Event Recap: Forrester Consumer Forum 2011

It was a Who’s Who of digital and it spanned an A-Z of digital expertise.  Some of the best creators of online digital experiences were present, rubbing shoulders with business leaders who are experiencing – or soon will be impacted from – technologies that will disrupt and erode their bread & butter business. Wherever you were on the maturity curve, it was a group of people searching for answers, trying to learn a landscape of uncommon ground; where practices employed for one initiative can be a broadcast failure in another.  The beauty of the age of Disruptive Technologies is there is no structured play-book of what right is, but the playbook you chose should factor in complex customer touch-points which need to be respected and addressed for any enterprise to serve the needs of the digitally-aware consumer.

Throughout the 2-days the challenges facing a company’s digital evolution, played out in a small microcosm for Forrester, as an organization itself.  Participants experienced issues with wifi access, plaguing the ability to tweet during key notes + workshops; some sessions were outstanding in their level of insight, recommendations, and guidance, whereas others weren’t really worth the time.  The difficulty Forrester anticipates is satisfying needs across a polarized maturity cycle and developing statistical averages worthy of a benchmark.

And this was apparent across the board for all participants, even the most acclaimed and recognized have some skeleton in their legacy closet of assets.  So how do you reach your Customers best? Put your big ears on.  Listen twice as much as you communicate.  And then listen again — they are talking to you!  Only then can global organizations truly say they are “customer-obsessed” in the digital sphere.

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