Real-time predictive analytics: How to get the most out of real-time opportunities

Retail Writer

In today's always-on world, brands that utilize real-time predictive analytics impress audiences with their immediate and agile nature. New technologies are quickly gaining traction, particularly those that allow brands to be spontaneously responsive to customers' needs while engaging in conversations or building brand messages. These modern methods, which consider a wide range of customer data, are popular among marketers for a number of reasons, including real-time engagement, publishing opportunities and better insights from data.

What's driving the popularity of the real-time marketing approach? Customers are quickly growing accustomed to getting everything they need in an increasingly short period of time. Their demand for quicker solutions, faster turnarounds and even faster response times forces marketers to meet these needs in as close to real-time as possible. With news and current events reaching social media feeds in less than a minute, marketers must find ways to keep up or risk losing their audience's attention altogether.

Real-time is the new way to engage

Engaging a target audience on a real-time basis enhances the customer experience and can earn businesses great dividends. Using social media, a business can answer and solve its customers' queries as soon as they happen. This keeps customers connected and ensures that any poor experiences are remedied as soon as possible, increasing overall buyer happiness. Further, popular brands such as Oreo, Budweiser and Coca-Cola take advantage of live events by designing relevant campaigns and messages around them, engaging buyers while they're participating in or viewing the things they love. A survey by social intelligence firm Wayin, reported by Direct Marketing News, shows that 78 percent of surveyed marketers received a ROI of at least 50 percent in the last year on their real-time predictive analytics and marketing investments.

Real-time opportunities are soaring

Earlier this year, Forbes reported that live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope sparked a craze among marketers with real-time publishing opportunities. High-quality branded content that focuses on current affairs and live events, such as the Super Bowl, are now on marketers' to-do lists. Responsive campaigns and interactive messages are slowly becoming the communication method of choice.

The ability to monitor and track every update gives brands unprecedented opportunities. If a business struggles with maintaining past data records, imagine how much difficulty it will have when tracking data immediately after it's generated.

Get better insights through real-time data

Real-time data, or live data, is crucial in the online marketing space. Live data helps you, as a marketer, understand the current impact of your and your customers' actions, be they website traffic, social mentions or real-time campaigns. Analysis reveals insights that can positively influence a businesses' customer acquisition or relationship management techniques.

One of the best uses of real-time data is in closing the gaps between the online and offline buying experiences. With the help of beacon and geofence technologies that communicate with buyers' smartphones over Bluetooth and GPS, retailers can gather live statistics about a person's in-store behavior. Once that customer opts in and shares their personal identifying information, the retailer can send personalized offers and coupons to the buyer.

Say, for example, a brand tracks a new customer's movements in a store. This particular customer spends 12 minutes looking at one section of the store. The person moves to different areas during the visit, but circles back to that particular section several times. Because the retailer knows which products are located in that spot, it can immediately offer a digital coupon or other form of targeted marketing to entice the buyer to make a purchase.

Real-time data plays a major role as businesses build better and more targeted customer engagement strategies. Collecting and assessing real-time data not only helps narrow down marketing efforts, but also endows brands with a sharper vision that can help transform their businesses. Once the real-time data is coupled with historic customer interactions, brands are able to truly personalize the marketing experiences they deliver, based on not only what the data tells them, but also on past engagements. Consider how valuable this type of data can be in driving future marketing efforts.

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