Real-time marketing happens when a brand sends a targeted message almost immediately after a specific event. Some of the best-known examples of real-time marketing are when brands use their social accounts to react, or build-upon, a meme or breaking news.
Planned Spontaneity: Increase Profit with Real-Time Marketing
What Is Real-Time Marketing?
In 2020 Nathan Apodaca posted a video to TikTok, featuring himself drinking Ocean Sprays cranberry juice while longboarding to work and singing ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac. While the post was still circulating, Ocean Spray noticed how much publicity they’d received and gifted Nathan a pick-up truck filled with cranberry juice to keep the story going, while Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks posted parodies of their own.
Real-time marketing isn’t just capitalizing on viral fame though. It also includes messages that are targeted and created for an individual customer, triggered by an action they take. Here’s one example:. A bank wants to spare its customers the frustrating experience of being charged a fee for using a rival ATM. Using their app, the bank could send a notification to a customer as soon as it detects they’ve used a different ATM. By sending a list of other ATMs nearby, the bank provides a targeted message right in the moment, potentially saving the customer from future fees.
The Right Marketing Software
Both of these examples require a little creativity, and more importantly, the right tools. Ocean Spray was able to amplify and extend the reach of Nathan’s benign endorsement because they used social listening software to detect mentions of their brand names on social media, and they had a culture that allowed teams to collaborate and respond quickly. Fifth Third Bank, which sends notifications to customers to help avoid ATM fees, was able to implement its real-time marketing initiative with the power of artificial intelligence and automated processes.
How to Implement a Real-Time Marketing Strategy
The most fundamental requirement of a real-time marketing strategy is precise knowledge of your customers. This includes their needs, desires, and other characteristics, as well as their likely customer journey. With the help of customer experience and marketing software, businesses can track as many of these data points as possible and make relevant information accessible to employees when they need it. So when an opportunity to donate a product to a social influencer comes up, for example, your social team can know instantly what’s in stock. Alternatively, with access to customer birthdates, your marketing team can automate special birthday offers or rewards by email.
Dr. Tobias Umbeck, Partner at Bain & Company and an expert in marketing strategy.
Connect Customer Data by Upgrading Your CRM Software
One of the hidden roadblocks to successful real-time marketing is when customer data is isolated in a CRM database. If customer profiles are accessible to only a handful of employees, and most departments store data in silos, then it’s impossible to move quickly enough to take advantage of real-time opportunities. Therefore, many businesses are upgrading their CRM software to a customer experience platform, which unites all customer knowledge in one place and makes it accessible to everyone.
Challenges of Real-Time Marketing
A successful real-time marketing campaign talks to the right target group with the right words at the right time. Therein lies the biggest challenge for marketing managers. 50 percent of people questioned in a study carried out by Adobe found real-time marketing to be highly complex, especially in terms of software required. This was found to be all the truer in the B2B market where, unlike in the consumer market, several people are involved in the purchasing process. Still, technologies are making work much easier for marketing experts. Automated systems, centrally stored user data, and real-time analytics offer marketers enormous support. These free up more time to concentrate on the creative side of a campaign and let algorithms take care of analysis.
Real-Time Marketing Campaigns Require:
- Automated methods of communication that adapt to the user’s unique reactions in real-time.
- Dynamic, contextual content, depending on factors such as location, weather, position in the customer lifecycle, or the features of the device the customer is using.
- Integration of all relevant channels, such as email, social media, or push notifications.
- Collection, processing, and storage of real-time response data that comply with data protection regulations.
Real-Time Is about Context, Not Call-Outs
Real-time marketing connects a customer to a company and ultimately increases profit. Companies with real-time marketing generate three percent more revenue than companies without it. However, it is not about attaching your brand to every meme or breaking news story. Instead, it’s about providing a contextual experience for customers. By storing and analyzing your customer’s preferences and responding to them with automated and individualized marketing methods, you show that you understand their needs.
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