A leading global hotelier is using real-time marketing to enhance loyalty and increase the amount of money spent during each hotel visit. A major financial institution is using event-triggered transactional and real-time communications to increase product penetration and turn customer behaviors into profitable product investments. These are just two real-world examples of the impact of real-time marketing. Selecting the right offer for each customer is a complex challenge. Customers have taken control of the dialogue and relationship with your brand as they interact with traditional, digital and emerging social and mobile channels. Keeping your customers engaged requires investing in customer-centric, interactive marketing. A cross-channel, real-time marketing strategy that leverages customer-initiated interactions in inbound channels (call center, website, kiosk, point-of-sale, or ATM) enables you to market more effectively. Applying real-time marketing practices even further, adding the ability to integrate customer behavioral data from all channels (outbound, social, mobile, etc.) delivers even greater marketing precision and improves customer engagement for the long term. Customers who engage with your brand on their own terms, and share their needs and wants are much more receptive to marketing offers. Moreover, real-time decisioning takes into consideration the context of the customer’s current interaction to identify, prioritize, and deliver the most appropriate message in any channel.
It’s the right time for real-time marketing. In a climate of rising customer expectations, now is the right time to refine your use of inbound channels – it’s the time to go real time. Whether you are serving pre-defined static offers, no offers, or siloed offers, marketers who continue the status quo are missing a huge opportunity. Even some of the forward thinking marketers who adopted inbound marketing in its early days may have disparate systems in place that silo inbound and outbound marketing. These early systems have been left largely untouched, and while they are delivering some value, they are stagnant; new channels exist that are not served. Integration between inbound and outbound data, or an upgrade initiative may be on the “to do” list, but global economic challenges forced many businesses to back burner this effort. Although the global economic picture is slow to improve, online marketing is maturing, and interactive marketing solutions are advancing, so the time is right to capitalize on this vast opportunity. Best-practice marketers are deploying real-time marketing strategies to generate offers that are based on deep customer profiles, transaction histories, and other rich, real-time context about the current interaction. The right offer for the right customer, delivered at the right time, is marketing that is so relevant it feels like a service. High relevance and the appeal of personalized customer care help ensure optimal marketing results and lifetime customer value.
Here are four proven best practices in real-time inbound marketing that can produce bottom-line results:
1 Make it personal Despite your best intentions, you can no longer expect results from generic marketing messages where every customer receives the same communication or batch push offers based on historical data. Your customers expect you to know them, to take into consideration the context of their current interaction, and to deliver personal, relevant messages. One of the Netherlands’ leading financial institutions uses real-time marketing to deliver personal offers to customers whose savings accounts are underutilized. As a result, they have increased savings revenue by 5 percent.
2 Balance business objectives with customer needs. You can achieve business goals while delivering real-time marketing. It’s possible to steer customers to options in products and services that meet their needs and your business objectives. For example, a leading global loyalty program service provider shows loyalty program members that by purchasing “this” versus “that” (when “that” is a product with a higher profit margin) they can earn more points and bigger rewards faster.
3 Use real-time decisioning Traditional marketing relied on historical interactions; today customer actions in inbound channels can disrupt your best laid plans. Real-time decisioning lets you adjust to customer initiated interactions in the here and now. As interactions become more digital, marketers have more data that drives the need for sophisticated real-time decisioning technology. These self-learning systems use complex, automated algorithms to figure out which offer each customer is most likely to respond to, based on their customer profile and their current behavior.
4 Enable collaboration One of the most common obstacles to achieving real-time marketing is the typical marketing organization’s siloed organizational structure. Channel silos create barriers to effective centralized decisioning, and hinder agile, real-time marketing, so organizational buy-in, coordinated marketing campaigns, and clear commitment are essential to success.
Time is key to your success. Just put it on your side