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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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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Why You Should Attend Forrester’s MARKETING 2016 Forum

Carlton Doty

I’ll be brief, because I know you’re busy. If you’re a customer-obsessed marketer, you should plan to attend Forrester’s annual Forum designed just for you – MARKETING 2016. Join us and 600+ marketing leaders in New York City on April 26-27 as we dive deep into the issues that matter most to you. Our agenda this year is comprised of five sections:

1.     Thriving In The Post-Digital Age: Led by our own VP/Principal Analyst Shar VanBoskirk, hear our latest research on what it takes to succeed as a marketing leader in a world where digital embeds in everything.

2.     Customer Understanding: Sick of all the noise about big data? Join VP and Research Director Srividya Sridharan as she uncovers how to move from data, to insights, to business action.

3.     Contextual Engagement: Principal Analyst Rusty Warner will be joined onstage by eBay and J&J as they discuss best practices in using situational context to drive deeper customer engagement.

4.     The Leadership Question: Forrester’s Michelle Moorehead will moderate a superstar panel on the changing leadership role for CMOs.

5.     The Power Of Trust: Principal Analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo will discuss how your ability to manage consumer privacy will be a key differentiator in building trust.

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Back From Yet Another Pilgrimage To Mobile's Mecca

Thomas Husson

After experiencing some of the most exhausting days in the life of a “mobile” analyst, I am back from Barcelona. Here are my key takeaways from the 2016 event.

MWC 2016's "Mobile Is Everything" theme summarizes two ideas: the disruptive power of ubiquitous mobile devices and their ability to connect things and objects in our surrounding environment. This year, innovation and key announcements did not so much come from new flagship smartphone manufacturers but instead focused on solutions that enable mobile devices to activate adjacent technologies — like VR, 360-degree cameras, 5G, and the IoT — to build the next generation of connected experiences. Let's cut through the hype to look at what the headlines really mean for B2C marketers:

  • VR is really still hype. Samsung massively surfed on the VR "wow" effect and heavily promoted its Gear VR headset while Facebook's CEO insisted that VR is the next-generation platfrom and will shape the future of social. After the distribution of five million of Google's Cardboard VR Viewers since June 2014, the buzz will continue with Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR (to be launched mid-March at the Game Developer Conference), creating awareness for digitally immersive experiences. But reach will be extremely limited, as the technology will only attract a niche set of users — especially gamers — in the first two years. However, marketers at retail, automotive, travel, or luxury real-estate companies with a digital innovation agenda should keep an eye for signs of VR adoption beyond the "techno-few."
  • Use mobile to unlock IoT consumer experiences. IoT remains first and foremost a B2B and industrial play. However, B2C marketers can combine mobile and IoT to activate new brand experiences.
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Forrester’s Customer Experience Marketing Summit 2016 In Sydney Is Fast Approaching!

Michael Barnes

 

Six months after our highly successful Summit for Marketing Leaders in Australia, I’m excited to announce that Forrester’s CX Marketing Sydney 2016 event is less than 7 weeks away.

As all organizations operating in Australia understand, the line between brand, marketing, and customer experience (CX) disciplines has blurred as people gain access to companies, services and products on their own terms. How can you thrive in this dynamic environment? Start by effectively coordinating between brand, CX, and marketing teams.  

We’ve filled our agenda with senior CX and Marketing professionals from leading organizations across Australia, and beyond. Key topics they’ll cover include:

  • Driving business results, competitive advantage, and growth by delivering the right customer experience.
  • Identifying the key practices and behaviours that fuel CX innovation.
  • Building and maintaining a brand in a digital world.
  • Instilling an understanding of customer emotions into design experiences and branding strategy.
  • Systematically improving CX through effective measurement.
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Benchmarking Social Marketing Efforts In China In 2015

Xiaofeng Wang

The Chinese social media landscape is unique and evolving rapidly. Since the publication of our first report on benchmarking social marketing in China, marketers have continued to invest in social marketing. My latest report, Benchmarking Social Marketing Efforts In China In 2015, tells how their social marketing efforts now stack up against the competition.

The key findings are:

  • WeChat is marketers’ social darling; LinkedIn is stepping into a market dominated by local players. WeChat has replaced Weibo and dominates both marketers’ adoption and satisfaction: A whopping 92% of the marketers we surveyed use WeChat, and two-thirds report being satisfied or very satisfied with it. And for the first time, a Western social platform is gaining popularity in China; LinkedIn has become an essential platform for social marketers there.
  • Effort and satisfaction vary among four types of social tactics and platforms. Based on marketers’ adoption and satisfaction ratings, we have categorized the social tactics and platforms into four groups: essential, optional, undervalued, and overvalued (see the figure). Focus your efforts on essential ones, such as WeChat, and undervalued ones, such as placing ads in online communities.
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MarTech + AdTech: An Embarrassment Of Riches

Carlton Doty

A CMO and a CIO walk into a hotel bar (Let’s call them Tom and Dick). After ordering a drink, Tom says, “Dick, I really need to start working with a DMP this year, and I want your help selecting one.” Dick says, “A DMP? My enterprise architecture team is building a near real-time, self-service data management platform. We’ll be done by the end of the year. You’re going to love it in 2017!”  With an absent look on his face, Tom says “A DMP is a piece of AdTech that we can use to quickly target tailored audiences with our ad campaigns. It’s not a back-office data warehouse”.  Dick laughs and says, “Ad campaigns? Didn’t you just buy a campaign management tool from one of those so-called marketing cloud vendors? You know, our CRM system has a campaign module, not to mention an enormous customer database.”  Tom’s response: “You’re not getting it. Cross-Channel Campaign Management is a MarTech tool, not CRM. And a DMP is not a customer database.”  Exasperated, Dick shouts, “What the hell is the difference between MarTech and AdTech anyway!” 

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What To Expect From Mobile World Congress 2016?

Thomas Husson

From February 22 to 25, Barcelona will be the center of the business world. Do not expect a specific industry focus but expect announcements impacting any industry: from payments to automotive. Why? Because “mobile is everything”.

 

 

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2016 Mobile And App Marketing Trends

Thomas Husson

In November, Forrester released its mobile predictions for 2016, highlighting how mobile will act as a catalyst for business transformation and explaining why the battle for mobile moments will redefine the vendor landscape.

Let’s now take a closer look at how mobile will impact marketing in 2016.

A year ago, Forrester argued that most brands would underinvest in mobile in 2015. This is likely to remain the case this year, since too many marketers still have a narrow view of mobile as a “sub-digital” medium and channel. This is good news for the 20% of marketers who told us they have the budget they need and for the 33% who said they know how to measure mobile ROI. In 2016, this growing minority of leading marketers will start to fully integrate mobile into their marketing strategies. These mature mobile marketers will measure the impact of mobile across channels, see a clear opportunity to differentiate their brands, and increase their investments in mobile initiatives. Here’s what else we expect to happen:

  • Integrating mobile into your marketing strategy will become a key differentiator. While most brands are trying to mobilize their ads, few are going the extra mile: serving their customers in their mobile moments by transforming the entire customer experience. Only those that do go that extra mile will differentiate their brands via mobile. Leaders will also start measuring the impact of mobile on offline channels and will end up allocating up to 20% of their marketing budgets to mobile.
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