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.

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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.
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Two Reports To Get Search Marketers Closer To The Summit

Collin Colburn

Co-authored with Christian Splaine, Research Associate on Forrester's B2C Marketing Team

Earlier in the year, we came out with our State Of Search Marketing, 2017 report. The takeaway? Search marketing is only getting more complex and harder to navigate. And so far that has played out to be true. In fact, we here at Forrester have received an increasing number of questions this year on how to traverse the tricky terrain that is search. So, we have donned our mountaineering hats and written two new reports aiming to help search marketers navigate to the top of the search marketing summit.

The first report maps out the current relationship (or lack thereof) between search and social. Inadvertently, search marketers have become isolated from social intelligence insights that the rest of their enterprises are benefitting from. The benefits of connecting social listening data with search can range from better keyword targeting to improved campaign timing. The key to using search and social insights in tadem is collaboration between the two teams, which marketers can foster by:

·         Analyzing search and social insights together. For those marketers that are reliant on agencies, understand that they have both a search and social practice as part of their offerings. Ensure that their search and social teams are working together and sharing insights, so that you can reap the rewards.

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Now Accepting Entries For Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017

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.

We’re looking for exciting B2C or B2B digital marketing programs that clearly deliver on business goals. To determine the winners of the Digital Marketing Awards Asia 2017, we will focus on how marketers use digital marketing at each stage of the customer life cycle. We’ve created three categories of awards, each corresponding to a different aspect of what Forrester calls the marketing RaDaR:

  • Reach: programs that generate brand visibility.Reach efforts drive discovery and awareness. These include word-of-mouth marketing, paid social advertising, and thought leadership.
  • Depth: programs that close sales.Depth programs pave the path for exploration and buying. These include ratings, reviews, and brand communities for information that helps to close existing prospects or leads.
  • Relationship: programs that build loyalty.Relationship tactics increase the loyalty and lifetime value of existing customers. These include a consistent presence on a social media account and loyalty programs designed to create repeat business.
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Roll Out The Red Carpet: The 2017 Social Media Management Solutions (SMMS) Forrester Wave™ Is Here!

Erna Alfred Liousas

Does our new 2017 SMMS Forrester Wave reveal one SMMS to rule them all? Unfortunately not. No one SMMS will meet everyone’s needs. But this report does provide a detailed analysis across 32 criteria for 10 vendors that you’ll want to include in your SMMS research: Facelift, Hootsuite, Lithium, Oracle, Percolate, Salesforce, Spredfast, Sprinklr, Sprout Social, and Sysomos. Here are a few questions that our evaluation answers. 

What happened to social relationship platforms (SRPs)?
In 2015, we referred to “solutions that help marketers publish, monitor, and respond to customer posts on social networks” as social relationship platforms. Given the breadth and impact of social marketing initiatives addressing all six phases of our customer lifecycle across the enterprise, we now refer to these technologies as social media management solutions. Our 2017 Forrester Wave evaluation criteria reflect capabilities that cover the latest uses of social across enterprises and the progressive capabilities within social networks today. 
Which SMMS capabilities bring together marketing and other business units?
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Just Published: The Forrester Wave™: Real-Time Interaction Management, Q2 2017

Rusty Warner

I’m pleased to announce that we have just published The Forrester Wave™: Real-Time Interaction Management, Q2 2017. This evaluation includes 12 vendors that address RTIM, which Forrester defines as: enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer life cycle via preferred customer touchpoints.

Vendor capabilities have evolved since we published our first RTIM evaluation in 2015, and the new report recognizes 5 leaders – SAS, Pegasystems, Teradata, Adobe, and IBM – all with unique technology approaches to address RTIM requirements. Salesforce, FICO, Pitney Bowes, Infor, and Emarsys are strong performers. And, Rocket Fuel and IgnitionOne are contenders, representing emergent RTIM capabilities for advertising use cases. The continued convergence of martech and adtech will further drive use cases for both anonymous and authenticated customers as the RTIM space evolves.

Not only are we seeing vendors apply RTIM to advertising and customer acquisition strategies, but we are seeing deeper integrations with sales, service, and operational environments to better address up-sell, cross-sell, retention, and loyalty requirements. We are further seeing customer-initiated interaction volumes increase dramatically as brands strive to personalize content and offers across an ever-expanding range of channels and touchpoints. In addition, this year’s evaluation includes criteria for artificial intelligence and emerging IoT capabilities.

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Just What Do You Think You’re Doing, Dave? Marketers Must Get Ready For AI Powered Marketing

Joe Stanhope

As a longstanding staple of science fiction and academic research, AI isn’t new. What’s different today is its shift into practical, consumer facing applications. AI does real things for real people. AI quietly makes many of our daily, if mundane, tasks possible such as shopping on Amazon, listening to music on Spotify, and requesting driving directions from an iPhone. AI is big business, and tech firms, enterprises, investors, and the media all want in on the action.

It’s no surprise that the excitement of AI has leapt into marketing technology. Marketing is an ideal environment for AI to strut its stuff. After all, marketers utilize massive technology stacks to leverage prodigious amounts of data to make billions of decisions daily that drive trillions of dollars in consumer spending. And the timing is perfect, because the demands of modern marketing have exceeded human cognitive capacity. That isn’t a slight on marketers’ skills, motivation, or smarts in any way. The truth is that there’s literally no way for traditional marketing technologies, processes, and organizations to keep pace with volume, velocity, and complexity of cross channel, personalized customer engagement in 2017.

Marketers are bombarded daily with bold statements that AI will make them faster, smarter, better, and more attractive. While it is highly likely that AI is leading us to autonomous marketing, marketers are neither prepared or willing to turn customer engagement over to HAL 9000, or any other AI system. We’re in the very early stages of transforming marketing with AI. Marketers need time to develop trust in the technology. We need to validate the long-term results. And AI represents a very different operating model for marketers that will require revised processes, skills, and organizational design. This takes time.

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In the Age of the Customer, Data Is King

Susan Bidel

Successful companies have always been customer obsessed. How to get them, how to keep them, how to make them advocates are all questions that have kept CEOs awake at night since commerce began. Today’s sophisticated data management platforms offer marketers the digital tools to aggregate and mine their data to answer those questions.

The core capability that every DMP offers is the identification of the characteristics of a company’s customers and prospects, addressing the “how to get them” question. Armed with that information, marketers allocate advertising resources and buy media based on those audience characteristics. It’s the very essence of programmatic buying.

But there’s more to marketing than media buying. The most effective marketing operations exercise control over every customer interaction, including email, website, social, call centers… every customer touchpoint, making sure they are relevant and delivering value because that’s how you keep customers. DMP leaders know that and are building, buying, and integrating to collect data from and deliver insights to every digital channel the CMO cares to include.

Evolving a customer into an advocate requires that a product engender a commitment, and even the most sophisticated marketing can only go so far. Creating great products and continuously improving them in step with consumer expectations requires that marketers share their DMP-derived knowledge with their product teams. While that kind of corporate cooperation remains rare, it is the way of the future. And it all starts with data.

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Just Published: The Forrester Wave™: Omnichannel Demand-Side Platforms, Q2 2017

A strong brand can give marketers a competitive advantage, and improve their marketing effectiveness throughout the customer life cycle. But winning customer attention is a challenge, and consumers will ignore marketers that can't create powerful and connected advertising. Marketing leaders are embracing omnichannel advertising to create connected experiences that drive better results. How? By using programmatic technology and approaches to make data-driven media buying decisions. Programmatic is a foundational layer for making omnichannel advertising easier. Forrester defines omnichannel digital media buying as:
The practice of sequencing digital advertising across channels so that it is connected, relevant, and consistent with the customer's stage in his or her life cycle.
Managing this omnichannel evolution is a growing challenge for marketers, and it probably won't get any easier in the near future. Marketers that we talk to believe that programmatic ad technology is the means for addressing some of this complexity.
While differentiation continues to be difficult to evaluate in this constantly evolving ecosystem, Forrester sees authenticated customer data, access to various types of biddable inventory, transparency in machine learning and automation, and new and improved predictive tools, as key areas that vendors still differentiate themselves on.
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Chatbots Are Transforming Marketing

Xiaofeng Wang

Marketers’ interest in chatbots is growing rapidly. Globally, 57% of firms that Forrester surveyed are already using chatbots or plan to begin doing so this year. However, marketers struggle to deliver value. My latest report, Chatbots Are Transforming Marketing, shows B2C marketing professionals how to use chatbots for marketing by focusing on the discover, explore, and engage stages of the customer life cycle.

The success rate for chatbots today is low — Facebook reported that its chatbots failed 70% of the time — and some early adopters have dropped their chatbots due to disappointing performance. Most chatbots fail because companies:

  • Don’t clearly define their purpose. Companies tend to set a scope for their chatbots that is broad and generic, or they fail to clearly define their chatbot’s purpose and communicate it to users. A more focused approach helps meet customer expectations.
  • Set goals that are far too ambitious. Despite their promising future, chatbots are at a very early stage of development. Today’s successful chatbots are driven more by keywords than by machine learning. In the future, advances in AI will move chatbots’ potential from “question and answer” to “human-like.” The figure below shows the most successful marketing use cases for chatbots today and their potential for the future.
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