I joined Forrester in London for 2016’s Marketing Europe forum, where analysts and marketing professionals gather to share knowledge on the latest developments of best practice and marketing insight.
In creating the programme, Forrester acknowledged that today’s marketers must navigate a dramatically changing environment. They sought expert speakers who could provide clear views or new insights on the seismic forces that are rocking our industry, and that show no indication of slowing pace.
Forrester identified the three greatest challenges that everyone in the marketing industry – from Brand teams to CX teams, from agencies to clients – faces right now. Do you agree with these?
1) New customer behaviours and expectations
Digital technologies empower customers’ independence and fragment their attention. Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Melissa Parrish kicked off the agenda with a challenge and a statement: customer-centricity is not enough – customer obsession is the new requirement. Data Analyst Anjali Lai presented her study of how consumers are changing, and the resulting impact on expectations of digital experiences. It’s not just about B2C customers though – DHL’s Cristian Citu explained that B2B marketers must respond to buyers’ expectations of the digital experience formed by B2C brands.
2) New tools and technologies
The resources we have are changing the day-to-day practice and effectiveness of marketing – and this includes reaching customers through targeted application of new data sources and techniques. Holly Mander from Teradata believes that leveraging data to personalise communications is critical to create individualised buying experiences. Rusty Warner, Principal Analyst, looked at technology and data barriers organisations need to overcome for contextual marketing’s real-time experiences. VP and Principal Analyst Thomas Husson warned against chasing the next new big thing (is it VR? Is it chatbots?) – the most important thing for marketers is to truly master mobile marketing, as consumers’ dependency and love for mobile devices shows no sign of slowing down.
3) New skills and organisational demands
Remaking the modern marketing team is essential to achieve successful collaboration. Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, Senior Analyst, spoke about the competitive pressures driving the convergence of Brand, CX and Marketing – do these teams share the same goals but just use different tools and techniques? VP and Principal Analyst James McQuivey believes that being truly customer-centric means you need to be organised to deliver the experience, and this could mean rethinking the role of the Marketing team. This third challenge also covers the sourcing and management of external partners and suppliers – Senior Analyst Oliwia Berdak set some ground rules for organisations seeking to harness the power of start-ups to fast-track innovation.
That’s just a taste of what was discussed at Forrester Marketing Europe 2016 – to browse the Tweets and content from the agenda check out #FORRMktgEU