The modern customer has high expectations and expects companies to cater to their interests as and when they want. The only way to cater to customers’ demands and anticipate their needs is through real-time data. Marketers can use real-time data to set their brands apart from the rest. But before we explore ways marketers can use real-time data to their benefit, first let’s pause a bit to understand the meaning of real-time data. Real-time data is data that is collected as it occurs in the real world.
Real-time data helps in creating meaningful insights which the marketer can instantly process and put to use. For example, if an online purchase is declined by a customer, the company representative will be notified immediately.
Having an all-round view of a customer’s purchase history helps marketers in tailoring their promotional campaigns to attract the right segments and also helps them in influencing customers during prompt purchases.
The right price of a product is based on its availability, demand, competitor’s pricing of the same product, and finally, the customers’ willingness to buy the product at that price. Real-time data helps in setting the right price for the product.
Tracking of fluctuations in inventory and demand require systems that can track real-time data to achieve sales and revenue. Retailers can use real-time data to estimate the quantity of stock to be kept on shelves of each store, for they don’t want to be left with products that won’t be sold or not have enough stocks of items that are fast selling.
Big retail outlets have many stores, lesser distribution centers, and online shopping applications. At present, most retail stores are also acting as distribution centers. They forward orders to local stores and ship items from there. Through real-time data, businesses can plug any drain on business margins as shipment costs, inventory considerations, service-level agreements, and manpower problems are all part of this.
Retailers should be alerted about unusual patterns popping up and data being out of range. For instance, getting notifications on low level of inventory in a particular store or manpower on any given day will help in optimizing revenue opportunities.
Real-time data is not easy to leverage even though the benefits are plentiful. Marketers are still struggling to find relevance in core customer engagement moments and do not have an accurate business case for real-time engagement. According to a CMO Council survey, only 7% of marketers have the ability to use real-time data to implement real-time marketing activities to leads and customers. Let’s take a look at some of the things marketers need to be mindful of while leveraging real-time data.
Data management and messaging execution at a precise moment is very challenging for marketers. Tonya Davis, marketing manager with ThoughtLab stated that it is challenging to predict precisely what will work with your target audience during an event. In order to reap the benefits from an ongoing event, one needs to guess the tone, emotion and messaging to be used. This may backfire as it’s based on guesswork.
When one is creating content for a resource center, there are lots of instances where one may find themselves framing answers that have already been addressed before. Hence, one needs to be careful to avoid duplication on different pages on the website.
There is a wealth of data available to marketers today. The real challenge lies in deriving actionable insights from that data. Marketers are facing challenges in separating relevant data from non-relevant data and taking proper action within a set timeframe ideally while the customer is still engaged.
Managing location data is a struggle for marketers as it’s stored in different applications like Google, Yelp and the like. Getting accurate data is very important as well as getting it in real-time. Right from temporary closure, permanent closure, the marketer must get it all in real-time. If the data is inaccurate, it will have a direct impact on foot traffic and revenue.
As can be seen from above, real-time data is indeed the backbone of any digital marketing strategy. However, leveraging real-time data requires investing in a modern data platform that allows collection, ingestion, and analyzing data from different sources. DataBlaze, is one such platform that collects data near to real-time via Spark streaming. Since DataBlaze is dynamic in nature, the real-time data generated can be utilized in many different ways. For example, an automobile company can target customers for its new car using real-time data. If the data was static, this would not have been possible. There is a need for marketers to target customers at a particular point in time to know the big picture and that is only possible through real-time data.