What is real-time marketing?
There are as many interpretations of what constitutes real-time marketing (RTM) as there are claims of having the best strategy for its deployment. While much of the practice of RTM involves posting on social media channels – which may or may not lead to the brand’s site – the real goal of RTM should be seen as engaging with consumers while they are present and active on a brand’s site.
Most efforts in RTM involve instances of advancing brand awareness, followed by nebulous measurements of direct effect on conversions or revenue increase. In any case, measuring and proving ROI is often more an artform than a science in marketing. Campaigns predicated on going viral throughout social media can have many virtues in building brand awareness and equity. However, at the end of the day it all comes down to the bottom line: Where’s the proof in reliable acquisition cost, loyalty growth, omni-channel performance, conversion rate, revenue impact, etc.?
The prevailing expectation from consumers is that their buying experience should be relevant to their intent. This includes getting personalized offers that make it worth their time spent on your site. It’s in this place and time where RTM should reside to be of real benefit to consumers and brands alike.
The time to get real is now
Recent studies have shown that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with and return to businesses that provide relevant offers and recommendations. Additionally, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase on a product or service from a brand that delivers personalized experiences. Consumers in the digital age have made themselves clear: ‘Make my buying experience about me.’
To operate effective RTM, it takes more than monitoring Google alerts on specific industry trends, following influencers and developing relationships with them, and staying informed on relevant industry publications and newsletters. Truly effective RTM requires understanding and engaging customer needs in the moment.
Taking advantage of this burgeoning consumer paradigm requires the right technology to meet customer needs in real time. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have come a long way from chatbots and their workflows. Now, by integrating AI and optimized ML models in your shopping site, you can provide real-time engagement with your customers while they are in-session.
Advanced in-session marketing works in real-time
What does AI-driven real-time engagement look like? The closest thing to having an in-store sales representative, AI and adaptive machine learning models can track the clicks made by customers while in-session on your site. Decisioning can then be made from these chosen clicks to predict further behavior, in addition to providing relevant real-time offers. By combining CRM data and the data derived from activity in-session, it’s possible to identify and differentiate from known visitors (loyal customers) and unknown, first-time visitors. And that is what Session AI’s in-session marketing platform enables you to do.
- Understand visitor intent in real time
- Predict: Who will buy; Who will not buy; Who is on the fence and influenceable
- Engage and convert
The immediacy of such customer engagement enables you to provide a level of direct, 1:1 personalization that consumers have come to expect and appreciate. Further incentives can include a discount on shipping, social proofing offers, a nudge toward urgency to purchase can be used in the instance of having a low inventory, or even a simple loyalty rewards nudge. Shoppers that are identified with a high propensity to buy provide an opportunity to cross-sell with relevant, personalized products, or buy online and pick up in store. All of this and more can be achieved and still preserve margins, while increasing revenue incrementally.
- Provide relevant offers
- Social proofing & region-specific products
- Optimize conversions and preserve margins
- Increase value-add sales and basket size
By collecting and managing this wealth of customer data, Real-Time Marketing Platform also enables businesses to conduct deeper and more refined analytics that can better serve their business needs. With immediate access to measured results of customer activity and sales via dashboard, one can see the direct impact to the organization’s bottom line. Such information can better inform:
- Marketing campaigns
- Inventory investment
- Resource allocation
- More accurate and reliable revenue forecasting
It’s time for forward-thinking brands to look at real-time marketing as more than a set of tactics that do more than raise brand awareness. Real-time marketing means addressing the needs of your customers when and where they want – in real time. Customer standards and expectations have been significantly raised by advances in consumer buying technology. By implementing the latest technologies and configurations in AI and ML, Session AI provides ecommerce and online retailers with a better platform to meet and exceed customer expectations on a level plane.