[Posted by Patrick Tripp, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Neolane, Inc.]
With the proliferation of digital channels like web, social and mobile, today’s consumers have more power and choice than ever before. The promise of real-time marketing has long attempted to meet the needs of consumers with the right message, in the right place, and at the right time. However, there is still much uncertainty in the market around what exactly is real-time marketing? Is it all about speed and agility? Is it about engaging in digital channels, or one-to-one personalization? And perhaps most importantly, what are the business benefits of this approach?
In a recent webinar, we tried to demystify the complex topic of real-time marketing, and in a recent blog post we discussed how real-time marketing goes well beyond the famous Oreo campaign during the Super Bowl blackout.
To further the quest for knowledge on real-time marketing, we embarked on a research study with the Direct Marketing Association to understand what really matters to marketers. The questions focused on challenges marketers face, the definition of real-time marketing, the channels in which it has the most impact, the current use and future plans for real-time, as well as the benefits it can provide. The results we got back were truly outstanding.
The foundation of the analysis began with business challenges and we found what had been suspected all along: “60% of respondents note they struggle to personalize content in real-time, yet 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial”. This points to the fact that marketers want to engage with real-time marketing tactics, but cannot achieve this objective today.
One of the biggest findings of the study was that marketers do have a clear picture of what real-time marketing means. In the study, 43% of marketers, by far the highest category, defined real-time marketing as: “Dynamic personalized content delivered across channels.” This helps clarify the approach marketers are specifically looking for in order to achieve real-time marketing.
When looking at specific channels marketers hope to leverage real-time marketing in, most respondents noted digital channels like email (80%), Web (69%), and cross-channel (75%) as the most important and rated highest in terms of planning. This validates the trends that are pushing marketers further towards delivering digital experiences.
All of these topics call for an increased importance and urgency for real-time marketing. We also asked directly about marketers’ plans to leverage real-time marketing, and found an astounding “two-thirds of respondents are planning for real-time technologies.”
And of course none of this sentiment would be relevant without a clear understanding of the business objectives and results that can be achieved from real-time marketing. We asked about the potential benefits that marketers saw, and “more than 60% see the benefits of marketing effectiveness, customer experience and retention” as key benefits.
Want to learn more? The research study includes over 30 pages of analysis, graphs, benchmarks, and trends about real-time marketing. There is also a section that includes five keys to real-time marketing success. We invite you to take a look at our ebook and let us know what you think.