So this is the new Forrester blog platform, eh? Pretty nice. Hope all of you appreciate the change, and that it makes it easier for you to find and read those posts that interest you the most.
Speaking of change, I've got a big one to announce: My coverage area at Forrester has shifted away from consumer broadband and communication toward more horizontal research for Consumer Product Strategists. There are three key areas where I'll be focusing my attention:
- New research on "product creation." The intent here is to provide cross-industry perspectives all along the product creation lifecycle, from concept to launch. My research plan for 2010 will tackle topics like product creation stages, the go/no-go strategy, business planning, and the use of customer input when creating products. Note that by "creation" I'm not limiting this to entirely new products and services: new versions of existing products need to be "created," too.
- New research about using social media to influence product creation. Everyone knows that social is hot, but much of that conversation is focused upon using social tools for marketing and branding (for Interactive Marketers) and measuring social use (for Customer Intelligence professionals). I will be looking at how Consumer Product Strategy professionals can use social media to tap into or gather information about their customers' needs so they can create new products or innovate existing products to meet those needs. (Forrester CEO George F. Colony has been looking at this issue recently as well. He's calling it "social sigma.")
- Ongoing research about convenience. Nearly a year ago, I was tasked with evangelizing Forrester's Convenience Quotient (CQ) research and consulting methodology, alongside my colleague James McQuivey. I'll continue to publish CQ research and work with clients on CQ projects. In fact, I'm working on a doc now that examines the consumer benefits and barriers to adoption associated with "green" transportation.
Overall, the research will apply to any company that has consumer products or services in the market, whether they are retailers, service providers, consumer packaged goods companies, technology companies, financial services firms — the list goes on and on. I'm excited about the change, and I look forward to helping Christopher Powell (he's on the right) — and a wide range of CPS professionals just like him — succeed in their jobs.