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Altimeter Group News & Analysis

G/O Digital, Altimeter Partner to Support Your Local Marketing

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A Chicago-based digital marketing agency has formed a research-based collaboration with the Altimeter Group to advance its understanding of local marketing.

G/O Digital, the umbrella brand for Gannett Company's digital marketing services, announced the relationship with San Francisco-based Altimeter today.

"For brands and retailers, connecting digital and physical is tough. With the Altimeter relationship we’re taking on the weighty challenge of understanding how brands think about content and digital assets to drive local store traffic and sales," Jeff Fagel, CMO of G/O Digital, told CMSWire.

Fagel said the arrangement includes a joint research study, which will rely on surveys and interviews with senior brand marketers to assess gaps between the perceptions and realities of local content and digital marketing tactics. The study is scheduled to start in the second quarter this year.

"The idea of local marketing has been elusive, but it seems that local stores and physical retail is a differentiator for folks against pure plays threats like Amazon," he continued. "Today’s consumer is different, but in many ways, the same. About 90 percent of the time, she still shops within three to five miles of her home."

Companies Plagued by Mobile Marketing Mediocrity, Altimeter Finds

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Hold the (cell) phone.

Despite all the talk about the importance of mobile, the ubiquity of mobile devices and the merits of optimizing mobile experiences, most companies and brands are still failing to capitalize on mobile technologies — and losing the potential to benefit from what is arguably one of the greatest opportunities for customer experience innovation.

That's the surprising conclusion of research being released today by San Mateo, Calif.-based Altimeter Group, a research firm dedicated to helping companies understand and act on technology disruption.

In a report entitled "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience" (registration required), co-authors Brian Solis and Jaimy Szymanski warn that many companies and brands are still underestimating and underinvesting in mobile.

What's more, they conclude, clearly defined and unified mobile strategies remain largely elusive to most executives and strategists, who tend to view mobile as the latest “bright, shiny object" rather than both a means and an end to incredibly improved customer experiences.

It’s a recipe for disaster, they argue — and an imperative for companies and brands to address right now if they want to remain relevant, competitive and continue to survive.

Discussion Point: What's the Deal with Disruptive Innovation?

Thumbnail image for discussion-pointHow often do you hear someone call something disruptive, innovative or transformational? Probably more often than you'd like.

Disruption has been one of the most pervasive buzzwords of the past few years. And now it's become even more ubiquitous, thanks to debate between Harvard historian Jill Lepore and Clayton Christensen — the Harvard Business School professor who coined the term "disruptive innovation" more than a decade ago.

In a controversial article published by The New Yorker, Lepore made an unprecedented accusation against the quality of Christensen's research. Lepore accused Christensen of cherry-picking industries to force data to fit into his theoretical model.

Discussion Point: Can Social Media Improve Customer Relationships?

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Life has become increasingly complex for modern marketers. In the not so distant past, all anyone expected them to do was identify, acquire and retain customers.

Now they're expected to build long-term relationships with them — and as anyone who has ever had a partner or a spouse can tell you, that takes a lot of work.

In his most recent book, "What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF)," Brian Solis explores the challenges of building customer relationships as well as options to improve them.

Solis, a principal analyst with the Altimeter Group, suggests marketers can improve customer relationships through the use of social identity, which he defines as the information about an individual available in social media, including profile data as well as ongoing social activity. As he explains:

Marketers are spending more on technology every year -- especially technology that can engage customers in personal ways at scale, like marketing automation, email service providers, retargeting and dynamic web content. Social Identity improves value of these tools by improving targeting capabilities."

We shared his hypothesis with five senior marketers to see whether they agreed that brands can target and personalize customer messaging through social identity. 

The Question

How does the contextual insight available in social media provide an opportunity to better know and engage audiences with personalized content and experiences across channels?

Looking for Value in Social Media Command Centers

Companies and brands are setting up social media command centers to get a better grasp of the unstructured data like status updates, posts and tweets.

PepsiCo's Gatorade opened a Mission Control Center in 2010 and Dell opened a Social Media Command Center later that same year. Since then,  other companies have followed suit, including Hendrick Motorsports, The Oregon Ducks, Symantec, Salesforce and Brandwatch.

Now the Altimeter Group takes a look at the trend in a report called "Shiny Object or Digital Intelligence Hub?"

Cats, Racism and Other Reasons You Need a Social Media Policy

Cat with two color eyes.jpgThere's a reason cats are so popular on the Internet. Cats can be funny without opening their mouths — a fact lost on a surprising number of humans.

In the past couple of years, countless people have fallen on the wrong side of that fine line between amusing and egregious by texting, tweeting, posting and otherwise sharing the most inappropriate thoughts and opinions.

Too bad they're damaging their careers — and your brand — in the process.

Most Organizations Have Yet to Become Fully Social, Altimeter Group Finds

Most organizations are only at the “intermediate” stage of becoming social businesses. That's a key finding in a new report from the Altimeter Group, which looks at the current state of the social business transformation. The report is based on interviews with social media strategists and executives at 65 firms with more than 500 employees.

Altimeter Group: What the Heck Is Native Advertising, Anyway?

"Native advertising" is a term commonly used to describe advertising that tries to blend into its environment, like Promoted Tweets on Twitter or Sponsored Stories on Facebook. But there are lots of opinions about what it covers, and whether it is really something new. Now, a new report from the Altimeter Group tries to define the term and the landscape in which it lives. 

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