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Forrester News & Analysis

It's Official: It's Hard to Get All Your Technology to Get Along

Alexander Dumas unwittingly touched on a tech industry nerve when he wrote The Three Musketeers. Just think of the phrase the book popularized: “all for one, one for all.”

And if you've ever tried to integrate digital experience technology in the workplace, you understand just how significant this phrase really is.

The fact is that customers connect in many ways on many devices. All of this technology is different. That can cause incompatibilities and confusion, leading to a disconnect between customers and the companies they are seeking to engage.

But how can companies seamlessly integrate various technologies — and capitalize on that old dream of "all for one, one for all?"

Sitecore recently hired Forrester to evaluate the state of digital experience technologies. The study, “Firms Seek to Integrate Digital Experience Technologies To Drive Business,” found that many companies are still struggling to integrate disparate technologies.

Modern Customer Service: Are You There Yet?

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Although most executives think they’re doing a good job in delivering the best service to their customers, there is plenty of room for improvement.

A new Forbes Insight study reveals many executives are missing the mark on just how valuable customer service can be for strategic initiatives such as brand differentiation, competitive positioning, new customer acquisition, improving their product offerings and even employee satisfaction.

In fact, only 38 percent of those surveyed named customer service as an organization-wide strategic goal.

Sponsored by Oracle, the report, Modern Customer Service: Are You Outpacing Your Executive Peers? (registration required), includes 38 pages of insight from 415 executives about the focus of their customer service organizations, their use of knowledge management tools and channels, and their customer service challenges.

Is Your Business Capitalizing On This $1T E-Commerce Market?

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With a population of about 1.3 billion and an emerging middle class, China is the largest market in the world.

In the past few decades, it has emerged as a global economic powerhouse. In fact, its population may be the very reason why China alone will exceed $1 trillion in retail e-commerce sales in 2018. By comparison, global e-commerce sales in 2014 totaled about $1.3 trillion — and by 2018, United States retail e-commerce sales will only be around $500 billion.

Although Internet access in China is reported as widely censored and monitored by the state, 645 million people in China regularly access the Internet. The US has approximately 253 million users, India has 215.6 million and Brazil has 107.7 million, making China far and away also the largest e-commerce market in the world.

So what is your business doing about it?

Open Source Jahia Raises $22.5M to Grow Enterprise Clients

Jahia is getting a $22.5 million cash infusion from Invus, a New York City-based investment firm, the Geneva, Switzerland-based open source content management system (CMS) vendor announced today.

The funds will help CEO Elie Auvray grow Jahia's customer base, especially in the enterprise space. Auvray told CMSWire the company plans to further develop its user experience platform to improve integration with third-party platforms — an apparent sign of more more technology partnerships to come.

Retail Leads in Customer-Focused 'Modern' Marketing

Retail is leading the way when it comes to more customer-focused modern marketing practices, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Oracle.

Andrea Ward, vice president of marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud, said the retail industry has a long tradition of being customer-centric. "By embracing new data technologies and taking an integrated marketing approach, retailers are able to create a digital dialogue with their customers and deliver the right messages at the right time," she noted.

Forrester surveyed 523 marketing decision-makers across a range of industries in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia to evaluate marketing’s maturity in targeting, engagement, conversion, analysis and technology.

The first part of the study, released last October, found that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

Further analysis of the data, released this month, found modern marketing adoption rates vary from industry to industry, with some industries embracing marketing technologies and associated best practices faster than others.

Information Governance Revisited

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Information governance is in the air.

Two days after my last article published, “Push for Strategic Governance in Information Management," Forrester Research released a report called “Reboot your Information Governance Program with an Outside-In Perspective.” Cheryl McKinnon (@cherylmckinnon), an old friend, lead the creation of that report and followed it up with a blogpost, “Information Governance: Not a Product, Not a Technology, Not a Market.”

McKinnon and her colleagues suggest that we view information governance “as a corporate objective, enabled by programs, projects, priorities, people and technology.” This aligns well with my recommendation to take a strategic approach to information governance.

Deja Vu Research: CIOs, CMOs Need to Get Along

Gartner is echoing what Forrester Research revealed last week: CIOs and CMOs have to improve their abilities to cooperate.

In a report suggesting IT Leaders Will Need to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Marketing this year, Gartner analysts note that both CMO’s and CIO’s will be forced to work together as content personalization becomes increasingly important and enterprise invest in more marketing technology.

It duplicated findings from Forrester Research’s Cliff Condon, who suggested last week that the current relationship between CIO’s and CMO’s is too loose for company success — and that greater cooperation is essential. While more than 60 percent of CMOs and CIOs told Forrester that they enjoy a relationship of mutual trust and respect, only 46 percent of marketing leaders and 51 percent of technology management leaders have a single view of their customer across all the company’s touchpoints, Condon wrote.

Forrester Study Finds Big Savings in Workflow Automation

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It's no secret today's CIOs are under the gun to show a clearer return on investments while racing to meet demands from business users for applications.

This is especially true as businesses move into the age of the customer (AoC), according to John Rymer, one of two Forrester Research analysts who spoke on a CMSWire webinar yesterday.

Ryan Duguid, vice president of products at Nintex, filled out the program, which was sponsored by Nintex and titled "Total Economic Impact of a Workflow Automation Solution: An Independent Case Study." You can watch the full presentation by clicking here or on the video at the end of this story.

Today's customer-centric business world is characterized by new points of contact with customers, like mobile and the cloud. Business process management (BPM) tools of yesteryear simply can't keep up with the pace of technological change that is needed to compete and win.

The Problem with Programmatic: Too Much Secrecy, Too Little Trust

Publishers that take the time to understand and optimize sophisticated tools have the greatest potential to drive revenue in programmatic advertising environments. But their success hinges on greater collaboration and communication with ad agencies and clients.

According to a new Forrester report commissioned by Casale Media/Index Exchange, agencies and clients do not effectively articulate their goals and objectives, making it difficult for publishers to meet those goals, improve performance and maximize the true value of their inventories. “Publishers must take the lead on innovating the next phase of programmatic, because the buy side is continuing to move quickly and will not wait for them to figure it out,” noted Alex Gardner, vice president of Platform Solutions at Index Exchange.

Index Exchange, a division of ad technology firm Casale Media, markets a bid management technology designed to help publishers and suppliers to sell their ad impressions in real time. You can read the full report at the end of this story.

True or False: Social Media Marketing Works

As someone who earns a living helping B2B marketers make social media work, I was surprised by a recent claim from Forrester Research. Marketers use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to engage customers and prospects, Forrester noted. But then it added: it’s not working.

That's not the case, based on my experience.

Just How Much Must the CMO and CIO Work Together?

Forrester Research says a strengthened relationship between the CMO and CIO will be paramount for companies' success in 2015.

Shocked? Neither are we. This executive relationship -- and how it must be tightened, glued, bonded and sealed -- has been bandied about before. 

Marketing and information technology leaders reached by CMSWire agree the CIO-CMO is an important relationship in the executive scheme of things.

But just how important depends, they say.

"While there is no doubt that the CIO-CMO relationship is key to success in the digital age, the same applies to relationships across the C-suite," said Ian Cox, a London-based author who was a finalist for the British Computer Society’s CIO of the Year award in 2011 and was also ranked among the top 100 UK CIOs for 2012 by CIO Magazine.

A Look Back: Still Searching for Optimal Customer Experience

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You couldn't escape talk about awesome, amazing, remarkable customer experience (CX) in 2014 — or, for that matter, related terms like customer satisfaction, customer focus, customer service or customer-centricity. It is, after all, the Age of the Customer — a reality that has caused businesses everywhere to embrace CX as a business goal.

But like the mythical 10 pounds we collectively vow to lose on New Year's Day, the customer centricity of most companies, as evidenced by their delivery of memorable customer experience, rarely evolved from a concept to a practice this year.

And no matter how hard companies tried — with new technologies, new programs and even new names ("customer success," anyone?), the dream of seamless, engaging, excellent cross-channel customer experiences often remained an illusion.

  • Why is it cheaper if I order online for in-store pick-up than if I just buy it off the shelf at the store?
  • Why do so many companies make me wait more than 30 minutes to speak to someone who might have the authority to resolve my problem?
  • Why are call center representatives unable or unwilling to understand when you plead "I cannot hear you – please adjust your headset?"
  • Why can't anyone listen to what I am saying?
  • Why are so many of my interactions with companies simply frustraneous?

Why, indeed?

Delivering Contextual Experiences Drives Business

In a February 2014 industry brief, Forrester Research defined the Engagement Workplace: the next generation business user experience “that empowers employees using any device to take the next most likely action in their moments of need.” In a subsequent report, Forrester noted that in the Engagement Workplace, the

end user experience [will] help workers focus on their jobs by integrating multiple investments, including employee self-provisioned (cloud-based) applications, collaboration applications, and line-of business applications, which are all mobile-enabled and in the context of business results.”

To understand the practical implications of these findings, harmon.ie recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a custom study of US IT decision makers to explore the business use case of cloud-based technology investments and how they plan to develop the optimal end-user experience within their organization.

Getting a Grip on Information Governance

Cyberspace is looking a lot like the Wild West these days, with outlaw hackers ready to rob you of your data and the sheriff nearby looking to make sure you’re sticking to the letter of ever-tightening laws.

Are you ready?

A new Forrester Consulting survey report, Governance Takes a Central Role as Enterprises Shift to Mobile, commissioned by Druva, a data protection and governance firm, shows that more and more companies are responding to these pressures by boosting spending on information governance (IG) and adopting new systems to better-manage data.

Honest-to-God, Absolutely True Marketing Predictions for 2015

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The great thing about annual predictions is that we tend to forget about them by the time the next year rolls around. And that explains why every organization on the planet seems willing to gaze into a crystal ball this time of year. 

By this time next year, everyone will forget the predictions that went wrong — and a few lucky folks will have the luxury of basking in the glory of things they actually got right.

With that in mind, we're going to share some of the visions of digital marketing in 2015 that we've encountered in the past few days. Just take all of it with at least a few grains of salt. And be forewarned: we're predicting more stories on predictions in the days ahead.

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