Real time can be right until it goes very, very wrong. Data access remains an issue — and at the end of the day and to drive relevancy, human understanding is required.
These were just a few of the conclusions drawn from last week's real time marketing Tweet Jam.
Who Sets the Terms for Real Time?
Does real time marketing respond to customer demand or do marketers call the shots? Our panel -- for the most part -- were in agreement that the customers set the expectations and have the final say about when and where real time marketing works. The keys to successful real time marketing could hold true of any marketing: trust, authenticity and purpose.
Oreo made its first appearance -- more on that later.
Tools of the Trade
It takes more than software to create a successful in the moment interaction. Software plays a big part in making these moments possible -- be it through data gathering, processing and reporting, business intelligence tools, social listening tools, etc. But without a fundamental understanding of your customer's needs, wants and context, the campaign will go nowhere.
Oreo made a return. Stay tuned.
In a Relationship?
Marketers have so many tools at their disposal, how do they know where each fits in the digital marketing jigsaw puzzle? While predictive analytics and real time marketing have a symbiotic relationship, the one isn't necessary to deliver on the other. Predictive analytics can serve to sharpen marketer's reflexes, anticipate customer's behavior and hone focus, provided they are working with the right data to provide full context.
Man Against Machine
Marketing automation can free marketers to focus on more complicated or creative decision making, but shouldn't be seen as a static thing. The behaviors need to be tested and changed as needed. Automation can carry the bulk of the workload, but as Crimson Marketing CEO Glenn Gow put it,
Only people understand other people's needs. Automation can help you swiftly identify problems, but not solve them."
Down Side of Real Time
Sometimes the shiny new toy can burn you. Irrelevant pitches, excessive messages, pushy offers, creepy messaging -- just a few ways identified in which real time marketing can fail. Importance of a clear opt in policy were noted as well as not losing site of the big picture (your long term customer relationship) in the push for a one time transaction.
Are Marketers Ready?
At this point, is real time marketing a pipe dream for marketers? Opinions differed on this, with agreement that marketers felt the pressure and desire to deliver, but roadblocks still exist. Access to data came up as did the investment in technology required. Even with the technology, the knowledge and skills required to use complicated tools could stand in the way of delivery.
We could have gone a lot farther with this conversation, looking at channels, searching for the ROI on real time, but time allowed for one wild card question: right or right now -- which would you choose.
The Oreo Question
Should the Oreo "You can still dunk in the dark" moment from the 2013 Superbowl be used as the standard for real time marketing or should it be seen as a one time, event driven, unreplicable moment? This thread ran throughout the jam, with some seeing lessons to be learned from its success and others saying that the Oreo moment should be put to rest to focus on the more personalized, relevant messaging that real time marketing enables. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.