Getting real-time marketing right

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by Sangeet Samuel

May 11, 2018

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An earlier blog in this space pointed out the pitfalls digital marketers dig for themselves when they favor speed and reach over context, continuity, and customer privacy in real-time marketing. That blog addressed what to avoid. This blog addresses what to emphasize to maximize the return on real-time efforts.

Real-time starts with data

Real-time marketing seems like a pretty straightforward concept—the right content, delivered to the right customer, at the right time. In practice, it’ not so easily defined or done. Depending on their audiences, offerings, marketing objectives, and available resources, “real-time” can mean very different things to different brands.

For instance, a high-end fashion brand trying to integrate its online interactions with its brick-and-mortar experiences for millennials is likely to face real-time challenges that are very different from those of a regional healthcare provider serving a largely elderly, working-class population. Both are trying to maximize the impact of seamless interactions, but their solutions will differ dramatically.

That’s where accurate, timely data—demographics, behavior patterns, psychographics, transactional data, audience propensities, campaign responses, and more—becomes critical. Marketers need to consolidate and augment all these constantly evolving data points to create refined audience personas and a unified view of the individual customer. This distilled insight guides marketers’ choices about how real-time engagement and conversation make the seamless customer journey more individually relevant and compelling.

Designing mutually rewarding customer journeys

With ever-mounting consumer expectations, one thing is clear: a cookie-cutter approach to crafting the audience journey is no longer acceptable. From one touchpoint to the next and across channels and devices, customers expect—even demand—a smooth, individualized ride. Orchestrating such a journey—and paving the way with individually relevant, consistently well-timed messages and offers—is no easy feat. But conquering the challenge successfully can cement trust, brand loyalty, and growth.

To ensure a increasingly robust customer view, marketers must make sure that each interaction builds on what came before and what is happening now. Customers can be impetuous and unruly; they can take circuitous routes towards purchase—or go straight for the buy. To orchestrate enriching customer journeys, marketers must go with the quirky flows of individual customers’ journeys. This is where a marketing rules engine comes in handy.

A rules engine, in the context of real-time marketing, governs the type, frequency, and content of responses to potentially every interaction across different channels with individual customers. The engine operates according to if-then rules.

This means that when an individual customer takes a specific action, the engine recognizes it in real time and prioritizes the rules based on individual audience type, communication frequency, audience propensity, transactions, and more. An automated response is then triggered to facilitate their journey and maximize results, at the most appropriate time possible.

This rules-based solution can help put an end to the stress of orchestrating customer journeys in real time. It can’t be easy to scramble after customers from kiosks to paid media, while racking one’s brain to figure out what to say, when to say it, where, and to whom. The rules engine, and the marketing approach enabled by it, can resolve that predicament, aligning communications with diverse scenarios to nurture hard-earned leads and to boost continuous growth, all in real time.

The journey to real-time marketing

Real-time marketing challenges everyone. Traversing its rough-and-rocky terrain is risky; both the trust of customers and regulatory compliance hang in the balance. However, delivering the right content at the right time is welcomed for a reason, and with the right tools and data, marketers can look forward to ever relevant, friction less customer engagement.

Resulticks empowers marketers with next-level marketing capabilities, crafted and constantly improved to meet the toughest real-time marketing challenges. Interested in how we can help? Request a demo now.