I've just started work on a report tentatively titled "How People Choose." I'm interested in studying how technology is influencing user decision processes. My hypothesis is that technology is fundamentally rewiring us so we actually rely more heavily on gut-based decisions than on well-rationalized ones. If you buy Daniel Kahneman's notions of fast and slow thinking (others have called it irrational and reasonable, or emotional vs rational thought), then my theory is that people are outsourcing more and more of their rational decisions to technology. This means, that what is left for most of us is a heavier reliance on our fast thinking, our impulses, and our gut-based response, when making decisions.
If this hypothesis is true, then marketers should actually focus on influencing impulse, rather than all of the linear, direct-response types of marketing sequences they prioritize today.
I'm just kicking off my research, so my overall hypothesis may evolve as I get some research under my belt. But my end goal is to write a report for marketing execs that would help them think through HOW to influence user decisions in a future where the fundamentals of how we make decisions have changed.
US Digital marketing spend will top $100 billion in five years. Just think about how big that is. By 2019 in the United States, digital will be almost twice as large as it is now. It will be about $13 billion more than television advertising, and it will count for 35% of all advertising spend.
Growth is healthy but not runaway. We expect a 12% CAGR between now and 2019, which is a healthy slope, especially when considering numbers of this magnitude. But it is worth noting that this growth isn't skyrocketing. Marketers 15 year look-back window allows them the experience and performance data they need to know when to invest in digital, but also when not to overspend.
Mobile marketing represents 66% of growth. This year, we included mobile as a deployment option (akin to desktop) for search, display, or social ad impressions. So you won't see it as its own line item in the forecast. But rest assured, increased use of mobile by consumers, growing familiarity with mobile advertising by marketers, improvements to ad formats, metrics and buying practices, and increasing mobile ad costs will make mobile count for $46 billion of our $100 billion bogie by 2019.
We think the deal is a win for salesforce.com (SFDC). It brings SFDC market-leading campaign execution capabilities to round out SFDC access to customers (and their data) across the decision cycle. For B2B marketers, especially those already using ET’s Pardot, the deal brings good integration and development possibilities. But the deal goes much further than B2B, and it isn't so rosy for ET’s B2C customers. We expect:
I had breakfast a week ago with Taleen Ghazarian, the VP of Strategy and Planning and Bob Zurek the new SVP of Products from Epsilon. The meeting was to re-introduce me to Zurek (full disclosure, he is a former Forrester analyst; worked on a lot of our CRM research several years ago) and brief me on his plans for Epsilon’s new platform. I think Epsilon’s focus on product innovation is overdue (no argument from Zurek or Ghazarian there). But I agreed with Zurek’s vision for where to take things. Specifically, his plans are:
Aggressive: Customers told us as part of our most recent email vendor Wave evaluation that they felt disappointed by Epsilon’s unfulfilled promise of a technology update. Well, Zurek’s charter is create a technology that not only updates any places where current Epsilon tools fall short, but to actually create a brand new platform that out performs any competitors. We’ll see of course, how it delivers. But I admired Zurek’s passion and commitment, and his recognition that Epsilon had to over perform here in order to stay competitive in the digital space.
Yahoo! announced tonight that Google's Marissa Mayer would take over tomorrow as Yahoo!'s CEO and President. Obviously Mayer has long experience in the space and brings good competitive knowledge, particularly related to search marketing. But I'm disappointed by this choice, here's why.
I’m doing it. Waving three vendor categories at the same time. And I can’t wait (seriously, no satire intended.)
For those of you less familiar, Forrester’s Waves are detailed analyses of technology vendor and service providers done in order to help our user clients select the best partners for them. (Please note: the keyword in the preceding sentence is detailed. A Wave typically takes 12 weeks to conduct and includes multiple inputs like product demos, client reference interviews, and written responses to an RFP-like questionnaire).
Well, over the course of the next three months, I will be waving search marketing agencies, bid management platforms, and SEO automation tools. In the past, I have evaluated only search marketing agencies as many of them provided proprietary technologies, and stand-alone technologies were still quite immature. But since Q4 2011, I’ve gotten more and more inquiries about search marketing technology players as well. And search technologies have really made some strides in the last 12 months.
Create socially enabled marketing campaigns. In his keynote address, Harry Gold, CEO of Boston’s digital marketing firm Overdrive Interactive, reminded us that you don’t need a million Facebook fans (in fact, most companies will never reach that number). To capitalize on the fans you do have, and in turn extend your reach to the people who orbit those fans, you need to integrate social media into your broader marketing mix, working across channels and allowing their successes to play off of and feed into one another and then measuring the results, of course.
Add clear calls to action. Prominently display “Like” or “Share” buttons in your emails or on your site’s most interesting, share-worthy content (perhaps a compelling graphic, article, or product). When someone presses Like on your site, they might not be a Facebook fan, but their action will still feed back into their Facebook newsfeed, thereby allowing you to tap into their network of friends and boosting your brand’s social presence. For example, Levi’s increased its Facebook traffic by 40% when it invited users to “like” content on its Website.
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
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.