Actionable Strategies from Forrester’s Forum 2011

Patti RennerOne of the main concepts framing many of the sessions here at Forrester’s Marketing Forum in San Francisco is that of Action. While marketers grasp thin excuses for not digging deeper into digital marketing initiatives (no budget, no staffing, no upper-management buy-in, etc.), the real issue is their fear is investing in something that isn’t 100% proven with the research to back their decisions. While teams are researching mere possibilities, their competitors are doing, testing, and sometimes failing fast so they can figure it out and shine.
Forrester Principal Analyst Chris Stutzman refers to a “crisis of confidence” among CMOs. He shared his list of five bad habits holding marketers back from true leadership (and success) within the digital landscape:

Bad Habit #1: Complacency – This marketing badness refers to building marketing plans and strategy based on last year’s data or assumptions – ones that are no longer valid in today’s landscape. Instead, marketers must accept change and integrate it as part of their approach.

Bad Habit #2: Conformity – Some brands place too much focus on what their competitors are doing and don’t pay enough attention to customers. Instead, he encourages people to dare the status quo by marketing beyond the comfortable channels to test what’s new ways to communicate with your consumers.

Bad Habit #3: Analysis Paralysis – With too much focus on the data, projects can lose momentum or (worse yet) never get off the ground. Instead, the focus should be on real-time results so you can act continuously and revise your approach on a dime, or as the market at that moment demands.

Bad Habit #4: Hands-off Management – Consumers now have a voice. They are empowered. This will not change or go away any time soon. Are you still trying to send messages to them at a distance? Instead, he recommends you participate personally with your target audience. Have some fun with it!

Bad Habit #5: Silos of Knowledge – It’s time to get rid of the internal turf wars between departments, budgets and teams. Better to share information and activity (even the failures) and tear down boundaries. One idea is to create virtual “dream teams” of the best people to take on specific projects.

The last 10 years were known as “The Digital Decade.” Forrester sees the next 10 as “The Marketer’s Digital Decade.” Now that consumers have found their voice, marketers are figuring out the best ways to converse with them – to deliver the right content within right context. Now is the time for marketers to try, refine, and master direct digital marketing.

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  1. [...] the mental road blocks to digital melt away when you approach your planning with “Imagine if we can….” Find some time to explore. Doodle. [...]

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