Got data? But more to the point, got the RIGHT data, and now? Low-friction and fast access to data are top priorities for data/analytics and marketing professionals in 2017. Here’s the picture of priorities: It’s a high or critical priority for 70% of marketing pros to increase their use of data and analytics for marketing measurement and customer insights – their fourth highest priority. Data and analytics pros’ highest priority – at 60% of data and analytics pros – is implementing or expanding their complete view of the customer across channels, and over 50% are providing self-service data preparation tools to business users. Firms are stepping up the pace.
What can help with these priorities? Data preparation tools. To accelerate time-to-insights and therefore time-to-actions, business end users and analysts who today wrangle data in spreadsheets or other traditional tools need direct access to data and a significant power assist. Data preparation tools can provide this power, but they must balance features and functions to support different roles and use cases and enable appropriate manageability, security, and governance in today's enterprises — while at the same time delivering speed-to-value.
There are relatively few products that meet those requirements, despite claims by many. Some true data preparation players are large, established players in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics space that have chosen to market and sell their data prep tool as a standalone offering, while others are pure-play offerings and, within that, emphasize different features and functions.
We’ve been busy finalizing the agenda and speakers for the forthcoming CX Forum in Sydney on May 9. That’s only eight weeks away!
Our focus this year is on exploring the current and emerging best practices for the design and delivery of exceptional customer experiences in digital channels. To put it more simply, we’re going way beyond the why and what to dig deeper into how.
CX and digital marketing professionals need to accelerate the pace of change, so for 2017 we’re deep-diving into four key themes:
The future of digital CX. How can you blend new technologies like bots, artificial intelligence, and digital assistants into your existing digital CX strategies? How do these new tools change customer behavior and expectations? And how will the practice of CX be altered as a result?
CX design and delivery. What are the best practices for creating innovative, distinctive customer journeys that cross functions like sales, marketing, and customer service? How can you truly embrace CX as a team sport?
Technology stack and strategy. How can CX and IT collaborate to tackle new thinking about CX technology strategy and management? How can these groups work together to drive the digital transformation of their entire organizations?
Creating and nurturing a CX-driven culture. How can you deliver sustainable, remarkable experiences? What does it really mean to instill a customer-obsessed culture and what are the hallmarks of a CX-driven organization?
My former neighbor bought the house next door primarily due to its 9-acre potential. Over the years, I got to see his garden develop from a razed backyard to a well-orchestrated, nearly year-round landscape of seasonal beauty. He’d continually prune out the anemic and plant new varietals that he deemed would more likely thrive in our climate. I was amazed at the ongoing evolution of his garden — and how much of it ended up on his burn pile. But he focused on the success of his garden overall and didn’t overly invest in any one plant, bush, or tree.
Despite his move to the West Coast, I was reminded of my neighbor as I sought a theme that would adequately represent Forrester’s spring webinar series. Today’s marketing leaders’ success depends on their ability to continually balance their investments and programs. So we’ve selected five areas of focus for Forrester’s B2B marketing spring webinar series that balance planting new ideas with pruning existing programs. I hope that you can join us live for them all!
Planting New Ideas: Social Selling And Programmatic Ad Platforms
Several Forrester colleagues and I attended the Google Next conference earlier this month, an event showcasing the Google Cloud Platform portfolio. One message, however, was distinctly NOT cloudy: Google is aiming at the enterprise market. And that includes your enterprise content.
Source: Forrester, "Make Omnichannel A Cornerstone Of Your Telecom Digital Transformation"
Poor customer experiences remain the Achilles’ heel of telcos’ digital transformation efforts. We live in the age of the customer, and today’s telco customer has expectations that far exceed the traditional standard of telco customer service. A random search on Trustpilot for customer satisfaction with telcos in various countries shows widespread dissatisfaction.
Offering customers seamless omnichannel experiences is critical for telcos’ digital transformation efforts. Today, customers expect to use a variety of digital touchpoints. This omnichannel approach affects telcos’ customer engagement activities at every stage of the customer life cycle, yet many telcos are still struggling to meet their customers’ rising expectations for coherent end-to-end customer engagement. This matters because omnichannel:
Is central to telcos’ customer experience initiatives. Customers do not care about channels. They want to have great experiences irrespective of how they engage with telcos.
Is more of a cultural transformation than a technology project. Omnichannel solutions require a telco to think about the customer journey from the perspective of the customer. This is a radical break with the past.
Opens opportunities for telcos to act as third-party service brokers. Omnichannel will empower telcos to act as service brokers for third parties if they can align their big data, content, and knowledge management strategies.
I don’t know about you, but this spring break is different in my family. My daughter, who has almost finished her first year at a liberal-arts college, came back for spring break with the big question “Mom, what major should I choose?” Of course, as an analyst in technology and — not to brag, but as a professional who has had many roles in IT (programmer, systems administrator, and computer and information systems analyst — my first initial thought was to suggest that she look into computer information systems or computer science. She has the ability; she is an excellent STEM student. So I told her that I would do some research and get back to her.
The highest-growth jobs in computer and information technology are in designing solutions and systems helping organizations to operate more efficiently and effectively (computer systems analysts), with a 21% growth rate.
The second-highest growth is in jobs to address specific topics, such as information security analyst (18%), computer support specialist (12%), and software developer (17%).
Medium growth rates are in jobs that design, build, and support specific technologies, such as computer network architects (9%) and computer systems administrators (8%).
Programming jobs, including computer programmers, are declining (–8%); hardware engineering jobs are growing slowly (3%).
Marketing resource management (MRM) vendor Aprimo snatched up ADAM Software, which bolsters Aprimo’s digital asset management (DAM) capabilities and reinforces the consolidation and convergence that we predicted.
There are a lot of small DAM vendors, but there has been a move to consolidate. Specifically, the capabilities of MRM, DAM, and content marketing platforms (CMP) continue to blur. MRM vendors like Aprimo help marketers assign tasks, track resources, budget, and review materials. But they stop short of organizing large libraries of content, integrating with upstream creative workflows, and delivering content downstream. The clear benefit of this merge is that now marketers will have one solution across the entire content lifecycle.
Other large vendors in the market have taken a similar approach. Adobe has built out its offering to include DAM, web content management (WCM), analytics and other capabilities. Multinational conglomerate Danaher purchased MediaBeacon to merge under product-packaging software vendor Esko. Shutterstock bought WebDAM to give Shutterstock a viable story for stock image management.
ADAM’s purchase comes as no surprise. Their strength in DAM, noted in our Forrester Wave, and relatively small size made them an attractive acquisition target.
What does Aprimo’s acquisition of ADAM mean for the market?
In a past life I was a system administrator, or "sysadmin". I enjoyed it, but even in those halcyon days of remoting into servers and driving to the office at 2 AM (hoping the server room wasn't on fire), I knew I had a limited shelf life. It wasn't until years later that I fully understood why:
Administrators are babysitters. The era of tech babysitters is over.
In the age of the customer, admins need to be just as dynamic as their developer brethren. That means a hard shift to software-defined infrastructure. It also means using the same tools and processes that accelerate business technology.
If Thursday morning’s controversial tweet from McDonald’s is any indication, brands are no longer safe. I’m not just talking about the threat of a data breach or hack — I’m talking about the threat of consumers who force brands to expose their ethics and beliefs or remain at the mercy of consumer perception and interpretation in a polarized environment. As we’ve seen with other examples of ubiquitous and once universally loved brands like Kellogg’s and L.L. Bean, consumers increasingly judge companies on the basis of their values — and while customers are skeptical of firms that stay silent, they open their wallets for those that champion appealing causes.
Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® data reveals that this is hardly a passing cloud; customers are becoming more aware of — and sensitive to — social issues overall. For instance, more consumers regularly follow politics, read about science, and identify as being environmentally conscious today than in 2014:
Do you have an opinion on how technology is changing your business?
As you likely know, each year we conduct in-depth business leader research to help identify trends across industries. This year we are once again partnering with executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, reaching out to senior business executives around the world for their perspectives on how digital is changing their business.
We're also reaching out to a wider audience through social media to broaden the perspectives gathered in this study. No matter what your perspective, no matter what your role – CEO, CMO, CIO, Business leader – if you're in senior management in a medium or large enterprise, we'd like to hear from you.
To make your opinion count, simply click the link below to begin the confidential online survey.
Please note: while the survey has been designed to complete on any device, including mobile phones, you must finish the survey using the same device from which you begin by clicking this link: http://forr.com/digitalsurvey2017. All responses are confidential.
Here's a selection of blog posts from this stream of research: