With customers shopping on their smartphones all the time, real-time marketing is critical to success. Source: Shutterstock

With customers shopping on their smartphones all the time, real-time marketing is critical to success. Source: Shutterstock

What really is real-time marketing and why should businesses care?

REAL-TIME marketing is here and digital marketing specialists have a whole new world in front of them.

According to Gartner’s recent forecast, real-time marketing is set to make a dent in the way digital marketers operate and is one of the four technologies that have the capability to transform how marketers run their ecosystems.

Advances in technology are creating an environment characterized by on-demand marketing, not just always-on marketing.

Search technologies and social media make it easy to share, compare and rate experiences while they are happening.

Ignoring the real-time nature of customer behavior and expectations leads to lost opportunities or, worse, the development of full-scale media crises.

Leading brands — in travel and hospitality, financial services and insurance — are combining behavioral analytics and marketing automation to serve up the right offer or message at the right time based on specific customer behaviors.

To date, most real-time marketing use cases focus on demand generation, advertising, promotion, sales, and service.

However, many multichannel marketers still struggle for relevance in core customer engagement moments and lack a clear business case for real-time engagement.

Gartner’s 2019 Multichannel Marketing Survey showed that just 44 percent of marketers use predictive modeling or rigorous testing to determine if a real-time response is warranted when designing event-triggered marketing.

To close the gap, Gartner’s analysts believe that marketers must look to revamp processes and make greater use of marketing technologies for customer data gathering, analysis, and activation.

Why brands need real-time marketing

Clearly, real-time marketing is sophisticated and businesses that want to make sure of it need specialized resources.

However, the investment in tools, software, or people shouldn’t deter businesses from experimenting with real-time marketing.

The technology can be ground-breaking for businesses, irrespective of whether they’re an online business or an offline retailer.

In fact, in many cases, real-time marketing has smarter use cases for offline activation than online — especially when targeting young customers in shopping malls and music festivals.

Given the opportunities that real-time marketing creates for organizations of all kinds, it’s definitely something that more businesses should think about.

Truth be told, the various moving parts involved in bringing real-time marketing to life not only has a direct impact on the company’s bottom line but also makes the marketing division more effective.

In the coming months, marketing is expected to get more dynamic as competition increases significantly. Real-time marketing can definitely help get more attention from customers if used effectively and appropriately.