My Thoughts on the 2014 Forrester Forum
Recently, I attended the
Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders conference in San Francisco. While
I’m not in a marketing role, I did learn that marketing is getting complicated!
In this blog post, I’ll summarize my takeaways from the Forum. The following themes were present across the keynotes and
Beyond the Campaign
The main theme of the conference was "Beyond the
Campaign" and the speakers frequently noted that marketing campaigns are a thing of the past.
Customer "touchpoints," “experiences,” “engagement across multiple
channels,” and “moments” are the ways marketers will connect in the future.
Age of the Customer
The "Age of Information" has led to the current
era, one that is envisioned to last twenty years, which is referred to as the
"Age of the Customer."
All applications and content should become customer-centric, rather than
product or service-centric.
The Importance of Robust and Insightful Data
Speakers talked a lot about metrics, analytics, and the
insights that can be gleaned from data, which all helps marketers make
decisions. Data and metrics will be the core of every decision that marketers
make. In short, better data helps marketers be more informed and informed
marketers make better decisions.
Engage with Customers In Context
connectwith customers in meaningful ways, based on the particular
situation or scenario: when they’re in your store, attending your event, or
physically near your brand.
Personalization of Content and Experiences
Customers now expect you to know them on a personal
basis. Since you only get a few seconds to engage with the customer, your
interaction with them should be highly personalized. This also drives the need
for real-time data.
Solutions Need to Work Together Seamlessly
Over and over speakers spoke of the need for marketers to
engage with their customers on all these “touchpoints” in a seamless manner
from the customer’s perspective. One quote was that marketers need to “bridge the gap between experiences and brand”
and another was “mend the seams between
the multiple touchpoints that customers have with brands."
Brand and Experience are Inseparable
Each interaction with customers and how the customer
perceives their experiences defines your brand on a moment by moment basis.
Challenges Facing Marketers Today
Pictured: attendees had a lot of options to consider at Forrester Forum.
Marketers are faced with the great challenge of shifting
their model. Why? Because they need to stay relevant and engage with their
customers. Marketers have to engage with customers who are now digitally
empowered, mobile, and bombarded with media.
Furthermore, they must do so on the customers’ terms and
across multiple channels, which makes
managing all these interactions difficult.
Part of that difficulty occurs because marketers are using multiple solutions
for these various “touchpoints,” which creates fragmented and siloed experiences
This shift in how customers interact with brands is
causing marketers to adapt. Updating the tools they use to interact with their
customers is part of this adaptation process. Marketers must “pivot” to keep up
with their customers.
A Unique Conference Concept: Marble Surveys
At most conferences and events, you’ll be given post-session
surveys as you leave the event. The Forrester Forum used a technique that was rather
clever. They placed marbles in jars at the back of the room. The
marbles were three different colors. As you exited the session, you rated the speaker by the
color of the marble you selected. This made it very easy to visually understand
how the audience perceived the speaker’s session. All red meant not so good,
yellow meant OK, and green meant great.
Here are my ten takeaways from Forrester Forum:
In order to be successful, marketers need to highly
- Marketers are looking for solutions that easily
and seamlessly integrate with other solutions, like Salesforce, Marketo, etc.
- Marketers should help "mend the seams between the multiple touchpoints that customers have
- Marketers should look to connect and engage with
customers in context
- Marketers should streamline their processes around the customer
- Marketers need solutions that provide informative
combinations of metrics that help them make decisions
- Tracking user behavior is critical
- Solutions should help marketers seamlessly and
easily turn data into decisions
- In order to be competitive, marketers need to be
obsessed with their customers
- “Brand and
experience is inseparable."
This was my first Marketing conference and I learned a lot.
Forrester put on a top notch event. I met interesting people, listened to
knowledgeable speakers, and left more informed than when I arrived. Now that we’ve got the information the challenge is to do
something with it!
What will you change as a result of this shift to a customer
centric era? Share with us by using the Comments area below.