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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It's Not Too Late For Nestle

Christine Overby

 

On Friday, I attended the Justmeans’ Social Media and Stakeholder Engagement conference on how Social Media can be used for Social Good. I almost didn’t make it. I thought, Yes, this should be interesting, but how much does corporate responsibility and sustainability matter to the day-to-day of most Interactive Marketers? At the conference, I started getting tweets that called out Nestle on the tone of its Facebook status updates. Fast forward 72 hours, and Nestle is dealing with a PR crisis of Epic Fail proportion, as Facebook “fans” slam its business and environmental practices in the developing world. Yep, it matters.

 

Plenty has been said today about how Nestle failed. But I keep thinking about another question, “Is it too late for Nestle?” And maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me, but I don’t think it is. Nestle still has a chance to shape the tone of the discussion by sharing next steps in social communities. Interestingly, Nestle did respond to the Greenpeace allegations in a March 18 statement on its website, and they told traditional media outlets on Friday that they would remove a questionable supplier from all parts of their (very complex) supply chain by mid-May. But that word isn’t getting out - Clearly, traditional outreach isn’t enough. Bjorn Edlund, former EVP of Communications for Shell, joked at Friday’s conference: “The best way to hide data is to put it on your corporate website.” Case in point.

 

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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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Adobe On Its Way To Being A Role Model For Interactive Marketers

Shar VanBoskirk

I just had a one on one with Adobe CMO, Ann Lewnes, a power house of interactive marketing energy for the combined Adobe/Omniture companies.

In her words, "Adobe's goal is to be the site role model of what the combined Adobe/Omniture suite of products can bring to any marketer's site."

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Is mobile really *that* big a deal?

Shar VanBoskirk

**Correction: Actually, we forecast that direct mail will be at about $67 billion by 2012.  So to my comment below, the astronomical forecast of mobile at $20 billion would be closer to a third, not a half of dm spend by 2012. >Both Josh James and Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe mentioned mobile in their keynote presentations and now I'm listening to RIM also talk about the power of the mobile browser.

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Live from the Omniture Summit: The New Principles of A Successful CMO

Shar VanBoskirk

Coming to you live this morning from the kick off keynote of the Adobe (nee Omniture) Summit in Salt Lake City.  And I'm pleased to report that so far the event is as thumping and hued in neon green as in years past. 

A nice change from past summits: Instead of discussing developments to Omniture's online marketig technology, today's Omniture keynote by Josh James is themed around "The New Principles Of A Successful CMO."  These are Josh's principles for how marketing execs can succeed.

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A Conversation With LoopFuse About The Marketing Automation Market

Laura Ramos

Since publishing the market overview for the lead management automation space, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of current and emerging vendors who got in touch wanting to talk further, learn more about my research, and (well, frankly) “influence” the analyst.

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