Real-time marketing : The scientific art

Real-time marketing: the scientific artAlthough real-time marketing seems haphazard as a concept, the truth is that there is a solid science behind it. It requires as much planning as other tasks

Real-time targeted marketing can obviously mean a lot of things. Real-time marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s more competitive than ever now that finding new ways of engaging with consumers has become more important. Change is constant, and the pace of change is increasing. As a result, the ability to rapidly perceive and respond to this change requires a processing ability that goes beyond any group of marketing professionals with their “ear to the pavement.” While the immediate intuition of an online marketing can be enough, real-time requires lightning fast automation, marketing intelligence and communication.

In the online world, marketing is a science and an art. While traditional advertising agencies might have enormous creative talent, in general they have struggled to transition to be effective in the online world. The emerging requirements for success surrounding real-time marketing requirements will further distinguish traditional agencies from Interactive and Social Media marketing agencies. Now, the most cutting edge breed of online marketing agency will require a technological distinction that involves creative, real-time web service-based integration and solutions.

Consumers group together can create new trends and demands that can rapidly coalesce into phenomenal opportunity. Real-time marketing technology capitalizes on this opportunity. Utilizing real-time data and personalization in marketing messages produces more impact. Interesting real-time data is any data that can change and influence the customer response: price, inventory, popularity / social groundswell, etc. Being at least being knee-deep in the social stream, real-time-enabled marketing apps provide instant and relevant responses that answer customer demands and needs as they present themselves.

While real-time interactive mediums like Web and Mobility lend themselves to real-time marketing naturally, other channels are also now being tried by marketers to reap the benefits.

So how can marketers better engage customers via real-time marketing? Here are five primary action steps.

1.Start with data

Popular belief is that Real-time marketing thrives on the context, localization and personalization and hence past data is NOT needed! This is not true as one of the key prerequisites for building a successful real-time marketing program is to start analyzing past data. Based on insights from historical data [transactional and master] create the framework of propositions i.e. offers. Finally these offers are rolled out.

2. Understand the customer

Core to success of real-time marketing as is true for any marketing effort is the need to understand what your customer expects from your brand. And then build this expectation in the offer that is being made to the customer

3. Build channel specific sensibilities

Unlike popular belief that the Web and Mobile being capable of creating real-time marketing opportunities, other channels like ATMs / Call centers / Customer care centers are equally capable of marketers drive real-time marketing initiatives. One needs to build channel and offer specific sensibilities to leverage the specific channel.

4. Plan for reasonable success

Because real-time marketing provides for an instant lift in marketing results, marketers tend to get carried away and start aggregating all efforts towards real-time marketing. While it is true that sporadic real-time marketing programs provide for high goal conversions, one needs to be reasonable while planning to incorporate real-time marketing initiatives as part of the overall marketing efforts

5. Privacy concerns

World over people are raising huge concerns over data security and invasion of personal space! Real-time marketing has to tread this line very cautiously, as marketing action based on customer transaction is instantly triggered. The terrain is still gray, with enough left open for the marketer to interpret. Marketers need to operate this element carefully so as to not invade the personal space of consumers.And with opt-in lists and customer privacy laws gaining momentum, real-time marketing is all set for another round of change!

The opt-in lists enforcement will ONLY bring greater glory to real-time marketing as the returns from the same will soar higher due to stricter privacy laws.


This article was first published in Audience Matters and


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