INSIGHTS

Dig deeper with timely and topical information that keeps you ahead of the digital curve.

Validate, learn and discover with fresh digital perspectives from successful marketing leaders.

Martin Kihn

4 Forces Shaking Up Marketing Right Now

Welcome back! Thanks to those of you who attended our spectacular 2nd Annual Gartner Digital Marketing Conference (hashtag: #GartnerDMC) in San Diego last week. We salute you. Having circled also through…

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Christi Eubanks

Three Lessons CrossFit Taught Me About Data Science

Coming back to the blog after a long hiatus hurts almost as good as coming back to CrossFit after a week off of workouts while in San Diego for the Gartner…

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Augie Ray

For A Better Customer Experience Evoke Emotion Rather Than Manufacture It

There is a trend in customer experience circles to focus on emotion. To be sure, emotion is essential to a brand's customer experience, but focusing on emotion is a little like…

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Martin Kihn

A Brief, Incredible History of Marketing Data Matching

Now if that's not an enticing blog title calculated to maximize customer engagement ... well, then it isn't. But it's an important topic, friends. As you'll remember, not long ago we…

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Jay Wilson

The Customer Experience Expectation Gap

Last Monday afternoon, as I rode to JFK Airport en route to a conference, I realized that I’d left my travel credit card on my dresser.  My gut instinct was to…

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Augie Ray

The Best Innovation In Social Media Is A Return To Basics

Innovation has become a way of life in marketing, particularly in social media, as marketers jump from one strategy (fan accumulation) to another (SoLoMo) to another (six-second videos) to another…

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Jake Sorofman

The Way of the Patient Marketer: From Promotional to Experience Marketing

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how automation can go wrong when put in the hands of the impatient marketer. Last week, I wrote about the unintended consequences…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

What’s Cool in Marketing Technology in 2016?

One of the most fun aspects of being an analyst is the opportunity to look to the future and peer around corners in an effort to bring clients ideas about…

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Noah Elkin

Hot Trend for B2B Marketers: Account-Based Marketing

Every salesperson wants good leads, and increasingly, B2B marketers are expected to not only provide those good leads but also help close deals. In fact, according to our CMO Spend…

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Julie Hopkins

My Multichannel Campaign Management MQ Hat Trick: Learnings from My Third One on the Books

A little over two weeks ago, our team published the Multichannel Campaign Management Magic Quadrant, turning our eyes once again to the providers of technology designed to coordinate and orchestrate…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Adobe Livefyre Deal Underscores High Demand for Content Across All Marketing Disciplines

Adobe announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Livefyre. Known for tools to collect, manage and publish user generated content, Livefyre has to date been used primarily by…

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Jake Sorofman

Customer Journeys Are Discovered, Not Created

Customer journey maps have become a key asset in every marketer’s arsenal, but I’m here to tell you that, from a customer experience perspective, most of these maps are directions…

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Martin Kihn

What Is "Identity," Anyway?

We've been hearing a lot about identity lately. Cross-device identity, recognition, mapping and matching. Cross-platform, personified, hashed and deduplicated. There are obvious benefits to knowing who we're talking to in…

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Jake Sorofman

Mobile First: Beware of Clichés Disguised as Truth

A cliché is a phrase or idea that, while often founded in truth and good intention, mutates over time into something more insidious. Clichés are what happens when simple becomes…

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Noah Elkin

5 Not-So-Easy Pieces: Who Owns Multichannel Marketing?

When analysts get to talking, the conversation sometimes takes a reflective turn. One recent exchange raised the question whether all marketing today is (or should be) multichannel. The answer is less obvious than…

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Jay Wilson

Generation Emoji

My third grader hosted a sleepover party the other night.  She and her friends pulled out all the stops, playing with American Girl Dolls, weaving bracelets, playing Minecraft. And of course,…

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Don Bulmer

The Power of Relate

At the end of the day, relationships matter the most.  Right? Be it in business, in one’s personal life, politics, or otherwise, the best relationships (when managed well) keep you grounded…

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Augie Ray

The Broken Customer Experience of Media and Publishing

Publishers have traditionally focused on the quality of their content rather than their customer experience, but trends in technology and consumer behavior are changing that. Two recent occurrences made me…

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Anna Maria Virzi

What Is Customer Experience? Getting Beyond the Hype

What constitutes "customer experience" if it's subject to different interpretations like a Rorschach inkblot test? Or as a colleague pointed out: "If customer experience is everything, it risks being nothing." My…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

What’s in a Content Marketing Stack? [WCM, DAM, CMP, etc]

Today, Skyword, heretofore known as a Content Marketing player focused on bringing together the writing talent and workflow tools to scale content marketing programs, launched a Digital Asset Management solution…

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Jake Sorofman

Is Product the New Marketing?

Marketing a product that customers don’t particular want or like can be a real slog. It’s an unpleasant experience. But when the inverse is true, marketing becomes a pleasure. In fact,…

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Martin Kihn

Smart Machines and Marketing: What's Next?

In addition to being a quasi-mystical gladiatorial wonder of early '60s cinema, Quo Vadis? is a Latin phrase meaning: "Where are you going?" And as though bumping into St. Peter…

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Jennifer Polk

Big Data Short

Consider the possibility of a big data bubble.  "The Big Short", a film based on a book by Michael Lewis, shows how the housing  bubble formed and how a handful…

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Jake Sorofman

Blinded by Big Data, Marketers Sometimes Forget to Simply Ask

It’s hardly news that marketers have become a bit obsessed with data. And, truthfully, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Generally speaking, data has raised the collective maturity of this…

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Augie Ray

What Loyalty Means to Customer Experience

Actions speak louder than words, but actions are easy to misinterpret, and marketers who misunderstand the actions of customers can damage their brands' business and marketing results. Today, many marketers are…

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Martin Kihn

10 (More) Myths Martech Vendors Want You To Believe

Imagine you're listening to this: "You're way behind the curve. You can buy a fully integrated digital marketing suite. Our tools will meet all your needs. We can serve as your marketing data warehouse…

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Jennifer Polk

Marketers, Stop Looking to Agencies to Fix Long Term Problems with Short Term Solutions

Tomorrow, my colleague, Jay Wilson and I will host a free webinar on our recently published Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies. As you might imagine, we talk to…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Has Digital Marketing Finally Become Just Marketing?

“If you are building out a discrete Digital Marketing Center of Excellence (CoE), you’re too late,” I said a few months ago and stirred up some controversy among a group…

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Jay Wilson

Independents Day: Agility Makes Smaller Agencies Appealing

Last week, after a grueling (albeit incredibly fun) evaluation process, we published our latest Magic Quadrant for Global Digital Marketing Agencies.  While the research focuses on 21 of the largest…

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Jake Sorofman

Don't Let Process Overtake Purpose in Marketing

I once worked for a brilliant and creative CMO—we’ll call him Frank—who outlawed process within his marketing organization. He associated any application of process with its worst mutated forms. To him,…

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Jennifer Polk

Is marketing passion bringing you too close for comfort?

You've put blood, sweat and tears into it, dedicated countless hours to planning and analysis, and passionately persuaded others to get on board. It's your marketing program. Maybe it's the next…

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Augie Ray

In Customer Experience, Intent Speaks Louder Than Content

There is nothing quite like traveling to make clear the difference between customer experience content and intent--content is the things we say and intent is the reasons for what we…

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Jay Wilson

Is Social Commerce Ready to Bloom?

Here in Connecticut, the first official day of spring was met by a fizzled-out nor’easter that left two inches of pristine white snow coating trees and rooftops.  Winter’s last gasp…

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Jake Sorofman

Notes from the Summit: A Conversation with Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes

I had a chance to sit down with Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes at the company’s annual digital marketing summit event in Las Vegas this week, in the midst of her…

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Jennifer Polk

Attitude or aptitude? What are the trade secrets of a digital commerce marketer?

Every marketer has the potential (and responsibility) to be a digital commerce marketer. Research says so.  Just take a look at Gartner’s 2015-2016 CMO Spend Survey and the surge in…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

SXSW Innovation and Inspiration, No Badge Required

SXSW Interactive just ended and Music is ramping up for us Austinites. Spring marks a time that our town is overrun and our calendars are overbooked – but I can’t…

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Andrew Frank

Marketers Ponder the Digitalization of Emotion

Machine Learning is ablaze just now, and marketers are noticing that many of the companies and applications at the leading edge are aimed squarely at the heart of their trade. Google’s…

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Martin Kihn

What Is Marketing Data Onboarding, Anyway?

San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel survived the earthquake of 1906, Tony Bennett singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" in the Venetian Room, a starring role as a hotel in…

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Jake Sorofman

CMOs Finally Get Some Respect

The CMO hasn’t always been a power player in the c-suite. In fact, for a very long time, the CMO was the designated short timer, often the most vulnerable among…

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Martin Kihn

Customer Journey Analytics: A Manifesto

It's time for a new kind of analytics. It's time for a fourth dimension. Time to recognize the reality of cause and effect, of unpredictable decisions and uncertainty and motion…

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Jennifer Polk

3 Ways Emoji Are Changing Social Marketing

Marketers are still wrestling with the value of a social media “like” and whether it’s worth more or less than a “share”. Now we need to wrap our minds around…

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Jake Sorofman

Do You Really Know Your Customer?

On some level, most every company thinks of themselves as customer centered. But are they really? Cynical as this may sound, customer centricity is often a low-grade form of self-deception, where…

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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp

Why Today’s Great CMOs will be the CEOs of 2020

It’s not enough to be a terrific marketer to be considered among the best CMOs today. In all sectors, marketing’s influence over business results is increasing – while running the…

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Augie Ray

No Excuse For Poor Corporate Reputation And Customer Experience

The Harris Poll released its latest Reputation Quotient® Report, and while it contains the expected data about the importance and business benefits of good reputation, I was struck by the diversity…

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Anna Maria Virzi

The Pain and Gain of Uniting Multichannel Marketing and Advertising

"Advertising can no longer be isolated from multichannel marketing activities. Bringing them together is technically challenging, but the results are well worth the efforts," explains my colleague Andrew Frank in…

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Jake Sorofman

In Marketing, Digital Distinctions are Falling Away

If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember watching a "color TV," back when we actually made this distinction. Today the modifier is about as necessary as a vestigial…

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Martin Kihn

Your Vendor Has "90% Accuracy"? Think Again.

Have I Got an Algorithm for You There is an "accuracy" epidemic afoot, a swelling chorus of vendors in ad tech, mar tech, mad tech and everything in between claiming that…

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Augie Ray

Content Isn't King--Customer Experience Is

Content is not king. It is important--vital, in fact--but it is not king. A new study from TrackMaven demonstrates that while brands continue to pursue greater content production strategies, they…

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Augie Ray

Gartner Looks Ahead to Digital Marketing in 2016

Digital marketing continues to evolve rapidly, so at the beginning of each year, Gartner’s analysts dedicated to Marketing Leaders produce primer reports. These documents summarize the current state of key…

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Chris Ross

Fun Money - Innovation Without Expectation

One of the big insights from the Gartner 2015 CMO Spend Survey (Watch the webinar overview here) was that senior management expectations for marketing to innovate increased more than any…

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