Who's leading mobile innovation?

Thomas Husson

Conventional wisdom in the mobile industry is that Japan and South Korea are the most advanced mobile markets worldwide while US is lagging behind and Europe somewhere in the middle. This is less and less true.

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How CAN SPAM Matters For Transactional Messages

Shar VanBoskirk

Marketers must follow the FTC’s CAN-SPAM guidelines as they apply to transactional messages; however, transactional emails are frequently embedded with promotional content. We’ve found that retailers can, on average, generate an additional $2.9 million annually by including promotions in their transactional communications. When content gets mixed in together, we often hear clients asking: where is the line drawn between promotional and transactional messages?

While there is no silver bullet for determining the difference between each message type, there are some guidelines that can help you determine whether or not the message will be subject to the CAN-SPAM Act. The FTC places a great deal of weight on the subject line of a message, so if the subject line would lead the recipient to think it’s a transactional message, it’s a transactional message for CAN-SPAM purposes.  Additionally, the content of the message matters.  If the majority of the message is commercial, or the bulk of the transactional part of the message doesn’t appear at the beginning of the message, CAN-SPAM considers the message a commercial one.

Regardless of message type, there are a few best practices to keep in mind to comply with CAN-SPAM (and maintain a good sender reputation).

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Liberty, equality and mobility

Thomas Husson

I find it quite amazing to see the societal impact of mobile phones. 

They have changed the way we communicate and live. There is a drastic change in the way children and parents communicate, in our individual relationships with time and location and in so many other parts of our daily lives. There are interesting books and theses about this topic. I recently came across an interesting view point from Russell Buckley about the "Unintended Consequences and the Success of Blackberry in the Middle East", which is further proof of how disruptive mobile can be. As communication and creation/media tools, mobile phones offer new ways to upload and access information (remember the riots in Iran). As such, governments have to monitor and anticipate this impact. 

Beyond this, public authorities can make the most of mobile services. Many local councils, regional and national governments, and transport authorities are launching mobile initiatives, creating new value-added services for citizens, and trying to use mobile to connect with the least connected. They need to anticipate the arrival of NFC technology and make the most of more mature mobile ecosystems. They should balance their mobile investments with the constant need to avoid discriminating against particular groups of citizens and to allocate funds to projects with critical mass. Governments in particular can play a key role in stimulating ideas for new services and in backing and funding the most relevant initiatives.

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Integrating Social Media Into B2B Marketing Strategies: A (Final) Webinar With Harte-Hanks

Laura Ramos

Four years ago, I waved good-bye to my Pharma industry research and began writing about B2B marketing best practices, as part of Forrester's marketing and strategy research group headed up by Elana Anderson. Harte-Hanks sponsored my first Webinar in this new role -- called "Improving the Maturity of your Lead Management Process" -- and Elana and I teamed up to present the webcast that aired on June 7, 2006. At that time, my research on lead management best practices was only beginning and social media was an emerging concept that Charlene Li had just started to explore in Forrester's seminal research, the "Social Computing" report. A lot has changed since then.

Through an amazing coincidence, my life as one of Forrester's top B2B marketing analysts begins and ends with Harte-Hanks. Tomorrow, March 30, I will broadcast my last Webinar with Forrester and I am so very pleased to do so with folks at Harte-Hanks who helped me launch this journey.

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Microsoft Announces Plans For A Better Bing

Shar VanBoskirk

Today at SES in New York, Microsoft announced some further refinements to its Bing search engine.  MS will flight the following changes to users over the next several weeks:

  • Top rail navigation will go tabular – in response to positive use of the category navigation along the left hand side of Bing, MS is also going to adjust the top rail of the search results to include tabs that will allow for drill down into categories of content related to the user’s search.  Left rail and top rail categories will vary according to the search.  See below for an example:

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2010 B2B Marketing Budgets and Mix Trends Research Published

Laura Ramos

For three years running, Forrester has teamed with MarketingProfs to survey B2B marketers (in various industries and at different sized firms) to track marketing mix and budget trends. Reviewing the prior survey's results published in April 2009, I expected that the economy -- and burgeoning interest in social media -- would accelerate the shift toward digital channels throughout 2009 to an unprecedented degree.

Reviewing this year's survey results I was surprised that, while B2B marketers experimented enthusiastically with social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn) and microblogging (Twitter), social media have yet to create budgetary or business impacts on the marketing mix. (Note: this research looks at firms of 50 employees or more only. The data set includes results from smaller firms as well. Tim Harmon will likely publish on this data.) In fact, most digital media fair equally, and unremarkably, poorly on the list of "what works?" in the marketing mix.

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Do Mobile Coupons Matter?

Shar VanBoskirk

My colleague Julie Ask just published a piece on the reality of mobile coupons in response to questions like “do consumers use mobile coupons?” “should we be developing a mobile coupon offering?” and “what technologies should I adopt to support mobile couponing efforts?” – questions that she and I get asked with some frequency.

 

I was involved in some of the initial structuring of this report and then also involved in the editing phase.  And I would love to recommend it to interactive marketers. Here are the most important takeaways:

 

  • Consumers like the promise of mobile coupons, but there is not yet mass adoption.  Mobile coupons promise to be a convenient way to aggregate customized discounts all in a single place (your mobile phone) that is much easier for storage than say an envelope of clipped paper coupons.
  • Mobile coupons appeal to advertisers too, but technology hurdles prevent mass utilization.  Advertisers love the idea of being able to offer targeted promotions that are cheaper to deliver and redeem than traditional coupons.  But the reality is that scaling redemption technologies and processes at check out is pricey for the limited coupon-using audience today.
  • Advertisers should start small mobile coupon trials now.  Mobile coupons don’t need to be your top marketing priority for 2010 (that honor goes to paid search, display ad, advanced email and social media) but we do recommend now as a good time to start a trial.  Vendors like cellfire can outsource the management and distribution of mobile coupons and offer flexible terms in an effort to sign up new advertisers.

 

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My Return To Email Marketing

Shar VanBoskirk

First of all, let me welcome you to Forrester's new blogging platform. Hopefully you'll find this blogging environment an easy way to access our blog-worthy ideas and community comments

Next, I wanted to officially announce (drum roll please) that I am back leading Forrester's email marketing research. Some of you may know that I did a lot of work in email marketing until 2007 when Julie Katz took the helm, joined subsequently by David Daniels following Forrester's acquisition of Jupiter. I'm excited to be back in the space and already have a stream of research underway.

First up is a piece on how the recession has affected consumer attitudes toward email marketing.
Then next quarter look for three pieces:
*One on the integration of email and social media
*Another updating our email marketing review methodology. See here for the older version.
*And then the third doing a best and worst of email marketing. This piece is also an update of some similar research we did here a few years ago.

What email marketing research would you like to see from us? I'd love to include your ideas in my research plan.

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My Next Chapter In B2B Marketing

Laura Ramos

Almost four years ago, I began a new journey at Forrester Research when I agreed to take on the B2B marketing research coverage and practice. The first significant research that I conducted and wrote, “B2B Marketing Needs A Makeover – Now,” looked at the challenges B2B marketers face and how they address these issues through marketing programs and technology investment.  Little did I know that “Makeover” would become the seminal piece of research in a series that extends across those four years and culminates in an upcoming report next week.

Today, it is with a mix of pride, nostalgia, excitement, and deep appreciation that I announce the next step in that B2B marketing journey, which started in 2006 here at Forrester, but extends back more than a decade earlier through various high-technology marketing positions I held prior to becoming an analyst.

At the end of March, I will leave Forrester to become the Vice President of Industry Marketing for Xerox Global Services, North America.

Very simply, I have been helping many clients face down their marketing challenges, adopt new approaches, and improve the reputation and standing of marketing at their firms for some time.  While personally rewarding in so many ways, I longed to return to my roots where I could do more practicing and less preaching. Xerox offers me this opportunity.

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Welcome to the new blog network

Cliff Condon

Hey everyone.  Here it is – Forrester’s new blog network. We made some changes to improve the experience for readers and to encourage more analysts to blog. Feel free to poke around and let me know what you think.

There are a few things I’d like to point out to you:
 

  • Everyone’s welcome here.  Forrester analysts use blogs as an input into the research they produce, so having an open, ongoing dialogue with the marketplace is critical. Clients and non-clients can participate – so I encourage you to be part of the conversations on Forrester blogs.
  • We still have team blogs focused on role professionals. Our role blogs, such as the CIO blog and the Interactive Marketing blog, are a rollup of all the posts from the analysts serving that specific role professional. By following a role team blog, you can participate in all the conversational threads affecting a role.
  • And now we’ve added analyst blogs as well.  If you prefer to engage directly with your favorite analyst, you can. Look on the right-hand rail of the team blog and you’ll see a list of the analyst blogs.  Just click on their name to go to their blog.  Or type their name into “Search”.  An analyst blog is a place for the analyst to get reaction to their ideas and connect with others shaping the marketplace.  You’ll find the blogs to be personal in tone and approach. 
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