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Who Says a Real-Time Marketing Strategy is Marketing “On-The-Fly”?

Wikipedia describes a real-time marketing strategy as “marketing performed on-the-fly.” But we all know that just isn’t true. To do real-time marketing right, there is a good deal of planning that must take place, starting with a clear strategy and enough dynamic content prepared and at the ready to execute.

Real-Time Marketing Strategy Success Relies on Contextually Relevant Interactions

When you Google real-time marketing many articles and blogs focus on the brands who have successfully created a relevant campaign during a cultural event. Probably the best-known example being Oreo, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.” A message that was tweeted during the power outage at the Super Bowl.

And while these culturally relevant campaigns are certainly great examples, everyday real-time marketing is not a flashy campaign. It is the ability to interact with any customer with a relevant message or offer to move them along the journey to purchase, wherever and whenever the customer initiates contact with your brand.

To Deliver the Feeling of Spontaneity Everything Needs to be Aligned

The only way to deliver real-time, so it appears to be a spontaneous reaction to a customer touch point activity, is to have everything well planned and all needs aligned. For example, care needs to be taken not to deliver the wrong value proposition or offer to the wrong person. And beyond having an arsenal of content waiting in the wings, there are major technology requirements that need to be in place. Marketing needs access to sophisticated data and analytics to be able to develop the predictive models to make real-time a reality.

What it Takes for Marketing to be “Always On”

To start, you need a solid understanding of your customers.  What customers want from a transaction, what their buying preferences are, what their purchasing history includes, and what their value is to the brand.  This 360º view into your customers empowers you to create contextually relevant messages.

Next is in-line analytics to improve real-time decisions and apply advanced analytics, such as machine learning, to segment, target, and deliver personalized messages, such as next best product.  These analytic approaches deliver automation to your customer engagement strategy.  And enables much more individualized interactions — both in terms of contextual relevancy and in cadence that is more tightly aligned with real-time customer needs.

Then, add orchestration capability and an arsenal of content for the agility you need to design seamless workflows across channels and devices.  Armed with the

ability to present real- time next best action recommendations, you can guide your customers through the various phases of their customer journey.

To find out more about what it takes to be real-time ready, download our e-Book, Getting Started with Real-Time Customer Engagement, here.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

4 Rules for Cross Channel Campaign Management

Customers are demanding and getting briefer, quicker, and hyper-personalized content every day, in real-time. How do marketers keep up with the demands of their customers? Cross channel campaign management is the key.

Cross channel campaigns demand a different type of planning from more traditional push campaigns. Campaigns need to be able to speak to an individual customer’s needs and be flexible and responsive to the customer’s timeframe, not ours.

Cross channel campaign management and creating the content necessary to have meaningful and timely personalized interactions with each customer can become very daunting, very quickly, but there are some simple rules that can help unlock the puzzle.

4 Simple Rules for Cross Channel Campaign Management

1. Keep the messaging relevant and appropriate. As with any marketing campaign, you need to analyze our data and apply insights. It is the insights that help uncover what will motivate each customer to engage with our brand and take the next step towards purchase. If your message is too broad and generic, customers will see reject it for its lack of relevancy. If it’s too narrow and niche, you run the risk of missing the opportunity to get the attention of the customers you are targeting.

2. Simple is best. Without strategic thinking and planning, campaigns can become overly complex, very quickly. Campaigns need to be based on a sold creative idea, expressed simply. Each piece of content should focus on one message. Too many messages at once will only serve to confuse and get lost in the noise. You need to keep your real-time marketing initiatives simple, creative, and, above all, authentic, so we can engage the customer and execute efficiently.

3. Make it a priority. Social media was once thought of as a “nice-to-have” in the marketing mix. Now, it is necessary for business success – as went social media, so goes cross channel real-time marketing. We can’t escape this reality. Cross channel campaign management should be a priority and investing in the technology and tools available to make the management and orchestration of these campaigns is an investment worth making.

4. Automation is our friend. Thankfully, the technologies and tools available to us now, for each phase of campaign management, can be layered onto existing systems. While they won’t come up with the ideas for us, these technologies can efficiently and effectively help us manage and execute the relevant message to the right customer, at the right time, in the right channel.

To find out more about how to succeed in cross channel campaign management download our eBook, The Value of Context, Cross-Channel and Real-Time Capabilities: Advancing Marketing’s Productivity.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

Is Your Organizational Structure Right for Real-Time?

In many companies, old school organizational structures are now a major hindrance. One of the issues is that these outdated structures created data silos, yet today’s reality is that for real-time marketing to be successful all data needs to be centralized and accessible to everyone.

“Many CMOs Are Tearing Up Their Org Charts”

New marketing tools, strategies, and approaches are appearing daily. The Harvard Business review reports that while, “Many CMOs are tearing up their org charts”, they are struggling with how to draw the new chart. What does the ideal structure look like? Our answer is that this is the wrong question. A simple blueprint does not exist. Structure must follow strategy — not the other way around.”

Inclusive Organizational Structures Coming to the Fore

All the latest research points to one very clear path. To be successful in the real-time world, inclusive organizational structures are required — where marketing is no longer a discrete, silo function, but one that extends across almost every function.  In the age of the customer, it’s no longer only marketing responsibility to foster a customer centric culture.  The responsibility now spans across most functional departments.

Where to Start?

Getting our arms around the realities of real-time demands that all available data — first, second and third party — is accessible across the organization, and most importantly, accessible, in actionable form, to marketing. Most marketers are “drowning” in customer data, and most state they are not able to take full advantage of that data because of persistent siloes. Understanding customer behavior, their journey, and their channel preferences is fast becoming marketing’s cost of entry. Centralizing all the data available within the company — both inbound and outbound — is the first step to moving toward an organization that can meet customer demands for real-time personalized and meaningful experiences.

To find out more about how real-time marketing realities will affect your organizational structure download our latest eBook,

The Value of Context, Cross-Channel and Real-Time Capabilities: Advancing Marketing’s Productivity.

 

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

How Real-Time Marketing Increases Campaign Success

Real-Time marketing success is the latest game changer.

But, how do we communicate the value of real-time marketing in a way our senior management will understand and buy into the investment? One way is to point to how real-time marketing’s success can increase campaign effectiveness and help us achieve our customer engagement, loyalty, and revenue goals.

Real-Time Marketing Technologies and Techniques Increase Agility

Real-time marketing technologies and techniques help us be more agile. And, as customer demands for hyper-personalized, in the moment interactions, on multiple platforms and devices becomes the new norm, we need to be agile. Otherwise, how do we match the agility of our customer by spotting opportunities earlier and reacting quicker to meet them where they are to drive better campaign results. This is what real-time marketing technologies and techniques allow us to do.

3 Ways Real-Time Marketing Increases Campaign Success

  1. Spot Opportunities Quicker: The techniques of target segmentation are becoming a thing of the past. To be competitive we need to reorient our thinking to a segment of one. We need a 360º view of each customer – every interaction they have with our brand needs to be captured so we can have the insight needed to tailor our -communications to individual customer needs.  The only way you can cost effectively execute one to one is with analytics integrated directly into your execution processes.
  2. React Quicker: In line analytics include segmentations and predictive models.  When embedded into to your execution workflow, you can automate your response to customer actions in real time. Many platforms now include  machine learning which automatically adjusts logic as it learns from additional interaction data.  Machine learning generates better segmentation, predicts each customer need and will deliver the highest personalized message.  In short, machine learning embedded into your execution workflow deliver automation to your customer engagement strategy. And enables much more individualized interactions – both in terms of contextual relevancy and with cadence that is more tightly aligned with real-time customer needs.
  3.  Deliver Better Campaign Results: Before making certain types of purchases, customers commonly research, discover and explore possibilities. And like dropping bread crumbs along the way, these customer behaviors leave a trail of purchase intentions. Understanding how your customers interact before they buy is a goldmine opportunity to engage them with highly personalized communications, relevant to their journey stage. The personalized experiences you create with these techniques are welcomed by your customer. That customer is now more likely to engage further with your brand, increasing your campaign results by driving more revenue.

When all is said and done, real-time marketing technologies and techniques allow you to increase customer visits. What would 1 more visit from your customer base mean in top line revenue? Or increasing the average transaction size?  Or extending the customer’s life with your brand?  This is the real value of real-time marketing—it drives greater engagement and is quantifiable through actual purchase behavior.

Our latest eBook, The Value of Context, Cross Channel and Real-Time Capabilities: Advancing Marketing’s Productivity, details the capabilities you need to use real-time marketing to increase your campaign success and convince your senior management the investment is well worth the cost.It is available to download, here.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.

 

 

Real-Time Marketing – Are We There Yet?

The future is now. It was 15 years ago that the movie “Minority Report”, starring Tom Cruise, gave us a glimpse of retail today. There is one scene that has always stuck in my mind. It is the scene where Cruise walks into the Gap, his eyes are scanned, and a hologram associate welcomes him, and asks him about the jeans he bought last week. We are not quite at the eyeball scanning stage yet, but we are certainly at the point where we can mirror the experience. A mobile app can ping a sales associate as soon as you walk in the door. Armed with your individual purchase history –your sales associate can greet you by name and ask you about your previous purchase.

Reshaping Marketing to Embrace Real-Time Marketing

How do you reshape your marketing to embrace the real-time marketing that is now omnipresent? Many marketers are trail blazing – doing away with older techniques.  A new report, from Criteo, describes one of the strategies these marketers are enacting. “Shifting shopper behavior is driving retailers to abandon seasonal offers in favor of cross channel activity.”

Which makes sense. Real-time marketing is about delivering hyper-personalized messages and offers to meet the needs and wants of an individual customer, so traditional batch seasonal offers won’t cut it. And given there are technology innovations available to us that enhance the customer experience we need to embrace these if we are to remain competitive.

Start Planning 2018 Real-Time Marketing Priorities Now

The only way to get on top of the new reality is to start planning for 2018 now. Integrating real-time marketing and the technologies available to us to advance your customer’s experience should be at the top of your list. No doubt many of your competitors are already there, so don’t delay.

To further help you understand how other companies are prioritizing real-time marketing download our Forrester Consulting commissioned study: Fulfilling the Relevancy Promise: How People, Process, and Technology Strategies Impact Customer Loyalty.

About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.  We’ve made it our mission to help marketers advance and thrive.  Learn more about us at veracentra.com.