Ready to Market in Real Time?
You have tried your hand in social media marketing, above the line marketing, below the line marketing, account-based marketing, partnerships and collaborations, and now you’re asking if you’ve exhausted all methods or if you’ve only scratched the surface. Truth be told, the field of digital marketing alone is so diverse that there are many ways of adapting so many strategies into your own campaigns. Of course, you have to remember that trying to be a Jack (or Jill) of implementing all these marketing strategies may end you up as a master of none. With that, depending on your workforce bandwidth and budget, be more discerning of which strategy or tactic you should employ for your business.
Having said that, here is another marketing strategy to consider – real-time marketing. Simply put, it is marketing that involves rolling out marketing tactics in real, or near real-time in reaction to current events or happenings in your geographical area or field of business. So, instead of executing a marketing plan that you or your team has worked on for months, your company reacts to something that has happened in your market recently, whether it’s in politics, arts, culture, or a local human-interest story by making it an integral component of your marketing efforts. Of course, there is still planning involved in real-time marketing, although the timelines set for this is much quicker. This means teams (or whoever) executing real-time marketing has to act with agility and a sense of urgency. If not, the “moment” of the event or phenomenon you (or your business is) are reacting to may already have passed, thus making your marketing move stale.
Getting real-time marketing information of your website visitors so that you will know what exact service or product you can highlight to him or her also counts as real-time marketing. That said, these efforts require a lot of resources to profile your visitors ASAP and creative and quick-witted minds that know how to turn recent events into marketing gold fast before your competition does. So, the question is, does your company have these resources ready?
The key is knowing your visitor
A key ingredient of a successful real-time marketing effort is having sufficient knowledge about your visitors. If you know their backgrounds, why they visited your site, what it exactly they are looking for, and how they are looking for it, then you have the ways of providing them with relevant marketing information that will further entice them into action, may it be to sign up for an account with your shopping site or immediately purchase your offerings.
First-party, real-time data is what sets RTM apart from older personalization marketing models. This comes from numerous sources, like tracking a user’s cursor location, or the time they spend with certain products on your app. Or visitors might be greeted on a fashion retail site by a bot asking ‘What are you shopping for today?’ The same way a human clerk in a brick and mortar store would.
Can your small business hop on the bandwagon as well?
As mentioned above, there may be a need for huge resources if you want to implement real-time marketing, particularly in software that tracks customer behavior and profiles them. Of course, the dividends pay off as these companies roll out more effective messaging that their followers gobble up and share, which further raises the profile of these companies and allows them to extend their audiences even further. What smaller companies can do to also even just savor a tiny portion of the benefits would be to engage with the posts of the larger companies to call the attention of the larger companies’ audience and possibly lure them to having a look at your business.
One minute an event could be trending and the next it’s already on a downward spiral. Your company will need to be on high alert if it wants to successfully execute real-time marketing. This can include setting up Google alerts or other news alert platforms on specific topics your business may want to cover. This will help your brand be the first informed on new situations and happenings.
Don’t get carried away!
Of course, since real-time marketing involves immediate reactions, you might fall into the tendency of responding to information right away without giving substantial thought to your reaction. Reactionary is good, but in a lot of cases, being too quick diminishes the careful thought you put in your actions, so careless ensue, which in some cases, merits customer dissatisfaction. Remember that while speedy is a desired characteristic of RTM, efficiency, which is reacting properly in a set timeframe) is better.
He cited the example of a customer complaining about something on social media. Things could fester if you take too long to respond. However, a quick response that isn’t thoughtful could “stoke the flame,” he said. “Finding the balance that allows a thoughtful and quick response could squash the issue while strengthening brand perception,” he said.
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