Overheard in the Market: Forrester’s Forum for Marketing Leaders

Forrester Forum

I had the opportunity to attend recent Forrester Marketing Forum for Marketing Leaders on April 14-15, 2015 in New York City. The Forrester B2B Marketing forum was a two-day event chock full of session content that mapped to what’s at the top of mind today for most marketers, whether B2B or B2C. Although the conference guide prominently displayed the event theme as “Connect, Engage, Deliver”, in my mind, the forum’s takeaways can be summarized as follows:
  • Customer Obsession: This is a step beyond customer-centricity, where the customer should be the basis of all marketing decisions. Obsession is not only being “considerate” of the customer and her wants and needs, but it takes it a step further – marketers should be intimately aware of all aspects of the customer and their behavior. In a world of customer-centricity, the question was “Will my customer like X?” In today’s customer-obsessed world, the question is, “I know A, B, C about my customer, so does that mean that they will like this?”
  • Customer Journeys: We all know that a shopper embarks on a path-to-purchase, interacting with multiple touchpoints across various stages of the funnel – from awareness, consideration, decision and post-purchase. However, the traditional, linear funnel is no longer a good representative of the customer journey. Marketers need to work on re-imagining and re-constructing the experience to best suit the consumer expectations – and this requires an incredible focus on attribution techniques and marketing measurement. 32% of Customer Insights professionals plan to adopt journey analytics soon. Don’t get left behind.
  • Customer Privacy: Consumers, in general, are getting savvier about customer privacy, with Millennials leading the pack. However, marketers must view privacy through a different lens – rather than the lens of – “I can no longer get this customer’s data!”. Instead, Forrester Principal Analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo notes that customer privacy is no longer about tactical execution, but about building a different relationship with consumers. She went on further, “[Customer privacy] is about building trust and services. She referenced several examples of brands leading the way in this dialogue, including Under Armour. The brand recently purchased multiple apps fitness apps to provide services that consumers value – while aggregating and analyzing user data.
After the initial keynote, I think all marketers in attendance could agree that marketing is tougher than ever. In the absence of a Chief Customer Officer, we are the protectors of the customer experience, yet forced to continue to increase our activities, whether by market, channel or frequency. The types of digital touchpoints are growing at a rapid rate, and as marketers (as a whole), we’re struggling to keep up. Boiling it down, Forrester VP and Group Director Carlton Doty mentioned that, “In the age of the customer, your only source of competitive advantage is customer obsession.” At Manthan, we believe that moving toward a single view of the customer with robust analytics is the only way to achieve that competitive advantage.

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Author- Joanna Beerman

Joanna Beerman
Joanna Beerman is Director of Customer Analytics at Manthan. In this role, she uses her previous experience in marketing and business development in the technology and retail industries to provide strategic and tactical support of Manthan’s analytical solutions and services to support marketers worldwide. A “pragmatic marketer,” proficient in synthesizing market insights and company strengths to develop and deliver compelling messaging, Joanna is passionate about branding, marketing optimization and the customer’s path-to-purchase. She has a BA in Psychology from University of California Santa Barbara and a MBA with a marketing emphasis from Pepperdine University. Linkedin

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