about creating a culture that employees feel part of and proud of. And this lands on managers to create. Chris Krohn of Restaurant.com says his role has two primary components: 1) Make sure the marketing strategy is clear; 2) Make sure we have the right people doing the right things.
*Create benefits beyond financial compensation. Tommy Hilfiger employees get discounts off of clothes. And buyers of media and of clothes get 10% of their regular budgets to play with. “We want people who are passionate about clothes. And about our clothes. So we give them a reason to buy our things for themselves. And we make them accountable for 90% of their budget. The other 10% they can spend on whatever they think is cool.”
I’m co-presenting next week at Forrester’s first-ever CIO/CMO Forum with my colleague Craig Symons, a VP and Principal Analyst from Forrester’s IT client group. We’re hosting a discussion around how to budget for marketing technology purchases. So it was perfect to hear Robert Stephens, the CTO of Best Buy, talk at the Exact Target Connections Conference about the role he plays in Best Buy’s marketing innovations. Stephens is the technology mastermind behind all of Best Buy’s industry-leading efforts like Twelpforce — its Twitter-based customer service organization. Here are a few sound bites from Stephens’ presentation:
“My job is to transform trends into reality for us.” Stephens talked about his close relationship with Barry Judge, Best Buy’s CMO. They meet regularly to swap ideas and co-support innovations. And Stephens doesn’t view any imbalance in the “power” either of them has over Best Buy decisions. He’s actually come up with his own share of “marketing” ideas; for example, he came up with the Geek Squad in his lean college years. In his words, “When you don’t have any money, everything is marketing.” I think this perspective makes sense even when firms *do* have money. What if every employee — including IT ones — thought about all of their moves as marketing ones? That is ways to create a product, culture, and experience that promotes your firm above all others.
Carol Bartz was fired by phone from her post as CEO of Yahoo! in what must have been a Trump-worthy conversation with Roy Boystock, Yahoo!'s Chairman of the Board. Tim Morse, Yahoo!'s current CFO will act asinterim CEO and part of a larger executive committee to manage Yahoo! operations until a replacement CEO is found.
I like Yahoo! And I was optimistic about Bartz taking the reins from Yahoo!'s founder Jerry Yang, as I thought it signaled an desire by Yahoo! to aggressively course correct its languishing strategy. But now I'm just disappointed. Three more years have passed and Yahoo! is the same sinking ship it was when Bartz took the reins. Here is my take on Yahoo!'s situation. Yahoo!:
Has terrific online advertising capabilities. The online opportunity is *still* a huge and growing one; we project interactive marketing will near $77 billion by 2016. Yahoo! has tremendous traffic and user engagement globally which populates its monster user database that it is a pro at mining on advertisers' behalfs. It's ad labs scale testing and optimization. Its reach and available inventory is massive. And its ad marketplace is making real-time ad buying mainstream.
I've received a few questions and have seen some social conversations around the theme "marketing is not advertising" relating to my recent interactive marketing forecast. I in no way meant to imply through the research that marketing and advertising are the same thing, nor is this the point of the research. So if you are hung up on that notion, let me 1) provide a bit of background on the report, 2) recommend that you read the full report -- I think inferring conclusions from the summary slide published in AdAge may be confusing without our detailed definitions, and 3) iterate that the primary conclusion of the report is that spend on interactive media and technology is no longer experimental, but now established budget line items.
I've worked on this report since 2004, and the report originally began as an online *advertising* forecast -- sizing spend on online media, which at that time was primarily display ads. We've done the report 5 times since 2004, and with each new report, it became clear that budgets were growing to include other investments besides online media. So we have adjusted the forecast to best represent what is included in clients' interactive budgets.