There's a problem right now in digital marketing and it's quite a big one. The industry can't decide what real-time marketing actually means.
A quick Google search reveals definitions ranging from a conversation hijacking fad that has brands talking to each other on Twitter, to the practice of gathering customer knowledge and taking relevant action in a near instantaneous fashion.
Unfortunately, a great deal of marketers have accepted the former as the definition of real-time marketing. And that's not just limiting; it's also extremely off target.
With the advent of new technology enabling businesses to create self-service style real-time marketing campaigns, it is no longer an option reserved for the big boys.
Is it really real-time?
I think part of the reason marketers are latching onto inter-brand Twitter love fests, is because it's some of the only "in-the-moment" marketing they're seeing. Why?
Though 85% of marketers say it is important to their future business success to provide experiences that are responsive to customers based on real-time, in-the-moment behaviours, only 8% are doing it.
These figures come from a recent report we at Monetate released on real-time marketing with Econsultancy. It's an important piece of research, since it helps illustrate what exactly real-time marketing is and how it benefits customers and brands alike.
Real-time marketing describes marketing actions and executions that are realised in real-time. Campaigns are often targeted, custom tailored to an event, the weather or location and deployed in milliseconds through personalised customer experiences.
Of the companies who told us they are already practicing real-time marketing, there is an even split between the B2B and B2C communities, and evenly distributed in terms of annual revenue, spanning less than $1.6 million to more than $1.6 billion.
One thing that is for sure is their efforts are paying off. On average, these brands are reaching their customers at the optimum time and reporting a 26% lift in their conversion rates. Why, then, would we be willing to sit by and let others refer to real-time marketing as something it's not?
It's time we started talking about real-time marketing in terms of its full capabilities. This will push brands to deliver better experiences to their customers and, in turn, achieve better results for themselves.
- VP of EMEA for Monetate, Mike Harris has over 10 years experience in the web optimisation market, which includes leadership roles at Touch Clarity and Omniture (Adobe®).