Having A Digital Ad Strategy Doesn’t Mean You’re Ready For This $100 Billion Market

This week, the IAB announced that US digital ad spend topped $100 billion for the first time last year. We’re not surprised — our forecast predicts that by 2023, CMOs will spend nearly $150 billion on various digital marketing channels in the US. Increased video and mobile use, along with improved adtech, underlie this growth. CMOs might react to this news with a ping of self-satisfaction, assuming they’ve got digital covered. CIOs might not even care, assuming this is the realm of marketing. But they’d miss the “aha!” moment that, while brands are still upping their digital ad investment, they’re not altering how those ads are experienced, especially to meet expectations for seamlessness across online and offline channels. Brands’ current approaches to advertising and commerce silo channels. The result: a fragmented experience for customers and inefficient tech and ad spend for brands. Instead, brands need to integrate and orchestrate omnichannel experiences. This choreography needs to drive every strategy, data, and technology decision, no matter who owns the budget. And that means deep partnerships between marketing, eCommerce, IT, and data/analytics, which you should foster now, since social advertising will tack another $50 billion onto the 2023 spend forecast, further straining brands’ siloed experiences.

New Zealand’s Government Looks To Massively Accelerate Citizen Value Delivery Via A Digital Platform Innovation

The New Zealand government’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has built a hybrid cloud-based marketplace platform to disrupt its traditional government partnership model so that new citizen values can be delivered substantially faster. Partners can establish joint values with government agencies and get on board in just 12 hours versus the 12–18 months it has taken previously. Most of the initial partners that have engaged the DIA thus far have been software companies, but they are now expanding the platform to engage consultancies and other broad company types. And the platform not only helps with creating new marketplace apps and product adoption but also uses AI that enables secure data sharing. It’s so great to see such an aggressive citizen-focused, tech-driven innovation.

SAP Has A Lot More To Show You Than Its Shiny New Survey Asset — But You Wouldn’t Have Known It At Sapphire

At SAP’s big Sapphire event this week, we were flummoxed by how much time the company devoted to its new survey tool, Qualtrics, calling it “experience management.” While customer and employee feedback are good things for knowing how you’re doing, someone forgot to tell SAP that surveys are a massively incomplete picture of someone’s experience and also a steadily declining and less believable source of data as the whole planet suffers survey fatigue. We wish SAP had spent a little less time justifying its $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics and a little more time celebrating its strong new capabilities for digital experience software, enterprise resource planning in the public or private cloud, end-to-end customer and process data management, and its new robotic process automation (RPA) and process optimization tools. Still, if you suddenly find a line item in your budget for “experience management,” we’re sure SAP would love to hear from you.

RPA Market Now Valued Well Into The Billions

Last week, UiPath announced Series D funding of $568 million, resulting in a valuation of $7 billion. Combined, the top three RPA software companies are now valued at $11.3 billion. Well, it seems like Forrester’s growth projections for robotic process automation in 2019 now appear to be low as RPA goes from strength to strength. Market growth is strong, with top players reporting thousands of customers. Investment dollars continue to flow into RPA platform companies. And even SAP is getting into the mix with RPA announcements at Sapphire. These valuations suggest that there is more going on than lifting hours out of finance and accounting departments. Keep an eye on this market.

Stop Moving The Goalposts

While “shopping” for Mother’s Day, I bought on Amazon and, upon checking out, found that my Prime membership now comes with one-day delivery. Not only did I enjoy the experience of getting more value at no extra cost, but I also recognized the hallmarks of Amazon’s adaptiveness. While it may seem that this is just an increase in operating speed, in reality it shows Amazon’s amazing ability to move people, money, data, partners, and other parts of its operating model across its ecosystem to continually raise the bar. Forrester has researched the concept of the adaptive enterprise in a recent report, and we believe it is a future that companies need to realize. The reason? How about a 3–4x return for companies that combine adaptiveness with technology-driven innovation?