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Upcoming Research

What are the disruptive trends we’re looking at today?

What are we researching today? Our planned research agenda currently spans five core coverage areas: Digital Transformation, Social Business, Data Disruption, Content Strategy, and Leadership.

If you would like to make a contribution to our upcoming research or have a suggestion for new research topics, please submit your ideas on our Contact page or email Christine Tran, Research and Marketing Manager at

Last updated: December 2014

Q4 2014

Managing the Execution of Social Business Strategy Through Governance
Author: Ed Terpening and Charlene Li, with Christine Tran

As a new medium, organizations struggle with managing social, especially given the fact that it spans multiple paid/owned/earned media and internal silos.  This stress intensifies as organizations mature from Engagement to Strategic social business maturity levels.  The crux of the struggle is ownership and empowerment at scale, expressed as pain points that this report will examine: which decisions need to be governed, and by whom? How is conflict resolved among spokes/silos?  What principles guide decision-making? Who owns social business, and how is that adopted and extended by spokes/silos?

Creating an Enterprise Culture of Content
Author: Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman

Companies that evangelize the importance of content throughout and beyond the marketing organization will be more successful in their marketing initiatives, but also other benchmarks, e.g. employee advocacy, customer service, audience engagement, hiring, etc. This report will examine: What is a culture of content (CoC, and why is it important? What components are necessary for a CoC? How are they achieved? How does this feed into the converged media ecosystem? 

Using Social to Increase Employee Engagement & Advocacy
Author: Charlene Li, with Jon Cifuentes

There is a continuum of employee engagement, ranging from internal collaboration to external advocacy. This evolving view of employee engagement boils down to the changing relationship between the employer and employee – all aspects of work are shifting in the face of this new dynamic. Engagement becomes not the end goal but the forcing function of transformation, providing a new context for the employee relationship. This report will examine the strategy, ownership, measurement, processes, and technologies needed for a successful employee engagement strategy in today's connected workplace.

Q1 2015

From Mobile First to Customer First
Authors: Jaimy Szymanski and Brian Solis

Companies are faced with disjointed and unsuccessful mobile strategies when attempting to “bolt them on” to existing digital marketing initiatives (often living in different departments) without studying the common thread of mobile customer behavior first. In order to adequately plan, strategize, execute, organize, and staff mobile efforts, companies must begin with the true “first screen,” mobile, and integrate strategies from the customer up. This report will explore common mobile pain points that companies face and provide recommendations for organizations undergoing digital transformation focused on the digital customer experience through the lens of mobile. 

Using Social to Deepen Relationships and Increase Sales 

Author: Linda Saindon, with Charlene Li and Jon Cifuentes

Evolving existing sales approaches and changing behavior is really the key to successful adoption and implementation of social selling within an organization. This report will look at: What are the essential elements of a social selling program? From staffing and training to technology platforms and measurement? How do you get started and how should you evolve the program over time? Is there a maturity roadmap to follow? How do organizations change because of social selling, if at all? How will social selling itself change in the future, eg. technology platforms, less outsourcing of sales, shift from transactions to relationships?

Customer Experience and the Internet of Things 
Jessica Groopman and Rebecca Lieb

The opportunity in customer-facing IoT lies in the interface and exchange of data (on the enterprise side,) with experience (on the consumer side.) Yet, determining when, how, and to what extent to apply connected services, products, and processes to the customer experience remains poorly understood by modern marketers and digital strategists., This report will focus on identifying how IoT can be used to optimize consumer-facing programs (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, etc.) to enhance customer experience, drive interactions, and glean powerful business intelligence in the process. 

Marketing Cloud: Technology Platform for the Modern Marketer
Author: Andrew Jones, with Jon Cifuentes

The Change Agent’s Agenda
Author: Brian Solis, with Jaimy Szmanski

Measuring Content Marketing
Author: Susan Etlinger and Rebecca Lieb