80% of business buyers expect companies to respond and interact with them in real-time suggests a report.
To date, most real-time marketing of leading brands focuses on demand generation, advertising, promotion, sales, and service. In Gartner’s report last August, Vice President analyst Mike McGuire said,
“Event-triggered and real-time marketing will have the biggest impact on marketing activities in the next five years…However, before marketers can realize the benefits of these technologies, they must first become proficient in predictive analytics and delivering personalized communications.”
The research firm reports brands are combining behavioral analytics and marketing automation to deliver real-time marketing efforts based on specific customer behaviors -but according to the findings, many marketers lack a ‘real’ business case for real-time engagement.
REAL PROBLEMS OF REAL-TIME MARKETING
The primary problem is, there are 7,000 marketing technology solutions but there is no way to connect and combine all the different systems together in a way to deliver sustainable real-time marketing efforts, points out Pegasystems Product Marketing Manager Andrew LeClair.
He shares that there is data all over the place but our systems and people are not connected. In his Discover MarTech presentation, he said,
“There’s a bunch of complexity. We’ve got inbound that’s over here and outbound over there — and paid is off on some island somewhere nobody knows. Not to mention all the other systems that touch the customer — things like customer service or billing applications.”
Marketers are unable to put multiple platforms together to create a centralized decision-making authority- one that can deliver actual real-time marketing events based on customer engagement and behavior.
HOW TO MAKE REAL-TIME MARKETING WORK
With real-time in batches taking hours, hundreds of data integration, disconnected inbound and outbound- customers get lost in the shuffle.
During the webinar, LeClair said there is a need to find and deliver the next course of actions across channels in under 100 milliseconds. What does this mean?
This means real-time marketing is reliant on four specific capabilities- detection, data, decision, and delivery. At first, marketers must be able to detect or sense a customer’s need or opportunity. This means having systems in place to detect opportunity via simple events like conversations with CSR, or click-through emails. Conversely, there are non-events – events that were expected but didn’t happen.
After the events have been detected, data needs to be gathered before the next best action. According to LeClair, marketers need to access and assemble real-time information – customer’s emotions, intent, and behaviour. Data throws some light on their end goal and their location is also needed. All this information is essential to identify their context and what are their needs
After a comprehensive data assessment, the next best action can be determined and optimize for a real-time marketing opportunity. This may include delivering the right content at the right time, a personalized offer, or sending emails to follow up or more.
When marketers have fine-tuned these four capabilities, they can determine whether or not it’s time to sell to the customer, nurture the relationship or decide not to engage if it doesn’t add value to the given situation.
On the Under 100- milliseconds challenge, LeClair said in the webinar,
“From initial detection to assembling our data to making that decision to then executing — and how that impacts the customer experience — if we’re able to do all of that in less than 100-milliseconds for any channel, that is the ideal state. That’s where the best in class organizations live and breathe.”
BENEFITS OF REAL-TIME MARKETING
LeClair shared the results of the impact of real-time marketing efforts from a Total Economic Impact report conducted by Forrester on Pega’s clients. Companies generated $226 million worth of incremental revenue gains and $193 million in retained revenue on implementing Pega’s real-time marketing tools. He further commented,
“Because we’re sensing needs in real-time, we can be proactive in our retention efforts, reducing our churn, reaching out to the customer before they even get the chance to think about leaving, And that’s really, at the end of the day, how we optimize for customer lifetime value which is what all of this is about.”