5 Real-Time Marketing Tips from the Offline World

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5 Real-Time Marketing Tips from the Offline World

June 15, 2014 by

Technology is the heart of real-time marketing. Through personalization and analytics software, we’re empowered to reach audiences at key decision-making points in their buying journeys.

Marketers are fixated on business intelligence and predictive analytics — we’re constantly looking for ways to refine our predictive models, find new customer acquisition channels, refine our marketing, and reach audiences faster.

We’re so caught up on jargon, however, that we sometimes forget the basics — that digital is, simply, an extension of the marketing channels that have inspired audiences for centuries.

So here they are — 5 of the most valuable real-time marketing tips from the offline world.

Tip #1: Be Extraordinary

Think back to your last lunch break. Maybe you went for a drive or took a walk outside. At some point, a retailer may have caught your attention — perhaps by offering a unique promotion or creating a really awesome advertising display.

For every one store that you noticed, you probably ignored more than 10. Why?

Because they blended in with the crowd. Because they were ordinary. Because they didn’t offer anything of value.

The lesson for real-time marketers is simple. Your brand needs more than a presence to make an impact. You need to offer your audiences something that stands out — something of value.

Consumers see more ads and marketing promotions than they can count. The brands that are getting noticed are the ones that are adding value in the form of a learning resource, funny video, helpful tutorial, or moment of delight.

Tip #2: Don’t Be Annoying

We’ve all been there.

You walk into a cell carrier store, electronics store — whatever — and immediately, sales reps pounce on you. Hungry for commission, they’re eager to ‘help,’ but don’t quite understand that what you really want is to be left alone.

Online shoppers experience that exact pain point — they’re bombarded with continuous, intrusive marketing messages.

The best way for your brand to make an impact is to tone it down. Focus on being helpful and empathetic — sales will happen as a byproduct of your brand’s ability to add value.

Real-time marketing should be a tool that reinforces communication. Let your audiences know that your brand is present, caring, and available. Do more than promote a message  — pay attention to how your customers respond.

This bridge will be critical.

Tip #3: Be a Guide

Consumers are busy. Their attention spans are fleeting. They’re limited on time and need to make the most out of every moment.

That’s why processes need to be simple, clear, and coherent.

Real-time marketing technology provides the ultimate brand-to-consumer touchpoint. You can program feedback, user experiences, and messages to pinpoint precise audience needs.

If you notice that your audiences are lost  — or about to leave your website without redeeming an offer, making a purchase, or completing a conversion event  — you can make sure that your brand is there to help.

Tip #4: Be personal

Nothing on the planet replaces a genuine brand-to-customer bond. That’s the precise reason why the Internet will never replace brick-and-mortar storefront. People love the convenience of shopping online,  but they’re also reliant on the experience of shopping in stores.

Real-time marketing can help reinforce a personal connection. Brands can target audiences with personalized offers, offer to lend a helping hand, and reach consumers on an individual level.

Why blast audiences with a one-size-fits-all marketing message?

Human-to-human connections guide commerce — and real-time brings this concept to life online.

Tip #5: Keep Things Simple

What frustrates you most when you go shopping?

You can’t find what you need. What you want is sold out. You need to stand in a crowded line to check out. You can’t find parking.

The digital ecosystem  — a landscape where transactions are swift, direct, and high-impact  — can be exponentially more frustrating

Why?

Because we expect ultimate convenience, instant gratification, and flexibility. It takes approximately 30 seconds to compare products or connect with a competitor.

Real-time marketing should not  — ever —  become a point of friction for your audience. Don’t force your users to click through an endless chain of pop-ups. Don’t bombard them with relevant messaging.

Be personal. Be personable. Be helpful.

That’s the heart of real-time.

Final Thoughts

Empathy is the crucial marketing ingredient that will give your brand a competitive edge. Real-time marketing can help you connect with customers, listen to their needs, and empower them with the right information at the right time in their buying journeys. Test, listen, learn, and repeat.

What digital marketing lessons have you learned from the offline world? Add your #6 to the list in the comments section below.

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