4 min read
It is a question facing every marketer – in today’s fast-moving world, how do you stay relevant? One of the most effective ways is to make sure you are acting on the latest data possible, in order to serve them up-to-date offers that meet their current needs. It is no good sending a coupon for a set of kitchen knives if your customer only showed a fleeting interest in them last week. With the help of real-time marketing automation, you can engage with your customers not only in a timely fashion, but also at scale.
The Importance of Engaging Audiences in Real Time
As with all data-driven marketing, the quality of your output depends on the quality of your data. If the data is inaccurate, it cannot help you market effectively. It needs to be representative of your customers’ current thoughts, actions and behaviors, in order to help you create marketing content that they find more relevant.
Also, customers’ online behaviors and interests change rapidly, and there is no shortage of alternatives for them to choose from the internet, providing plenty of distraction. If they express an interest in a product or service, there is no guarantee that it will last. Therefore it is vital to engage them in real time and so you can strike while the iron is hot, as the saying goes.
How Real-Time Marketing Automation Works to Improve Marketing Efficiency
Automating repetitive marketing tasks (like emails, SMS messages, web push or in-app notifications) using software is much more efficient than performing these tasks manually. It allows a marketing department to respond to customer behavior in a matter of hours rather than days, reacting quickly to trends and meet customers’ demands more immediately. Here is how you can leverage marketing automation to stay relevant in real time.
1. Increase the effectiveness of promotions
Promotions only work if they are highly targeted, based on reliable data. The one-size-fits-all approach (often referred to as ‘spray and pray’) rarely works. If a customer receives a promotion that is irrelevant to their needs, your brand will go down in their estimation – they will see you as a nuisance.
If you are setting up a promotion to go out via a web pop-up or app push notification, use marketing automation to exclude those who have purchased the promoted product or service in the last 24 hours, based on real-time customer behavior data. This ensures that you deliver the promotion to the right audiences and avoid unnecessary ad bombardment.
2. Boost conversions
A customer has shown a lot of interest in one of your products or services, but is hesitant to convert to a purchase. How do you help get them over the finish line? Coupons can help, but how do you know you are targeting the visitors who showed the highest interest?
Use real-time marketing automation to segment your audience based on how often they have viewed a product or service on your website. You can then exclude those who are less likely to respond to your coupon, for example, those who have purchased the product at least once in the past 24 hours.
3. Bring back cart abandoners
With all the distractions of modern life, it is all too easy for customers to add something to their online shopping cart and forget to check out, or they simply left it there because they couldn’t decide at the time. However, you shouldn’t just let go of these cart abandoners.
By using real-time marketing automation to identify those shoppers showing exit intent, you can send them a gentle reminder that they forgot to check out their purchase. For example, you could send a reminder to those who have added items to their basket in the last hour, but make sure to exclude those who have completed checkout in the last 24 hours. In this case, you can identify shoppers prone to this behavior, and remind them to complete their purchase in time.
Leveraging AI to Calculate Timings
To further improve your campaign’s effectiveness, you also need to know the optimum timing at which to deliver your messaging. By leveraging advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as machine learning, you can analyze customer data on their behaviors and habits, in order to calculate the best time to contact each customer segment. For example, if Suzie tends to browse the web on her tablet in the evening, or if Dan usually buys products for his infant in the morning, and then you want to make sure to reach out to them at the time when they most likely to interact with your brand.
By knowing your customers’ behaviors, you can time your promotions to land when they are likely to be most effective. This will help you achieve the highest level of customer engagement and conversion.
Real-time marketing automation provides you with the most up-to-date insights on your customers’ behavior, allowing you to tweak your marketing strategy on an hour-by-hour basis. It allows brands to show a willingness to respond to customer’s needs in a timely manner, and avoid blasting one campaign or messaging out to every customer.
* Do you want to improve your marketing automation efforts in 2020? Download our latest white paper ‘ The Ultimate Guide to Supercharge Your Marketing Automation With AI ’ for more in-depth insights. Got more questions? We are here to help! Get in touch with our experts today for an exclusive consultation.