What’s Real-Time Marketing?

Traditional marketing has been slow and static, limiting marketers’ visibility into customer behavior. Marketers are stuck with slow data in batches, manual, list-based segmentation and scheduled campaigns. This doesn’t work and isn’t sustainable for a couple reasons. One–working with legacy systems means things take marketers way longer than they should. Two–these systems prohibit brands from delivering on customers’ expectations that brands meet their needs, recognize who they are across every channel and value them for their business and advocacy. What’s the alternative? Real-time marketing. In this blog post, we’re discussing some of the main challenges facing marketers at enterprise B2C companies and taking a closer look how real-time marketing can help solve them.

The Enterprise B2C Marketer’s Dilemma

The typical enterprise has multiple systems doing specific jobs, producing data in silos, representing a partial view of the customer. Eventually data from each system makes its way into a central data warehouse where it’s organized into a “360 degree view of the customer.” The challenge is that the customer profile is not operational for marketing.

In order for marketers to take action against customer data, marketers have to endure a manual process of querying the database, generating a list and then trafficking that list via batch file to different messaging platforms. Best case, this process can take days, but often times it takes weeks within larger organizations.

This means that by the time a campaign goes live, the list is out of date. This latency and the resulting gap between insight and action means missed opportunities to upsell, cross sell or delight customers during moments that matter. The result of slow data is a bad customer experience, missed opportunities to cross-sell, upsell and simply delight your customers and ultimately that means lost revenues.

Real-Time Marketing Means Insight to Action in Milliseconds

Real-time marketing enables marketers to take fast action on fast data. When you’re having a conversation with someone and the person says something attention grabbing, you wouldn’t wait days to respond. That would be awkward–the moment would have long passed. The same process can be applied to interacting with customers as well.

Advancements in customer data and engagement technology makes it possible to process customer events, decision on the next best action to take, and execute through the optimal channel within mere milliseconds. So next time a valued customer walks into your store, you can quickly identify who they are and greet them with a personalized message, offer or experience that is most likely to capture incremental value at the moment of truth. 


Real-Time Marketing Is Powered by Technology

As we alluded to above, executing real-time marketing depends on having the right technological resources in place. Here are the must-haves in a real-time marketing platform:

  • Ability to stream in customer events from different channels into a singular customer profile, as they happen
  • Ability to dynamically generate real-time audiences on demand; target campaigns and offers based on any collection of attributes on a customer’s profile; and push audiences and attributes into other systems
  • Ability to target customers based on any combination of profile attributes; trigger a personalized message off of a purchase event, interaction event or location event; or engage when in proximity to a store, while in store, and upon exiting store.
  • Ability to create single closed-loop offers that can be delivered through any channel and redeemed in real time at point of sale (either in-store of online)

In today’s on-demand, omnichannel world, getting your data and engagement strategy right is critical to meeting the rising expectations of consumers. As a consumer, I expect you to know who I am across all channels at any time. I expect you to anticipate my needs in real time. And I expect you to value me for my time, attention and loyalty. In order to win tomorrow, marketers need to move beyond traditional marketing and legacy systems NOW.  A single view of the customer needs to be updated and actionable in real time. Data should be streamed via real-time APIs instead of being sent via batch file. Segmentation should be dynamic and automated, and campaigns should be behaviorally triggered and personalized on a 1:1 basis in real time.