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Strategy

Go Beyond Social and Content

In this second part, we dive into marketing tools that take communication with your customers to the next level and are bound to increase profitability and retention rates

Adebisi Adewusi
December 29 2017

In our first article of this mini-series we discussed real time marketing, breaking down the term and explaining how to make it relevant. Although real time marketing is synonymous with social media interactions, it has grown beyond content and conversation to include additional channels and techniques. These days, real time marketing could mean generating an offer in response to a website click or sending a customer an email or text message following an abandoned cart. We’ll take a quick look at (often) underused real-time marketing powers that can help you retain customers, improve your message delivery, and revenue.

Be As Fast As Superman With Event-Triggered Messaging

You know how Superman shows up at exactly the right time to save Lois Lane? Customers want your messages to be just as timely and relevant. 81% of consumers want brands to get to know them and understand when and when not to approach them. While you can’t be Superman, you can deliver timely and relevant messages to customers at the speed of light with event-triggered marketing. Event-triggered marketing identifies and executes campaigns based on events that affect a customer relationship. Real time event triggers such as mobile app notifications, detect and immediately respond to real time marketing opportunities prompted by events that occur in a customer’s life. For instance, mobile apps powered by iBeacon target a consumer’s location down to the store-shelf level and push a promotion to that person’s phone at that moment.

Despite the genius of event-triggered marketing, only 29% of marketers use event-triggered tactics in multi-channel marketing. If you’re part of this number, you’re seriously missing out. Gartner’s research suggests that event-triggered marketing messages have nearly five times the response rate of non-targeted push messages and event-triggered campaigns can save up to 80% of a marketer’s direct mail budget. Similarly, Unacast’s Proximity .Directory Q1 2017 Report, states that 75% of retailers in the U.S. are integrating proximity technologies into their marketing mix to increase operating profit. In fact, by using beacon technology, retailers can improve their position and increase operating profit by nearly 9% with an ROI of 175%. If you’re just getting started with event-triggered marketing messaging, here are some tips to help you soar.

  • Map out all the stages in your customer’s lifecycle from research to purchase so that you can understand what your customer wants
  • Identify opportunities to implement event triggered communications. These events could be between customers and your company. Think in-store visits or external events like economic changes that are relevant to you and your customers.
  • Segment your customers into personas. This will help you send personalized triggered messages and increase customer engagement.
  • To find out if customers are responding to your online marketing efforts, track all of your customers’ post click and impression events with real-time reporting tools.

When executed correctly event-triggered marketing messaging is a great way to responsively engage your customers and get their loyalty.

Influence Customer’s with Real Time Recommendations

Don’t you sometimes wish you had Charles Xavier’s mind control powers so you could influence your customer’s purchasing decision? What if I said you could have telepathic powers right now without undergoing mutation? I’m not kidding. You actually can. All you need is a real-time recommendation system. Real-time recommendation systems connect people to products, services, or information based on their user profile, preferences, and past online activity such as product purchases. Additionally, real-time recommendation systems help improve customer experience and make personalization easier by learning through each interaction and delivering the right content to customers in the context of their previous interactions with you.

Take a look at Netflix: Over 80% of the TV shows people watch on Netflix are discovered through the platform’s recommendation system.  Netflix executives Carlos A. Gomez-Uribe and Neil Hunt, reported that the video streaming service’s AI recommendation system saves the company around $1 billion each year. E-commerce retail giant Amazon, also uses recommendation as a targeted marketing tool in both their email campaigns and 70% of its website’s pages to help customers find more of what they need. Amazon generates about 35% of their revenue from its recommendation system.

So how do you develop recommendation powers like Netflix and Amazon? You can either build a recommendation system or purchase one. Whichever route you choose, consider the following:

If you decide to build a recommendation system, you’ll need a large amount of customer data for an effective operation. Building a recommendation system is risky and expensive. Make sure you know what you’re doing. Not getting it right is much worse than not having a recommendation system. On the other hand, you can save your time, money and your sanity by purchasing a recommendation system. Emarsys Predict, Adobe, and Target are examples of  popular recommendation engines that analyze behavioral data and deliver personalized recommendations to customers across all channels: email, mobile and web.

When purchasing a recommendation system, look out for one that is customizable and user friendly. With recommendation systems, you can predict what your customers want in real time and deliver the right content product or services to customers at every touch point, So needless to say, it’s important you have one.

Up, Up, and Away

Real time marketing is essential if you want to succeed in business. Not only does it increase and improve engagement with your target audience, it also allows you to provide relevant and timely information that customers expect. Whether it’s through social media, event-triggered messaging, or product recommendations, real time marketing has the potential to increase revenue, boost conversion rates, and ensure your customers stay loyal to your brand. But with great power comes great responsibility.  Use real time marketing wisely by focusing your marketing efforts on pleasing your customers.

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Adebisi Adewusi

Adebisi Adewusi is a freelance B2B writer and a Huffington Post Contributor. When she’s not creating compelling content for businesses, you’ll find her capturing moments with her Nikon d600.

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