Why Contextually Relevant Real-time Interactions Are No Longer Optional Extras

We are already approaching the second quarter of an incredibly exciting year for digital marketers. The majority of us are now fully aware of the importance of customer journeys, the possibilities of data insights and the ever growing need for contextualization and personalization.

Marketers now recognise the imperative of omnichannel, contextualized communications with their prospects and customers. The more personalized the experience, the happier the customer. The happy customer isn’t just a customer who wishes to purchase more, it’s a customer that is retained, upsold and – perhaps most importantly – the customer who becomes an advocate for your brand.

We all know it’s all about mobile and, whether it’s personalized content on a webpage, a mobile push message, a proximity alert or an optimized email, it is now more and more likely to be received and viewed on a smartphone. Brands need to react to that. Mobile has the power of 24/7 access to the ‘remote control’ of your customer’s life and the ability to enable location-based personalized marketing messages better than any other medium.

Consumers are connecting with brands via multiple channels, which means retailers must do more to drive customer loyalty. With sophisticated analytics at the heart of what we do, marketing teams can harness actionable insights from multiple data customer channels to create engaging and relevant conversations no matter what channel they are using. Advanced email and truly personalized marketing are key to successful campaigns and incremental revenue.

Every customer is on their own unique journey. Motivations to try, buy or stay loyal change depending on the individual making the choice. A brand marketer can ‘own’ that moment by using technology to harvest and interpret data and create contextualized campaigns that are triggered by customer behavior; not by their best guess.

Marketers are looking for a holistic view of their customers that will enable them to deliver even more personalized marketing interactions that increase brand engagement and sales. They are under pressure to process and interpret big data to automatically personalize and contextualize marketing communication that will help their brands to engage and build relationships with their customers, using a host of factors including location, weather, customer age and gender, favorite brands and products, web browsing history, past buying behavior and abandoned carts.

Real-time marketing interaction (RTMI) has become mission critical to the customer journey. In their new report ‘The Forrester Wave™: Real-Time Interaction Management, Q3 2015’, Forrester Research, Inc. defined RTMI as “enterprise marketing technology that delivers contextually relevant experiences, value, and utility at the appropriate moment in the customer life cycle via preferred customer touchpoints”.

To see a key industry analyst identify the market’s shift from omnichannel marketing to marketing driven by real-time interactions with individual customers is hugely encouraging. Customers increasingly expect to be treated as individuals and it is clear that if your marketing isn’t real-time, it’s already out of date. Advanced email and truly personalized marketing are key to successful campaigns and incremental revenue.

That means personalized and contextually relevant real-time interactions are no longer optional extras for marketers.

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