By Zia Daniell Wigder


Forgive the
long post, but I wanted to make sure I captured the final sessions of our
Marketing Forum EMEA for those of you who were unable to join us in London over the past
couple of days.

Four different Forrester analysts spoke during the eBusiness track sessions:

  • Chad Mitchell analyzed online self-service and discussed how to
    increase its adoption. He
    showed that although there is still an overall preference for human
    channels the benefits of online self-service are here. Some companies are
    already doing a great job: For example, GEICO
    and Best Buy use “click to chat “,
    enabling real time communication. The key in online self service is to
    create relevance and personalized interaction. A combination of tactics
    from eBusiness, marketing and IT should help make this service successful
  • Thomas offered insights on adding a mobile dimension to a
    multichannel strategy
    . With young generations mastering mobile phones
    and being the future, mobility will change the way we do business. The
    mass market uptake of mobile services is only a question of time: by the
    end of the year, some 4.6 billion people will use a mobile regularly. Around
    60% of Japanese consumers already access the mobile Internet today. Mobile
    Internet adoption in Europe will grow
    from 17% penetration in 2009 to 39% in 2014. Some companies have already anticipated
    the importance of the mobile channel, for example to enhance its brand, just
    as Zippo did: its
    iPhone app was downloaded on more than a million times and generated
  • Alexander Hesse discussed what next-generation financial services sites
    will look like. With more and
    more Europeans now migrating to the Net, it’s easy to think that digitizing
    the bank will eliminate the human element. And it’s true to a certain
    extent: most of today’s financial sites don’t create an integrated experience
    and don’t support cross-channel behavior. However, next-generation sites
    will provide an experience that is as personal as the one you can get with
    a personal advisor, and some financial companies are already demonstrating
    best practices. For example, RaboDirect
    uses a human face on its site and as well as a blog to reassure customers
    about the economic crisis.
  • Finally, Benjamin Ensor delivered a presentation on
    developing the next generation of sales and services. With consumer
    behavior changing, there is an urgent need to develop more integrated and
    personalized sales and services in order to support cross-channel
    behavior. If believing in cross-channel is one thing, making it work is
    much more complex: there is a need to change cultures and evangelize,
    understand customers, create a clear and strong vision, and align all
    channels that consumers need. Some companies like Argos already offer
    their customers a seamless cross-channel experience

And for keynotes on the final day, we heard
two speakers:

  • According to the keynote by Forrester's Moira Dorsey (pictured above) on The Future of Online Experiences: Prepare Now For
    online experiences have yet to find their true forms, and they will be shaped by capabilities, consumers and competition.
    Online experiences will be customized, aggregated, relevant, and social.
    Moira shared a few fascinating examples to illustrate this. For example, MIT Media Lab has been working on Sixth
    a portable device that works on every surface, including
    your hand, for only €235. Fashion company Charlotte
    lets people co-browse and shop online. And people do care about
    these technologies: for example 60% of Europeans are interested in
    interactive features on a site.
  • Conny
    Kalcher, Vice President Consumer Experiences at LEGO explained how LEGO managed to bounce back and
    become successful again by focusing on their key customer and going back to their
    core products, values and vision. Today, LEGO
    delivers a customized and personal customer experience and engages and involves
    its customers through many touchpoints. Their web site, for example, has 18
    million unique visitors a month. LEGO drives change and excellence by focusing
    on its numerous communities, making them a part of the product innovation and
    by measuring customer satisfaction and always wanting to increase the score.

A special
thanks goes out to our researcher Lauriane Camus for her help in covering these
events at the conference!