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Forrester News & Analysis

Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience Delivery

customer experience, Forrester Wave: No Leaders in Digital Experience DeliveryWho's driving the digital experience train today?

No one, says Forrester.

In its first Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, released today, analysts said no vendor offers a truly "end-to-end solution."

"Overall completeness and adoption" in this space is "middling," according to analysts.

Unified platforms are "more myth than reality," they wrote in the Wave.

Despite no leader, Forrester did cite Adobe and hybris (SAP) as "pioneers" that offer the most complete options while IBM and Sitecore "aren't far behind."

Forrester: Move Faster on App Development

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Developing great apps takes time, but in the age of the customer that time is measured in days and weeks -- not months.

Customers simply aren't going to wait for their smartphones to grow outdated while the IT staff designs, hand-codes, tests and finally releases a new app. No wonder there is simmering tension between marketers who want to enhance revenue and the IT staffer who must cope with shrinking resources and rising demands.

Enter "low-code" app development, a process that Forrester says will "speed up development by allowing application development and delivery (AD&D) teams to eliminate barriers to customer participation in projects as well as [expediting] handoffs between phases of projects."

Here's How to Measure Customer Health

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The colorful new customer success tent is filling up quickly with marketers — despite lingering doubt about what customer success means or how exactly to measure it.

As it turns out, Forrester Research has been looking into the latter question. It interviewed 13 US-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies to get ideas on how "customer health scores" are measured. 

The study was commissioned by Gainsight, one of a number of companies in the nascent customer success segment  along with Amity, Totango, Bluenose Analytics, Evergage, FrontLeaf, Intercom.io, Preact.io, Scout by ServiceSource, Sparked.com and Woopra.

Forrester: How to Use Agile Marketing to Enhance CX

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The hardest part of shifting to a customer-centric corporate culture may be getting your employees to embrace it. But your strategies and technologies are useless unless they do, according to a Forrester Research analyst.

"It's not just delivering a customer experience. It's making and centering our business around a customer-first attitude and a customer-centric attitude," Anjali Yakkundi, who focuses on digital experience delivery and related topics for Forrester, said Wednesday during a CMSWire webinar.

The webinar, entitled "Agile Marketing: Creating a New Generation of Enterprise Digital Experiences," also included a case study of Zoetis by Nilo Paredes, global product and technology leader for Zoetis, and a review of customer requirements by Steven Plaat, marketing director for CrownPeak, which also sponsored the session.

Go Big or Go Home with Customer Experience

2014-02-July-Firm-Handshake.jpgThe good news: Businesses understand that taking care of the customer experience is just one of the requirements of doing business today and surviving to see tomorrow. 

The bad news: Businesses continue to treat customer experience as a standalone concern, rather than as a holistic approach. 

When you think customer experience, do you think "obesity epidemic"? Didn't think so. But Forrester analyst Rick Parrish made the argument last week at the Forrester Customer Experience Forum in New York City that just as the obesity epidemic is a product of its ecosystem, so too is customer experience a result of every interaction a person has with a brand.

Who Has the Best BYOD Management Services?

social business, Who's Got the Best BYOD Management Services?

Find a company that does not have a bring your own device (BYOD) management strategy, and you'd need to welcome them to enterprise life in the 2010s.

We all do work on our personal smartphones. 

The challenge for organizations is managing all these devices, systems, networks, operating systems, public and private cloud apps and other converging factors.

Forrester Research stresses the need for BYOD management services. It released today a Wave for Global BYOD Management Services, an analysis of 13 top BYOD integrators and specialists.

Chief Digital Officer: Vital Leader or Fading Trend?

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To hire a chief digital officer or not to hire a chief digital officer.

Is that the new question in the digital age? Could be. 

And depending on who you ask, the answer differs.

A Forrester report found just 1 percent of firms plan to hire a chief digital officer (CDO) in the next 12 months. A full 50 percent have no plans to create this executive role.

And then there's Constellation Research, whose June 18 report stressed the need for the chief digital officer. CDOs, it suggested, can help companies successfully navigate this era of digital disruption.

And don't get David Mathison started. Forrester came out with a similar report and thesis last November, which suggested that CDOs may not be the answer.

Mathison, the curator for the Chief Digital Officer Summit, told us then that these are the “glory days for digitally savvy CMOs who can now bypass IT entirely by using the cloud and AWS and BYOD. (Forrester) should be looking at the underlying reasons for the drive to hire digital leaders such as CDOs versus having the CIO or the CMO do the job.”

Here are the 4 Steps to Customer Success

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The hottest job title in marketing right now may be "Customer Success Officer," though there remains some debate about exactly what that means.

For example, it's fair to ask: Is customer success management  different from customer support or  customer relationship management?

Obligingly, Forrester's consulting arm  issued a paper entitled "How to Get Started with Customer Success Management." It should serve as a handy primer for those who want a state-of-the-art interpretation of this emerging marketing strategy.

The paper, sponsored by Gainsight -- a big fish in this still-small pond -- even provides a nifty, four-step process for building a customer success program that will be a revenue-generation operation instead of an extension to existing cost centers.

Why These 6 Enterprise Social Platforms Lead the Way

There are some new kids in town. And some old ones still on top.

Forrester released its first Wave for Enterprise Social Platforms in three years this month. In its second quarter  2014 report, it named IBM, Zimbra and Jive as leaders for the second time, and tossed Salesforce, Microsoft and Tibco in the top for the first time. Zimbra was formerly known as Telligent.

 IBM Connections, Salesforce Chatter and Communities, Microsoft Office 365, Zimbra Communities and Tibco tibbr were cited as leaders in the space.

Gartner had a similar take on leaders of social software.

Get on Board with B2B E-commerce, Forrester Warns

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The old theory that B2B companies can avoid selling through online channels is done, and B2B e-commerce solutions "contribute significantly to key selling metrics and incremental revenue," according to a new Forrester Research Report commissioned by EPiServer.

Forrester said 50 percent of B2B companies have plans to change or upgrade e-commerce technology in the next 18 months. 

"Every company that plans to compete in the future must transform digitally simply because all your competitors are planning for it now," said Bob Egner, vice president of product management at EPiServer, which sells an e-commerce platform. "There are no restrictions based on type of product or service, or on geography. In fact, many of our customers find they can expand geographically in a shorter time frame and at a lower cost by going digital."

Marketing Content Isn't King Without Buyer Relevancy

Remember the days of producing content on your website just to, well, produce content?

Maybe it was for SEO. Maybe it was to add another element outside of product descriptions and the “About Us.” The more content, the merrier.

Content may be king, but it’s a pawn without relevancy for the buyer. Two reports released in the past week -- one by IDG Connect and the other by Forrester Research -- deliver this message.

“When it comes to providing content, the two most important things are its alignment with organizational needs and its relevance to the buyer,” Robert Johnson, vice president and principal analyst for IDG Connect, told CMSWire this morning. “… More vendors have woken up to the fact that they simply can’t just create new content. In some cases, the buyer can’t find what they need and when they do find it, it isn’t relevant enough. It’s hurting vendors.”

7 Vendors Top the Forrester Wave for Customer Service Solutions

At a time when seven out of 10 online shoppers complain of unsatisfactory experiences, which vendors stand out as offering possible solutions? The authors of the latest Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Customers Q2 2014 (registration required) rated customer service vendors against 83 criteria and identified seven leaders.

According to the report, the vendors with the best strategy pursued excellence in a limited number of areas and avoided over diversified, Jack-of-All-Trade scenarios.

Make the Customer the Focus of Online Experiences

Nearly seven in 10 customers have had an unsatisfactory e-commerce experience in the past year, according to a new Forrester Wave on customer service solutions. That's a disturbing and eye-opening statistic, noted Kate Leggett, primary author of The Forrester Wave Customer Service Solutions For Enterprise Organizations Q2 2014 (registration required).

Leggett and co-authors Stephen Powers, Michael Facemire and Victoria Boutan identified the 11 most significant customer service solutions, but also warned that not all vendors are making the grade.

5 Minutes with Forrester's Melissa Parrish

Thumbnail image for 2014-10-April-Melissa-Parrish.jpgMaybe it's a phone on a bus, or a tablet in a store or the laptop on your coffee table. Maybe you're wearing it on your wrist or over your eyes. Whatever it is, it knows who you are, where you are and the best way to reach you at any moment.

That may seem a little creepy until you consider you bought those devices to get helpful information, and in order to help you, they need to know the who-where-when-why of what you're all about. Of course, marketers want that info, too.

In the parlance of Melissa Parrish, this makes you "addressable," and it's transforming the very nature of marketing. About half of US online adults are now "always addressable," she says, and the number is rising oh-so rapidly.

Adobe CMO: Put People and Process Before Technology

Adobe CMO: Put People and Process Before TechnologyFor those who think technology alone can make their marketing efforts more successful, the chief marketing officer of Adobe has some advice: "I wouldn't waste your money on it."

Ann Lewnes offered the candid comment during an on stage appearance at last week's Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders in San Francisco. She had just been asked for the one major piece of advice she'd give the audience.

"The major thing I would advise is that technology is not enough. You can bring in tons of technology, but if you don't take care of the organizational issues and the process issues....?" she mused, letting the question hang unanswered over the crowd.  

"Without making the process changes and the people changes ... the technology? I wouldn't waste your money on it."

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