The Power and Necessity of Real-Time Engagement With Today’s Customers

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 14, 2022

The best marketing strategies evolve and grow with the consumer. In this series, we focus on Relationship Marketing and how to get started with a marketing strategy that matures as a consumer’s relationship with a brand changes.

By: Allie Hardee, Cheetah Digital

As the world has changed, so has B2C marketing. We’ve seen B2C marketing transform from the early days of transactional, volume-based aging to a conversational, real-time engagement strategy that requires Messaging at Scale, Cross-Channel Marketing, Real-Time Marketing, and Intelligent Marketing.

Messaging at Scale: Accelerating Email and SMS Programs

As brands and customers have evolved their strategies, one thing still rings true: Email is the most influential and impactful marketing channel, with $45 ROI for every dollar spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

Consumer purchase decisions on mobile continue to rise and, as a result, email and SMS implementations in marketing programs have accelerated success for marketers. Businesses require the right messaging capabilities to grow with them as they scale from startup to enterprise. The name of the game is precise and accurate targeting and segmentation. The way to achieve this is through what we call ‘Messaging at Scale’.

Messaging at Scale is a best practice focused on leveraging audience segments and engaging customers using batch and trigger-based email and SMS campaigns. When Messaging at Scale, you can communicate with customers through precise and effective targeting. While batch and send files are still used in platforms today, integrating a constant flow of data to activate trigger-based messages at scale is the most effective way to engage customers at the right time and place. Campaign reports need to enable growth through actionable insights and assist in identifying new audience segments and interests for future sends.

The result? You can see an increase in average order value, grow customer engagement, and continually improve on the vast ROI that email provides.

Cross-Channel Marketing: Deliver Messages That Resonate and Delight

The table stakes are covered; your brand is collecting zero-party data directly from customers who are happy to share it, emails are being personalized based on that data, and sales are improving. Customers are still churning, and it costs a lot of money to replace them. A common contributing cause to this problem is email operating in a silo from other critical channels.

Relationship marketing requires consistency and relevance across channels. Each customer interaction should build upon the previous one. Cross-channel marketing goes way beyond the transaction. Marketers build automations to welcome new customers, nurture them, recognize their life events, reward them for their loyalty, and even win back customers who might have lost interest. Brands exceed customer expectations in today’s competitive digital landscape by consistently connecting these experiences across channels.

Did you know? 80% of consumers have a favorite brand because that brand provides a consistent customer experience.

Real-Time Marketing: Respond in Real-Time With Contextual and Personalized Experiences

Customers want to feel understood. Relationship Marketing involves gaining a deeper understanding of each customer and responding across touchpoints in real-time with constantly-improving personalization.

Whether a consumer is a prospective first-time shopper or a loyal returning customer, they are probably looking at more than one online store to find the best solution to their problem, and their research is likely to extend across multiple channels.

Brands that can listen across channels in real-time and react to moments of engagement with contextually personalized experiences are more likely to deliver critical answers to curious consumers during the essential moments of purchase.

Real-Time Marketing provides the capability to listen and react to user signals on the web, online store, and mobile app. Machine learning surfaces critical insights for individuals at scale. As a result, marketers can determine the next best action for customers and prospects and trigger interactions in real-time. Some actions include personalizing web and mobile interactions, responding to behaviors with triggered messages, and ensuring the right incentives and offers reach each user.

Developing and implementing Real-Time Marketing has a significant positive impact on customer engagement, expands opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell, and improves triggered interactions’ effectiveness and conversion rates.

Intelligent Marketing: Leverage the Power of ML for Personalized Journeys

Typically, analytical intelligence has been reserved for data science professionals who are well versed in the ways of statistics, predictive analytics, and more advanced tactics. Rarely are brands able to connect the dots between the work done by data scientists and last mile execution programs that marketers deliver.

To identify opportunities that drive customer engagement and increase revenue, marketers need to understand and anticipate customer behavior. This requires tools that enable easy access to customer insights and analytics. Machine learning and AI have been at the forefront in driving strategic initiatives to achieve digital transformation and customer experience goals.

Intelligent Marketing allows brands to uncover valuable insights and audiences, and drive results with recommendations and predictions leveraging machine learning. With Intelligent Marketing, brands can take the manual chore and guesswork out of audience identification, targeting, propensity scoring, recommendations, and offer optimization.

Leveraging a recipe of journey orchestration, smart activation, advanced decisioning, and machine learning, underpinned by a single customer view of consumer data, Intelligent Marketing can enhance customer intelligence by streamlining campaigns to accurately predict audiences that are likely to become customers. It’s time to free your data. Your customers will follow.

Engage in Real-Time, All the Time

Today, consumers interact with your brand on multiple channels. They're unpredictable, they jump from awareness, consideration, evaluation, and purchase. They engage on digital channels and on your mobile apps and they expect you to be flexible and adaptive in your approach. The way to engage the modern consumer is through real-time hyper-personalization. This approach includes delivering not only the right content, but the right actions and sequence of events for each customer individually.

Bringing together these unique ingredients of Real-Time Engagement can have a meaningful impact for marketing organizations and brands, revealed through increased engagement, revenue, and marketing efficiency.