Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum 2017
In their conference description, Forrester described today’s consumer landscape as “challenging and volatile”—and they’ve got that right. Marketers feel like they’ve lost control (because they have) while consumers demand constantly enriched experiences (because they can).
The Forrester Consumer Marketing Forum sought to connect marketers, business leaders, agencies, and partners to discuss the latest industry trends and creative solutions to marketing’s greatest obstacles today. In my humble opinion, they had the right people in the right rooms—likeminded individuals from a variety of disciplines within marketing came together to share essential knowledge and ideate on the future of our industry and the impact of the consumer upon it.
IT’S ALL ABOUT CX
Looking at each of the session summaries, I quickly gravitated toward one overarching theme: Customer experience. There has been a notable and growing focus on CX within the industry as the relationship between brands and consumers evolves. Communication has fundamentally changed; where we used to see carefully crafted one-way messages from company to customer on traditional channels, we now see real-time, two-way conversation between both sides of the market across multiple devices.
With the opportunities that individuals now have to interact directly with companies, like social media, the human element is more essential to marketing than ever. This was highlighted by Joanna Coles, who discussed the importance of authenticity in messaging. Anjali Lai from Forrester echoed this sentiment by maintaining that people naturally seek and remember meaningful experiences. While it’s up to consumers to decide how a brand fits into their lives, marketers have the ability to strategically influence deeper, more personal bonds between consumers and brands, improving customer satisfaction and retention.
MARKETERS MUST ADAPT
Ultimately, marketing owns the customer experience. It’s up to us as marketers to adapt! We must pay attention to consumers’ needs and desires in order to align them to our business goals and objectives. The true Adaptive Marketer™ works alongside other departments, like sales, client services, and support, to carefully craft superior CX and thrust our teams into the modern era of marketing.
While I have many takeaways from the forum, I’d like to leave you with an all-encompassing sentiment from IBM’s Jay Henderson: “Make every touchpoint an opportunity.”
P.S. I have to give a huge shout out to Ink Factory for creating some phenomenal visual notes live during the sessions. Now that’s good marketing!