The recent dual acquisitions by Forrester Research prove that even the market leader in technology intelligence is not excused from a digital transformation, requiring real-time tools to provide strategic recommendations around customer experience (CX).
"The market has reached a point where customers expect companies to rapidly respond to feedback, wherever and however that feedback is provided," said George F. Colony, chairman and CEO of Forrester Research. "In a market where companies win or lose on the battleground of customer experience, the real-time CX Cloud will enable clients to realize the full potential of their CX efforts."
The acquisitions are a response to a growing market trend wherein capitalizing upstream and downstream in the industry profit pool is a survival & relevance mechanism, according to various APAC industry leaders contacted by Campaign.
"Forrester has understood that their current set of data are limited and not real-time, this restricts them in their strategic recommendations and immediate impact on businesses," said Seb Lepez, CEO of Jolt Digital. "These two acquisitions will help them increase drastically the amount of CX data and allow them to analyse, predict and learn fast thanks to AI and machine learning."
This represents a strategic shift for Forrester Research as it embraces digital transformation.
According to Prantik Muzamdar, CEO of Happy Marketer, both acquisitions will place Forrester in the crosshairs of Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe due to its forthcoming CX cloud. To differentiate, the company may need to acquire more companies to offer further downstream execution services or remain within the research & advisory space.
"If it's the former, they would need to double down on their investments in technology, people & channel partners and transform their business model completely as the fight against the big tech boys wouldn't be an easy one," said Muzamdar.
In the era of massive disruption, more companies are taking prudential countermeasures to ensure long-term survival, such as consultancies shifting downstream with execution services, capturing a larger chunk of the industry profit pool. Similarly, Forrester’s acquisitions operationalize the forthcoming CX cloud offer, accelerating a shift from an analyst firm to a digital advisory consultancy.
"Going digital is about enabling companies that are product centric to become customer-centric, an endeavour made infinitely harder by mobile-driven customer journeys that put the customer in the driving seat," said Habibullah Khan, director of content at Penumbra. "Unlike the old days, you can’t shove people down a linear funnel and close them."
In taking its own advice around CX optimization, Forrester is believed to be well positioned in reaping the benefits from its cloud offering around the holy grail of marketing.