Written by Jeremiah Owyang, Zach Hofer-Shall 

Forrester's Christine Spivey Overby kicked off the conference, first reminiscing on how
great innovation comes out of times of economic struggle. Her example, which is
so suited for Forrester’s marketing conference in Orlando, is Walt Disney’s creative genius to
develop an iconic entertainment franchise. She stresses that now is the time to
do marketing differently by thinking differently and embracing innovation.

Marketers should innovate now, despite
the perceived risk. 

Why innovate now:

VP/Principal Analyst on the Interactive Marketing team, Shar VanBoskirk spoke next. She indicates that a recent forecast shows that mobile,
social, email, display, and search marketing will increase at a CGR of 17% in
2014. She gives some funny examples of some silly Twitter examples from overzealous
customers. Risks: we take them because of the thrill, or the innovation. 

Accessible innovation: A marketing
program development that you can pursue within your own role in order to solve
problems or improve business results.  It’s not limited to your CMO or your corporate strategy
group. An accessible innovation should have the following traits:

  • Enhance:  Replace incumbent channel with an unproven
  • Include: Incorporate
    community perspective
  • Empathize: Relating to your
  • Iterate: Speeds

Shar notes that BestBuy’s remix is a great example of
innovating during a recession.  They’ve
provided an API for third party developers – I’ve outlined the program – the
most unique is GPS discovery tool and Camel. With all innovation comes risk, in
Best Buy’s case the risk is letting anyone use brand assets. 

Shar has provided a worksheet for attendees that can help
brands identify innovation, and access the risk that comes with it.

7-11 Takes Risks with Simpsons tie-in
Next, we had Rita Bargerhuff, the VP of Marketing, discussing how 7-11 takes
risks. She outlines there are four requirements before diving into risk:  1) is it right for your Brand 2) is it right for
consumers 3) is it right for internal stakeholders and 4) Is it right for the

Rita eloquently gave a case study of how they aligned the
7-11 brand with the popular Simpsons movie, which while was risky as the show
paints “Kwik-e-mart” in a culturally sensitive parody, see a public flickr set. Taking the risk required
intensive stakeholder buy-in, which resulted in movie tie-ins, movie product
tie-in (squishee), and even creating a Kwik-e-mart store. Did it pay off? Yes,
there were lines wrapped around the store to get into the store. 

Her closing remarks? “Success leads to success You’ll attract
new business partners” well spoken.

Above: Here's a ustream recording of the opening keynote.