Catching up to the consumers
Using technology and analytics to support marketing is not especially new. It is fair to say that it has been possible for some time. Many organisations have invested in marketing platforms, for example. However, there is a niggling problem. The investment may have been made, but few marketers are really getting full satisfaction from those investments. Indeed, recent research from SAS and Accenture showed too much focus on too few channels, restricted personalization, poor journey management and outdated site experiences.
However, two issues that really stood out for me were problems with delayed insights and limited real-time decisioning. Why? Because there is no longer any real justification for this being an issue, and it is still holding these organisations back.
Moments that matter more than you think
Traditional analytics solutions in marketing often use batch processing. Essentially they collect data over a given time, process it and then feed it back, collected, at another time. And while this does have its place, it is a solution that has severe drawbacks when looking at how consumer behavior rapidly changes.
If your strategy is based on getting in touch with consumers weeks or months after a purchase, then batch would still be a good friend. But if you want to drive behavior based on given interactions with your brand as they happen, then real-time marketing analytics is the friend you never knew you always wanted.
This will allow you to react to what we call micromoments (I want to go, I want to do, I want to know, I want to buy). Moments that happen on the fly across different platforms are based on a catalyst that can arise at any time. The need to be ready to react to outside actions has never been more important than it is now. Consumers demand personalized and relevant service whenever they interact with a brand. And, sorry to say, brand loyalty is rapidly declining because consumers these days are less forgiving if they feel you do not respect their time.
Most companies know that there are certain actions that usually work as a prelude to another action, such as a purchase, conversion, cancellation, etc. And real-time analytics enables you to react to these “moments that matter” when they arise, and not days after they happened. Indeed, reacting more than fashionably late can even give you a further knock, as you could be seen as a dinosaur who is late to the party, further damaging your brand.
Can’t we all just get along?
So does this mean that you need to replace your good old setup and change to a new shiny and updated version? Well, not necessarily. These days, integrations will help build the future. And with marketing analytics, it is no different.
Instead of sending batch handling to the Elysian fields for their good work, there is a future where batch and real-time analytics co-exist to get the best of both worlds. The best customer intelligence software will integrate seamlessly with most vendors. And by layering in additional software to your current setup, you can add real-time decisioning or real-time event-driven marketing options to your system.
This means that you do not have to choose between existing and new but can use both, allowing you to run your campaign using your existing system, but with an added layer of intelligence to help you understand when to launch the campaign, or when to send particular emails to a potential customer.
This type of layered approach is a game-changer. It takes your existing data, within existing systems, and turns that data into a genuine asset. This enables you to draw on more information at more appropriate times. In other words, it adds value to your existing systems and data, sitting alongside them and integrating fully with them. So the answer to the question is: Yes, we can all get along!