[Posted by Patrick Tripp, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Neolane, Inc.]
As we look into the CMO’s crystal ball for major marketing trends in 2013, one area that is gaining a lot of interest—and equally a lot of confusion—is the concept of “real-time marketing.” There’s a whole lexicon of associated terms, from “Next-Best-Action” and “Next-Best-Offer,” to “Decision Management” and “Interaction Management.” What do they all really mean? What is the business value? Where can marketers get started?
We aim to help dispel some of these myths and provide some much-needed clarity in our upcoming webinar with Forrester Research on February 20th: Demystifying Real-Time Marketing. Hopefully, you can join the discussion with us then. For now, let me give you a bit of a sneak preview:
“Real-Time Marketing” is about meeting customer needs, when and how they choose, at the very moment of engagement. It’s about automating 1-1 personalization, in any channel that the customer chooses. For example, when you have a consumer browsing a Web page, how do you present them with an experience that is relevant, timely, and in context with their needs, at that very moment of interaction? How about the next time they come back? It’s about engaging in a conversation without damaging the customer experience. In the webinar, we’ll give you a perspective on what the different terms mean (hint: they all have a common goal, but take different approaches). Some refer to broader, operational initiatives, CRM strategies, and others are focused on specific marketing engagement.
One thing’s for sure: real-time marketing cannot be achieved overnight. This requires some of the fundamental blocking and tackling of campaign management. It has to be a journey that marketing takes in tangible, obtainable steps. Here are a few marketing tactics to consider (not in any particular order):
- Basic outbound engagement. Excellent for proposing a set message to customers through targeted segmentation, multiple channels and lead nurturing. Many marketers could get immediate uplift from starting here.
- Outbound interactions. Populating emails and outbound channels with dynamic propositions that change based on each customer. This is getting a bit more personalized but is still pushed to customers.
- Inbound interactions. Providing blocks of dynamic content that live in inbound channels like Web, POS, call center, or social media. This is getting more sophisticated, and it’s customer-led.
- Cross-channel interactions. A coordinated strategy which might start with an inbound channel that also is populated with dynamic offers, and then might include a follow-up outbound message with dynamic offers that are coordinated and optimized across channels.
The result of real-time customer engagement is very powerful. It’s about increased offer acceptance rates, less marketing fatigue, increased marketing revenue, and a better customer experience. It’s time for marketing to get “real”, and we would like to hear from you with your experiences. I look forward to continuing the discussion on next week’s webinar!