Forrester analyst imparts wisdom at 2012 Digital Summit

At Experian Marketing Services’ 2012 Digital Summit in Las Vegas last week, we heard from Rob Brosnan, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. Rob imparted some interesting information to the audience of more than 700, including the fact that by 2016 fully one-third of U.S. adults will own a tablet.

86% of U.S. online adults are taking part in at least some form of social interaction

None of the marketers in the room were surprised to hear Rob say that social media has become increasingly mainstream, though it was interesting to learn that according to Forrester, 86% of U.S. online adults are taking part in at least some form of social interaction.

This was good news for the marketers in attendance, many of whom are in the retail and travel industries, and all of whom are increasingly turning to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to promote their brands.

Also not surprising was Rob’s breakdown of challenges that marketers face, the biggest of which is creating a single view of customers across channels – picked by 50% of respondents in a recent Forrester survey. Not surprisingly, according to Rob, organizational silos contribute heavily to creating this challenge.

Measuring results was chosen by 45% of respondents, 39% cited improving expertise in new channels (i.e., social and mobile), 37% picked capturing customer insight to drive decision-making and 33% said managing data quality.

Smart cross-channel campaign management is critical to solving all of the above challenges and Rob had these thoughts on the topic:

  • Campaign management applications are needed to enable more customer-centric approaches, but core CCCM capabilities are now quite mature
  • Integrations, customizations and licenses are expensive and this sometimes prevent firms from incorporating campaign management applications
  • Marketers need more support in social, mobile and local, but often native social listening, mobile push notifications and location-based communications are poorly supported or absent from the mix
  • Marketers are asking for more help from their vendors as they often have the right vision and an interesting perspective. The vendors’ biggest challenge is simply a matter of moving fast enough to satisfy clients’ needs

Ultimately, Rob’s advice to marketers for getting to optimized cross-channel campaign management was this:

  • Map your customer’s journey across key touch points
  • Look for opportunities to integrate data and automate operations
  • Create a 3-5 year technology strategy and implementation roadmap
  • Prove ROI in high-value interactions – quick wins make it easier to get funding