by Will Viharo
They say there's no time like the present, and this old adage is especially applicable to the new age of advertising where forward-thinking marketers are working to respond to consumers’ increasing attitude of “I want it now.”
The collection of consumer data from various social and technical sources can now be exploited for mutual benefit, supplying brands with practically unlimited insights, allowing them to offer real-time, personalized marketing that consumers will appreciate instead of ignore.
But are real-time analytics – AKA real-time data integration, real-time reporting, or real-time intelligence (which all sound very Stanley Kubrick or very Steven Spielberg, depending on your generation) the answer? Or is marketers’ use of technology leaving consumers cold?
In a climate of increasing surveillance paranoia, it's important for brands and marketers to keep pace without coming off like virtual stalkers. With real-time analytics, you can keep your friends close, and your customers even closer – without being too close.
And because omni-channel is the desired approach for any brand that wants to remain competitive, gathering data and offering incentives can (and should) happen both remotely and in person.
Say a kid (or a middle-aged guy like me) walks into a comic book store and buys a copy of “Batman.” The savvy clerk suggests “Detective Comics” or “The Brave and the Bold,” since they both feature the same character. The kid is not only appreciative, but the clerk has cleverly sold more of the store's inventory. Brilliant.
BUT – the kid is also likely to return for more of the clerk’s excellent service, which will only get better as the clerk gets to know what the kid really likes. Jackpot.
Personal Yet Technical
Brands can connect with customers on this same personal level using technology to gather real-time analytics, and then responding with exactly what they know each customer wants.
But that doesn’t mean the “in person” connection is eliminated. Because real-time analytics is part of an omni-channel marketing approach, which means using every possible channel to connect with consumers, and that includes offline as well as on.
Things like monitoring customer service conversations, or training employees to actively engage consumers at the point of sale, can be just as crucial to brands’ success. For example:
Companies like Punchtab offer platforms designed to help you capture the data. What you do with it, is up to you.
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IMAGE CREDIT: DYE 3737