Loopholes in Marketing Automation - The Case for Real-Time | DMA

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Loopholes in Marketing Automation - The Case for Real-Time


As part of the follow-up conversations, I was unsurprised to hear how many organisations have yet to tackle real-time marketing successfully, as it is something I’ve consistently encountered during my many years working in Customer Experience and Marketing Automation.

As per our recent whitepaper on the subject, real-time marketing continues to be a hot topic for marketers, either for those who are doing it well (not as many as you’d think), and those who are aspirationally looking to do more in this area.

Since I’ve talked a lot about real-time marketing in the past, I thought I’d today tackle a key, and often overlooked reason to invest in having a real-time marketing strategy, both in terms of selecting and implementing a technology to connect your marketing to your inbound channels (website, call centre, mobile app, point of sale etc), and also in terms of the ongoing overhead of monitoring and maintaining a constant stream of real-time offers, or messages to your audience. Much like the puppy that isn’t just for Christmas, the real-time beast must also be regularly fed.

The overlooked reason is something of an elephant in the room perhaps, in that a customer visiting your inbound channel, for example your website, DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OPTED IN to see the marketing messages. No, my finger didn’t slip, I do think its important enough to write in caps.

When unsubscribe isn’t an issue

That’s right, your customers unsubscribe all the time, 0.4% of your base per year by some statistics I was researching. That’s a lot. There is much you can do to reduce unsubscribe rates, namely by messaging a little less often and focussing on helping the customer to do what they want to do, not what you want them to do.

Notwithstanding that an unsubscribe for many brands is a missed opportunity to invite the customer to participate in a preference centre where they can indicate the channels and products they are interested in hearing from, when a customer unsubscribes, you have lost the ability to speak to them and tell them exciting things that they might love to hear about.

Translation – you can’t sell to them anymore. Even fluffy brand awareness campaigns are beyond you, save the occasional service message that still, from many major institutions looks far too much like marketing for my comfort levels.

The best time to interact is when the customer wants to

Enter real-time. The glorious moment when a customer or prospect elects to interact with your brand, rather than the nebulous time when you decide to interact with the person, paying little attention to whether this is a good time to contact them in terms of where they are in their buying cycle as well as time of day and day of week. The marketing emails I receive overnight tend to go into the recycle bin as soon as I’ve scanned the subject line.

When a customer or prospect hits your inbound real-estate, their status as a subscriber is relatively immaterial. That isn’t to say you still have a duty of care to provide relevant, meaningful and harmless messaging, especially in Financial Services and iGaming, but when I hear from companies who have yet to tackle real-time successfully, I wince the massive lost revenue potential that it represents.

Where are you in your real-time journey?

There are many great real-time technology providers out there, and we should know, we are partnered with most of them.

By Timothy Biddiscombe

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