Look over there. See the guy in the queue flicking his mobile screen . . . tapping his phone on the reader, then walking out with his sandwich?
He's your new customer. Wow, is he demanding.
In 2011, Forrester first started to track this type of customer — that is, someone with three or more connected devices who goes online multiple times a day from multiple locations. We found that 38% of US adults fit the description. That's an impressive debut, but the growth of this type of customer is even more staggering. We expect that by the end of 2013, nearly half of global online adults will be perpetually connected.
These people have new expectations. They don't want intrusive ads buzzing in their pockets. They want valuable content or service. They appreciate the soft sell. The needs and behaviors of these customers are so radical, so game-changing, that they subvert every rule of classic marketing.
At our upcoming Forrester Marketing Leadership Forums — April 18-19 in Los Angeles and May 21-22 in London — we'll help marketers embrace this change so you can continue to create relevance and market share with your perpetually connected customers. As the host and research champion of both events, I'm deep in content development with both our external speakers and Forrester analysts. Here are a few of my favorite nuggets from our content meetings so far:
- With its mobile wallet and services, Citi can market to its customers every 15 minutes. Do the math: If a customer has her mobile on for 12 hours a day, that's 48 times in a single day that Citi could reach her. Doing this would be madness! Instead, Richard Char, the Global Head of Information Services and Enterprise Payments, focuses on using customer data — not only static profiles, but also, increasingly, contextual data like location — to pick the exact right moment while rejecting the other 47.
- Krispy Kreme is riding high on a revenue and profit surge and has raised its outlook for its 2013 fiscal year. The company achieves this growth without spending a penny (or pence) on paid advertising. Instead, Krispy Kreme's CMO Dwayne Chambers shared with me that they've used digital channels to amplify their offline word-of-mouth. I love how their Krispy Kreme Hot Light app alerts their customers to stores in the vicinity serving piping hot donuts. So much more useful — and appetizing — than seeing an untargeted ad for donuts.
- On Thursday of last week, we welcomed to our line-up Raj Rao, Vice President of Global eTransformation at 3M. Raj talked to me about the importance of 24×7 responsiveness across all 3M geographies and its diversified product lines (from Post-it Notes to library security systems to touchscreen technology). Raj recognizes that this approach requires a wholesale change in the company's organization and staffing models, and he's rewriting the marketing competency models to document and then reward these new behaviors.
These are just a sample of the many stories and key takeaways offered by our line-up. Watch our blog in the coming weeks for more analyst perspectives on our theme ("Building Brand Advantage With Perpetually Connected Customers"). I look forward to welcoming you in either Los Angeles or London!