The benefits of real time marketing
The benefits of real time marketing despite it not being new phenomenon. But, it has become increasingly popular thanks to the rise of social media and mobile marketing. The term real time marketing can be used to incorporate many things, but is usually understood as the ability to interact with customers anywhere, any time. The focus of real time is on the here and now. From a brand’s point of view, it means having the data and technology in place to hold a deep understanding of the customer journey. They capture the touchpoints where interaction could make or break a sale.
From the customer’s point of view, real-time can seem spontaneous. In reality, the planning, system programming and data collection takes time, money and effort in order to be successful. But is real time worth the effort and inevitable challenges associated with it? What are the benefits of real time marketing to your brand? Here are just two ways real time marketing can work for you:
Create meaningful customer engagement
Real time marketing drives engagement with your brand. A recent whitepaper by analytics and data management software company SAS (distributed by Marketing Week) discusses how real time data, real time decisioning engines (RTDs) and an awareness of customer combine to create personalised offers and heighten engagement.
The whitepaper gives an example of a bank which wants to run a “next best offer” campaign. The bank holds real time data on the customer. They can use the customer profile and the history of contacts and responses. This customer data then informs the real time decisioning engine to send a time appropriate offer. For, example when the customer logs in to the bank’s mobile app, they can see their offer pop up.
This is just one example of how real-time data can be fed in to multiple channels of an organisation’s marketing strategy, but demonstrates how real time enabled the bank to deliver a ‘timely and personalised communication resulting in an opportunity for a review conversation and product up-sell.’ By having a number of pre-programmed offers in place, this ‘significantly improved the bank’s ability to provide relevant communications to customers in moments of truth where a positive response [was] likely.’
The example given by SAS’ whitepaper demonstrates the need for real-time to operate in the right place at the right time. But, it also highlights the importance of the context in which the customer is interacting with the business. Of course, this use of real time requires having the right mechanisms and platform integration in place. This vast amount of data available on any given customer needs to then be moved on quickly. This does not happen overnight. But, investing time and money into building these processes will better enable brands to use real time to foster engagement.
Enhance in-store and e-commerce experiences
Most real time marketing relies on technology in some form. This does not mean that it can’t also enhance a customer’s experience in bricks-and-mortar stores.
According to CMS Wire, ‘retailers with brick-and-mortar operations are in an excellent position to take advantage of real time marketing’ and also ‘have the advantage of being able to market to customers not just in real time, but also in person — when they are actually in the store.’
CMS Wire points to the use of Beacon Technology. This is technology that allows any venue that has beacons in place to detect where a customer is at any given moment via their mobile device. It’s really helpful in real time marketing in a retail context. By using this technology, retailers can send push notifications to promote products. Shoppers get useful information related to their in-store experience. This could be in the form of offers and discounts on specific products, offering coupons or announcing sales items.
Yet when it comes to ecommerce, is this potential for real time marketing lost? Not according to CMS Wire. Thanks to the rise of smart home devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, CMS Wire believes that retailers’ capacity for real time marketing has in fact increased and they have been graced with a valuable opportunity many other industries could only dream of. Retailers can successfully integrate their ecommerce and in-store real time marketing by mining data effectively. Make the most of the technology available to you and the prospects for the trend are profound.