Forrester’s Summit for Marketing Leaders Is Coming To Sydney September 15th!

I really cannot believe it’s been nearly twelve months since our last Sydney event. But it’s official, we’re now only four weeks away from Forrester’s Summit For Marketing Leaders in Sydney.

This year’s theme is “Connect, Engage, Deliver.” Why that theme? Well, we know from our research that firms in Australia and New Zealand are prioritizing customer experience, but struggling to deliver results. That’s why we’ve tailored this event around three key topics: how to connect with distracted, empowered customers; how to engage customers once those connections are made; and how to nurture customer obsession as a strategic imperative throughout the organization.

Our agenda is packed with marketing executives from leading organizations focused on customer obsession. Key topics they’ll cover include:

  • Driving brand leadership in the age of the customer.
  • Creating seamless brand experiences across the digital and physical divide.
  • Understanding the emotions which drive CX for your brand and how to create them.
  • Reinventing digital user experiences to define and deliver superior CX.
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When Sourcing Enterprise Marketing Capabilities, Start by Understanding Customer Expectations

 

To successfully grow in Asia Pacific (AP), you must excel at understanding customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors and have the capabilities necessary to transform this insight into improved customer engagement. But that’s true everywhere. What sets the AP region apart are the continued vast differences between markets. Appreciating these market differences, and the impact they have on customers’ expectations, is critical when sourcing enterprise marketing capabilities.    

In my recent report, entitled “Consider Regional Factors When Evaluating Enterprise Marketing Software Suites”, I highlight key regional trends affecting marketing priorities and the likely impact on organizations’ marketing technology requirements, including:

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Need Better Customer Insights To Fuel Your Digital Strategy? Start By Working On Your Communication Skills

 

Retaining and delighting empowered customers requires continuous, technology-enabled innovation and improved customer insight (CI). The logic is simple in theory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to implement in practice.

In my recent report, entitled “Applying Customer Insight To Your Digital Strategy”, I highlight the top lessons learned from organizations in Asia Pacific (AP) that are successfully leveraging CI to fuel digital initiatives. It all starts by ensuring that data-driven decision-making is central to the digital strategy. With that in mind, I want to use this blog post to focus on two key lessons from the report:

 

Lesson One: Establish A Clear Mandate To Invest In Customer Analytics

Successful companies serve empowered customers in the way they want to be served, not the way the company wants to serve them. When building a mandate you should:

■  Expect natural tensions between various business stakeholders to arise. To secure buy-in from senior business decision-makers, start by illustrating the clear link between digital capabilities and data as a source of improved customer understanding. Identify measurable objectives and then link them to three to four scenarios that highlight where the biggest opportunities and risks exist. Continue to justify data-related investments by restating these scenarios at regular intervals.

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Digital Initiatives Expose Gaps In Customer Analytics Capabilities

In my last blog post I outlined Forrester’s key customer insights (CI) predictions for 2015. Now I’d like to drill down into some of the key barriers to CI effectiveness we’re seeing among Asia Pacific-based organizations. This content was pulled from my recently published report, which Forrester clients can access here.

Core competencies of effective CI pros have typically centered on customer segmentation and campaign performance measurement. When extending these capabilities to digital marketing strategies, the goal is typically to enable more effective customer acquisition and onboarding by extending reach. In other words, digital innovation often simply means “better campaigns.”

But what happens once that process is complete? It’s not enough to have a world-class digital capability for acquiring new customers. Empowered customers expect the same type of seamless experience, improved efficiency, and heightened responsiveness in all subsequent interactions with your brand.

So why so many firms struggling to realize the full potential of customer analytics to effectively serve and retain their customers? I’ll give you four reasons:

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Customer Insights And Big Data Analytics Will Sprawl in 2015

Forrester recently published its 2015 Predictions for Asia Pacific. I wanted to highlight some specific trends around customer insights (CI) and big data, two very hot topics for many AP-based organizations.

We strongly believe that success for many organizations hinges on your ability to close the gap between available data and actionable insight. Marketing is taking the lead here, as CI pros seek to use data to fuel customer engagement improvements. Hence 2015 will be a year of increased fragmentation as reliance on analytics spreads across organizations.

What will this mean for you? More cloud-based and mobile analytics, more demand for interactive and responsive analytics, and more use of specialist and niche BI and analytics service providers. Given this backdrop, Forrester believes that:

  • Analytics spending will increase by at least 10% across the region. Yes analytics spending will increase, but less of it will be visible in the CIO's budget. Marketing and other business departments will drive analytics investments to address specific challenges and opportunities. The technology management (TM) organization will have little control over the implementation and deployment of niche and specialist BI and analytics services.
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MSFT Expands Azure To Australia, Calls Out (Some) Competitors

On Monday Microsoft officially announced the launch of two Azure Data Centers in Australia. This is big news for the many Australia-based organizations concerned about data sovereignty, as well as those who simply equate on-shore data residency with increased security and control.

Announced as part of TechEd 2014 in Sydney, Microsoft specifically called out Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google as it’s key competition. In fact, Microsoft has gone to great lengths over the past year plus to consistently position these two companies as the only other viable longterm cloud providers. This is based on three cloud provider capabilities identified by Microsoft as critical: hyper-scale, enterprise-grade, and hybrid.

Overall it’s a good angle for Microsoft. All three players operate at hyper-scale as public cloud providers. All three also offer enterprise-grade services, (although this definition varies based on workload). Most importantly for Microsoft, neither AWS nor Google have a primary focus on enabling hybrid cloud services.

In contrast, all traditional large infrastructure vendors (Fujitsu, HP, IBM, VMware, etc.), system integrators (Dimension Data, NTT, etc.), and telco’s (Telstra) focus squarely on enterprise-grade services and hybrid cloud enablement. Rackspace, IBM and HP also have Australia-based data centers. But all these providers lack hyper-scale.

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The Case For Optimising Customer Analytics – Improve or Perish

As I wrote in my recently published report, customer insights (CI) are an increasingly critical source of competitive differentiation in the age of the customer. Forward-thinking business and technology management leaders in Asia Pacific (AP) are actively looking to better leverage customer data and advanced analytics to increase marketing effectiveness and improve the customer experience (CX).

Unfortunately this isn’t the case everywhere. Many AP firms still lag in their understanding of customer analytics. They also lack the skills and ability to execute.

A collection of internal and external factors will affect customer analytics success. How can you improve your ability to transform available data into insight? Start by taking Forrester’s self-assessment to help determine where your organization falls in Forrester’s customer analytics maturity model and use that to identify specific areas of focus for future improvement.

But CI pros can also minimise risk by taking the following concrete steps:

  • Link customer analytics to broader CX and digital initiatives. Effective digital transformation fueled by CI requires an outside-in approach to customer understanding. For most AP organizations, this is only possible with direct CEO support. In the absence of executive sponsorship, successful customer analytics will likely be limited to improving and/or extending existing marketing approaches – important, but nowhere near sufficient.
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Customer Experience Q&A With Carl Mogridge, Head of Digital, Australia & New Zealand, Avon Products, Inc.

For many organizations, the digital journey is full of potential roadblocks. Successful organizations excel at overcoming traditional operational practices, approaches, and mindsets to enable change.

For a well-known global brand like Avon, embracing an omnichannel approach to customer engagement was essential to continue thriving in a digital world. We’re therefore pleased to have Carl Mogridge speak at Forrester’s Summit For Marketing & Strategy Professionals: Australia. Carl is head of digital at Avon Products, leading the company’s initiatives to implement systematic, measurable change on the path to digital disruption.

Carl was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about what he’s doing. Those of you who’ll be with us in Sydney this Wednesday, August 13, can hear even more from Carl. I hope to see you there!

Q: When did your company first begin focusing on the customer experience? Why?

Avon is 127 years old and from day one we’ve focused on creating customer-centric conversations based on personalized service and innovative products. At Avon, we want to be helpful, safe, and reliable to our customers — so our entire customer experience strategy revolves around these simple criteria.

Q: How do you determine which aspects of the customer experience you must try to excel at?

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Customer Experience Q&A With Louise Long, Head of Customer Experience, NAB

As customers we’re rarely satisfied with simply buying goods and services. What we really want, on top of the actual purchase, is a great customer experience (CX). This drives us to seek out companies that not only understand our wants and desires but more importantly, understand the role their company’s products actually play in our lives.

Nowhere is this more true than in the hyper-competitive Australian retail banking market. That’s why we invited Louise Long to speak at Forrester’s Summit For Marketing & Strategy Professionals: Australia. Louise is Head of Customer Experience at National Australia Bank (NAB), leading the company’s initiatives to deliver truly great customer experiences to NAB’s clients.

Louise was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about what she’s doing. Read on for insight into how NAB continuously seeks innovative ways to ensure that the customer remains at the center of the company’s business strategy.

Those of you who’ll be with us in Sydney on Wednesday, August 13th, can hear even more from Louise. I look forward to seeing you there!

Q: When did your company first begin focusing on customer experience? Why?

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Forrester’s Marketing & Strategy Summit Is Coming To Sydney August 13th!

I’m thrilled to announce that in less than six weeks’ time Forrester Research will hold its first-ever Summit for Marketing & Strategy Professionals in Sydney, Australia.

The entire Australia team is incredibly excited about this landmark event for Forrester. Here’s why:

The theme for this year’s event is “Winning In The Age Of The Customer.” What does this really mean? It’s simple, really. Empowered by digital platforms, your customers are free — free to act on their own needs and priorities, free to pick their own moments of engagement, free to design their own experiences — and free to ignore your own best efforts to shape and control all three. Forrester calls this new reality “the age of the customer.”

We’ll be releasing some brand-new research at the event that sheds light on the current state of customer experience management practices in Australia. While I don’t want to give away the ending, suffice it to say that Australian firms of all sizes are making customer experience a strategic priority. Firms across Australia increasingly have C-level executives driving their focus on CX, and they expect to get significant value from their efforts.

But not all firms are at the same level of maturity — or even awareness. While some are finding ways to pull ahead of competitors through CX differentiation, others have not even gotten started yet. That’s why we’ve tailored this event to show attendees the one sure path to CX maturity and provide detailed guidance on how to advance along that path.

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