Forrester’s Annual Benchmark On The State Of US Consumers And Technology In 2017 Is Here!

Gina Fleming

Forrester’s annual report on the State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2017, US reveals the most important consumer technology trends that marketers need to know. Since 1997, Forrester has surveyed more than three million households worldwide. And during the latter half of that time, we have published an annual benchmark report that reveals the impact of technology on consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and expectations. This data-rich report is a graphical analysis of a range of topics about consumers and technology and serves as a benchmark for US consumers’ level of technology adoption, usage, and attitudes.

What did we find this year? For mainstream US consumers, smartphone and tablet usage is commonplace: three-quarters use a smartphone and half use a tablet. Users of these devices are no longer early adopters; rather they are typical US consumers. 

We identify early adopters of new technologies who experiment with and rely on technology. In 2017 this means that 14% of US online adults use a fitness tracker, 8% use a smart speaker with a personal assistant and 7% use Apple Pay. Since age is a strong predictor of technology adoption, this report examines consumers’ technology behaviors through an age cohort lens.

Read more

Bypass Branding No More: Why It Matters More than Ever For Today's Customer-Centric B2B Marketer

Steven Casey

Have you heard anything like this recently? Maybe you've even said it, or it just sounds familiar:

  • “I know I need to do branding, but how will it help me fill the funnel?”
  • “I can measure my conversion rates to three places to the right of the decimal point. How am I supposed to measure the impact of branding on that?”
  • “Of course we have a brand promise. We’re the world’s leading innovator of XYZ solutions.”
Read more

It’s time to rethink customer effort

Maxie Schmidt-Subramanian

CX as a profession is putting a lot of effort into reducing effort (pun intended). With good reason: too many companies make it so hard for customers to do business with them, that customers are super frustrated and give up.

But reducing effort is not the road to CX differentiation (see below). Which means companies that want to differentiate their CX need to rethink effort or ease as a CX metric. 

My wonderful colleague Anjali Lai, conducted new and exciting research (PAYWALL) using Forrester’s Customer Experience Index data. Anjali found that:

  • Quick and simple functions are not enough to retain consumers — instead, they can weaken the quality of CX. Anjali also points to studies (Non-Forrester log in required) that found that ease does not necessarily breed product affinity like many assume. Instead, companies often misinterpret the positive emotions associated with "easy" experiences as a consumer enjoying the product or service.
  • While digital and automated brand interactions trigger positive consumer emotions like happiness and delight, individuals are still most likely to feel valued — one of the most powerful, loyalty-inducing emotions — when participating in an exchange with another person.
Read more

Now Accepting Entries For Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017

Fred Giron

With Xiaofeng Wang

Jointly hosted by Forrester and CMO Innovation, the inaugural Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017 aims to inspire marketers in Asia by highlighting innovative approaches to and best practices for digital marketing.

Read more

ICICI Bank Offers Better Mobile Banking Services Than Its Peers

Arnav Gupta

Ever-increasing smartphone adoption has fueled the use of digital banking services by Indian customers. Forrester data shows that, in 2017, more than half of online banking customers in metro India predominantly use mobile devices to quickly complete simple banking tasks such as checking an account balance and viewing recent transactions. But more interestingly, online banking customers now also use mobile devices for serious and time-consuming banking tasks such as searching for and buying financial products and services. The need for enhanced digital banking services is not just restricted to metropolitan India, but is also emerging in smaller cities.

We recently concluded our 2017 India Mobile Banking Benchmark, which assesses the mobile banking offerings of seven large Indian banks: Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, State Bank of India, and Yes Bank. Of the seven, ICICI Bank received the highest overall score by delivering services that are both useful and usable. The bank has substantially improved its mobile app over the past two years, in the process overtaking the other Indian banks. Some highlights from our report:

Read more

The State Of Retail eCommerce In Brazil

Lily Varon

The economic decline in Brazil has hit the retail sector hard , but eCommerce is still growing. To understand the state of affairs in retail eCommerce in Brazil, in 2016 Forrester surveyed online retailers in Brazil together with industry partner e-Commerce Brasil. Here are a few findings from the research:

  • Retailers are feeling the pain of operating in the midst of Brazil's economic recession. Nearly 60% of online retailers say slowing consumer spending with be a significant barrier to their eCommerce growth over the next 12 months. Furthermore, more than half cite the operational constraints of keeping up with constant regulatory change.
  • Online retailers are increasing their eCommerce technology budgets. Despite the pressure to reduce costs during turbulent economic times, 64% of Brazilian retailers we surveyed are increasing eCommerce investments to help them weather the storm.
  • Investment priorities include marketing, mobile – and uniquely! - marketplaces. Retailers this year are focusing on marketing and mobile, much the same as in the US and other global markets. Unlike many other markets, however, Brazilian digital commerce pros are also prioritizing marketplaces. Why? Third party marketplaces are a relatively simple way to sell direct to consumer online. And retailers like Magazine Luiza and Walmart Brasil are prioritizing launching marketplaces on their own retail sites as a source of new revenues.
Read more

The Age of Alt: Data Commercialization Brings Alternative Data To Market

Jennifer Belissent

We all want to know something others don’t know. People have long sought “local knowledge,” “the inside scoop” or “a heads up” – the restaurant not in the guidebook, the real version of the story, or some advanced warning. What they really want is an advantage over common knowledge – and the unique information source that delivers it. They’re looking for alternative data – or “alt-data.”

From the information age where everyone took advantage of easy access to information, we are now entering an age where everyone seeks alternatives: new sources of information and innovative ways of deriving unique insights.  This is the “Age of Alt.”

We know that business leaders want to better leverage data and analytics in their decision-making. But more importantly most decision-makers want to supplement their own data with external data; 81% tell us they want to expand their ability to source new external data.  Demand for data is exploding.

With everyone now chasing data, the challenge is to find something new and different – finding the “alt data.”

Fortunately, the supply of data is booming as well. Forrester’s hot-off-the-press 2017 Data and Analytics survey reports a huge jump in companies taking their data to market:

48% are commercializing their data – and that’s up from 32% last year.

These new data sources out there represent an enormous opportunity to find that information advantage.

Read more

Start Silo-Busting: Strengthen Your Relationship With Compliance

Erna Alfred Liousas

What comes to mind when you hear the word “compliance”? Do you shiver, sigh, break out into hives, or all three? Believe it or not, your compliance colleagues are crucial to your social marketing success. This is especially true for marketers in regulated spaces such as financial services, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. I can share from personal experience that my social marketing success at American Express was in part due to the relationships I fostered with compliance, legal, and even outside legal counsel — in fact, I’m still in touch with those former colleagues. Given the importance of breaking down the marketing compliance silo, I partnered with my colleague Nick Hayes on a new report, Bridge The Divide Between Social Marketing And Compliance. And though the intention of this report is to help marketers in regulated industries, Nick and I both agree that all marketers can benefit from it. 

Below are three takeaways to help you elevate your relationship with compliance:

  • Don’t make procrastination an option. Yes, it’s true, most healthcare or pharma social media-related regulations aren’t consistently updated. But that doesn’t mean you can or should procrastinate about initiating a conversation with compliance. Your social marketing success rests upon a few factors, including your relationship with your compliance colleagues.
  • Create structure around your approach. Our “research, align, implement, and optimize” approach is a repeatable process that can jump-start your compliance conversation (see below). This will eventually help you establish a solid relationship and, ultimately, trust with your stakeholders. In addition, you’ll have a clearer understanding of their perspective on social.
Read more

Amazon Prime Wardrobe Won’t Will Kill Subscription Boxes: Bad Strategies Will

Lily Varon

Retail subscription boxes have a churn problem – that’s the bottom line. For non-essential categories, once the novelty wears off, consumers leave. We're seeing subscription box companies burn through their addressable markets. If there's a death knell for today’s subscription box companies, it's not Amazon’s new Prime Wardrobe offering, it's that many of them have been short-sighted. They have no game plan to maintain their value proposition after the novelty of their initial product or service wears off. 

Here’s what subscription box retailers, or retailers considering a subscription box model, should take away from Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe announcement:

  • Amazon continues to build out the value they give to Prime members. Amazon isn’t letting Prime members become desensitized to the value of their subscription.This service isn’t innovation per se  rather, it’s a value-add for existing subscribers for no additional cost. Amazon is a building out the value of a Prime membership for its members. 
Read more

Navigate Forrester’s Insights Services Research

Jennifer Belissent

Early last year, Forrester defined a new player in data and analytics services, the insights service provider.  Over the past 18 months, our research has produced a number of reports defining the category, digging into specific industry and functional or domain specialists, identifying what really makes a true insights provider stand out (hint, it’s decision support) and addressing questions that companies have about how best to select and engage these new service providers.

Our research has also explored the business opportunity that insights services delivery offers, for data originators and aggregators, for software providers, and for manufacturers of connected products.

The following list provides a table of contents for the research – a cheat sheet for Forrester’s research on insights services.

Read more