Case Study: Increasing Customers’ Loyalty With Social CRM

Xiaofeng Wang

It’s increasingly challenging for marketers to earn loyalty as empowered consumers become entitled customers with more options than ever before. My latest report, Case Study: Max Factor China Rejuvenates Customers’ Loyalty With Social CRM, tells marketers how to leverage social CRM to define an effective loyalty strategy that spans the entire customer life cycle, across channels.

The US cosmetics brand Max Factor has been growing its business steadily since it entered the Chinese market in 2009. However, Max Factor has faced growing challenges in recent years:

  • An increase in competition from incumbent and new competitors.
  • A decline in new members and average member value.
  • An incomplete understanding of customers’ purchasing and engagement behaviors.
  • A confusing loyalty program unfit for the digital age.
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Fake News Challenges Brands' Equity

Susan Bidel

Brand equity is a precious thing. It takes years to build and can be damaged in a heartbeat by unforeseen events, like product breakdown, and ill-considered marketing strategy. Smart marketers exercise control over how, where, and when their product or service is seen in order to safeguard their brand investment.

The tools and partnerships that marketers must rely on to buy media and execute programmatically preclude the kind of control that marketers expect and exercise in other channels. The result is that they cannot get a comprehensive list of sites where their ads appear. While they can require white- and black lists, without the final recap they have no way to determine whether or not their requirements were met.  

What’s more, marketers can no longer assume that their ad placements within walled gardens won’t be compromised. The challenge of determining what is and isn’t valid content continues.

In the past few months, several major brands have conceded that, unbeknownst to them, their ads have appeared on inappropriate sites. They learned of these placements not from their programmatic partners, but from discontented customers, which is a marketer’s worst nightmare.

This is not a situation that can be changed overnight. It’s a challenge that marketers must lay down to themselves and their programmatic partners in order to protect the brand equity they have so thoughtfully built over time.

Read this report (client access only) to learn more about how to protect your brands from the wrong context, and let us know what you think. Fake News: More Proof That Advertisers Must Choose Quality Over Quantity

US Marketers Spent More Than $10 Billion On Content In 2016

Ryan Skinner

I've always dismissed efforts to size the 'content marketing market'. The definition of content marketing's very squirrelly, meaning:

a) if you size it including A, B, and C, then people will invariably say it should also include D, E, and F (but not B, or C), and
b) if you ask marketers to give you a number, then you're at the mercy of however each marketer defines it (combining apples and oranges).

Last year, when setting up our big annual survey of marketing leaders, we sidestepped the definition mine-fields by asking marketers to tell us how much of their budgets would go to content creation. Taking that data and applying some approximations (% of revenue going to marketing budget and total domestic industrial revenues) gets you to my headline figure: $10 billion spent on content (all of it, not just 'pull content', 'media content', or whatever content ghetto you want to define) in the US in 2016. Considering US GDP is about one-quarter of global GDP, that brings us to a ballpark figure of $40 billion annually in global marketing content spend in 2016.

The figure's admittedly a ballpark estimate, but at least it describes clearly what it contains (marketing content), and it's pleasingly well lower than other, more hyperbolic estimates for content marketing that I've seen bandied about.

For those with Forrester access who want to dive a bit deeper into spending figures, see the full content spending report.

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What Advertisers Must Do Now To Counter The “Fake News” Phenomenon

Carlton Doty

My colleagues Melissa Parrish, Richard Joyce, Susan Bidel and I spent a lot of time since the US Presidential election researching the effect of the so-called “fake news” epidemic. Why is this so prominent, and why now? The truth is this 2016 election cycle shed an enormous spotlight on a nagging problem for advertisers that existed long before the era of WikiLeaks, PizzaGate, and Breitbart News Network

Today we revealed a new report that assesses the challenge ahead for advertisers, outlines the risks to brands, and provides a prescription for how to protect the ever-increasing budgets that continue to funnel into programmatic advertising.  For the details, read the full report (client access only): Fake News: More Proof That Advertisers Must Choose Quality Over Quantity.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Don’t confuse satire or opinion with fabrication. Understand the difference between what is blatantly fabricated with ill intent vs. satirical (e.g. The Onion) or opinion-based publications. The risk to your brand differs across this spectrum, and so must your mitigation tactics.  
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There Are No "Right" Social KPIs

Jessica Liu

44% of marketers say they haven't been able to show the impact of social at all and another 36% say they have a good sense of the qualitative, but not quantitative, impact of social initiatives. Marketers feel stuck with engagement metrics that don't tell them anything about the business impact of their social programs. And, some fall victim to thinking there is an industry standard set of KPIs that will reveal their social impact in relation to other brands.  
 
The Forrester Social Marketing Playbook's Performance Management chapter guides marketers on how to measure social programs. To get a decent picture of your social programs' performance, measure three types:
 
  1. Business impact: Show social programs' deepest value. The hardest type of social measurement is also the most important. This is the quantitative view of your social efforts that matter most to executives. Start by measuring attribution to assign a proportion of revenue to social programs or measuring social's impact on brand health.   
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European consumers may be active on social networks – but does that mean they use social in their path to purchase?

Samantha Merlivat
To understand how open customers are to receiving messages from brands in social media, the question has to shift from “How social are our customers?” to “How social are our customers in their path to purchase?” 
 
Given the amount of time consumers spend on social networks, marketers intuitively know they need to be present on social media but many still struggle to pin point exactly:
 
  • Why they need a social presence - or rather, how they can be relevant on social media,
  • How much resources to invest in social media,
  • And where to invest these resources.
 
Forrester has developed the Social Technographics Framework to help marketers address exactly these questions. Using Forrester data to analyze the social behavior of various consumer groups and their inclination to use social touchpoints in their interactions with brands, the framework helps marketers determine:
 
  1. How important social media should be to their marketing plan
  2. When their audiences rely on social touchpoints in their customer journey 
  3. What social touchpoints their audiences use, and to what ends 
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Marketers Take Note: Working With Publishers Produced Better Results

Susan Bidel

Jeff Bezos is a legendary innovator whose company, Amazon, is driving business transformation across industries. Clearly he’s not shy about challenging the status quo. In 2013 he invested a portion of his personal fortune in The Washington Post, a publisher of repute since 1877.

Though many feared he would interfere with the content, he hasn’t out of respect for the trained and talented Post editors and writers, as he explained recently, “This is a highly professionalized activity… We have people who have decades of experience doing it.”

One of the great innovators of our era respects experience and the quality content that experience produces. Why don’t marketers, who are professionals in their own right, extend the same respect to publishers? They used to. Back in the day, marketers and publishers worked together, and business for both was good.

The same can’t be said today. Now, marketers have become convinced that they must ignore their own history, experience, and skills, and, instead, pursue automation, scramble for scale, and buy inventory blindly on random sites without regard for context or quality. 

That strategy is not working out very well, according to Bob Liodice, president and chief executive officer of the Association of National Advertisers.  On October 19th he opened the association’s Masters of Marketing Conference by observing that marketers have lost control of their industry, which he characterized as “unproductive, unsustainable, and undesirable.”

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Alexa, What Should My Intelligent Agents Strategy Look Like?

Jennifer Wise

As packages continue to arrive from this year’s record-breaking Black Friday weekend, it’s no doubt you’re seeing Amazon packages complete with front-and-center ads for Amazon’s Echo and Dot devices. You may even be one of the reported millions that ordered one that weekend.

These are more than just devices — they are Alexa-enabled and are helping Alexa further integrate into consumers’ lives. And Alexa isn’t alone: from Alexa to Google Now to Microsoft’s Cortana to Apple’s Siri, we have a budding class of intelligent agents (IAs) on the rise. In 2015, 45% of US online adults used at least one.

As consumers, these purchases mean a new product or a holiday gift. As a marketer, these are part of the growing intelligent agent landscape that threatens your direct relationship with customers. How? As consumers fall in love with the customized, proactive utilities IAs provide, IAs will capture customer moments. The good news: If you work with them, you can gain valuable new customer access and insights. If you don’t, you risk losing your direct customer interactions to this powerful intermediary.

How do you land on the positive scenario? The answer isn’t “launch a [skill, card, whatever the agent-specific experience may be].” Don’t repeat the app mishaps we saw from brands launching an app whether it made strategic sense or not. Instead, determine the strength of your brand loyalty, digital commitment, and data insights to decide if launching your own IA strategy is feasible today — or if you should pursue a different type of IA strategy as outlined in this report.

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How Can You Define The Right Social Approach And Tactics In Asia Pacific?

Xiaofeng Wang

Marketers in Asia Pacific are increasingly investing in social marketing — and they expect great returns on their investments. Our latest report tells how to Understand Social Consumers To Achieve Marketing Success In Asia Pacific and uses Forrester’s Social Technographics® model to better define the right social approach and tactics in the region in three steps:

  • First, study whether your audience uses social media to interact with brands. Based on social savvy, we categorize audiences into four groups: Social Stars, Social Savvies, Social Snackers, and Social Skippers.

Highlights: Metro Indian (Social Stars) and metro Chinese consumers (just three points shy of being Social Stars) are the most social-savvy and demand social interactions with brands.

  • Second, find the phase of the customer life cycle in which your audience uses social media. To succeed, focus your social strategies on the life cycle stages where your customers are most likely to use social tools: when discovering, exploring, buying, using, asking, or engaging.

Highlights: China and India are also the two markets where social commerce may have the best chance; each has an extremely high social buy score.

  • Third, see which social behaviors and sites your audience prefers. The Social Technographics Intensity Matrix reveals the social behaviors your customers engage in and the types of sites where they engage in those behaviors to decide your social tactics.
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The Hidden Power Of Mobile

Thomas Husson

Most marketers agree that mobile is a strategic priority. However, they fail to appreciate the true power of mobile: its ability to radically improve their entire marketing plan by linking consumer online and offline behaviors.

While consumers use mobile as a sixth sense to digitize the offline world, marketers still think of mobile as a subdigital channel.

Marketers must reconsider mobile’s role in their entire marketing plan. They should:

  • Link Mobile To Offline To Unlock Its Full Potential

To bridge digital and offline marketing, marketers must rethink the total impact of mobile ads, use mobile to augment traditional marketing campaigns, and apply mobile data to improve overall marketing effectiveness. Mobile data is the new customer gold mine, providing both personal data on individuals and the world they live in as well as contextual data combining offline and online behaviors in real time.

  • Start Measuring Offline Attribution Now

Marketers must put mobile at the heart of their identity resolution plan and work with data partners to make the most of emerging mobile offline attribution solutions. Given the importance of sales in physical stores, it matters to understand not just if mobile drives traffic to store but the extent to which it increases total sales.

Clients willing to know more, “The Hidden Power of Mobile” Report is available here.

According to Forrester’s mobile maturity framework, less than 20% of brands leverage mobile to transform the entire offline experience. If you want to benchmark your own mobile maturity, take about 20 minutes to answer our questionnaire. We will share back with you the aggregated topline results.