Mobile screens have officially become the most used access point to the Internet, surpassing desktop for the first time in history; and mobile searches have officially outpaced desktop searches. This seismic shift, one of the biggest since the dawn of the Internet, means that retailers must focus more of their attention than ever before on mobile. “Focusing on mobile” is about more than just a mobile-friendly website. It is about leveraging customer behavior to develop innovative, real time marketing strategies.
What Does Real Time Marketing Look Like In Action?
Customers are always on the move, which is why mobile technology has experienced such a meteoric rise. Lives are hectic; schedules are tight. Retailers must be able to leverage data to remain relevant among the chaos. There is a sea of rich, actionable data in a customer’s mobile profile. If they agree to share that profile, insight can be derived surrounding demographics, their intent, their behavior, their environment, and their location. That data can be leveraged to create highly personalized and perfectly timed messages based upon where a customer is located in real time, and what they are doing inside the store’s app.
For example, a customer who has agreed to share contextual information may enter an electronics store looking for a new laptop. She conducts a quick search on her store app on a specific laptop sitting on the shelf. With real-time marketing, the store can then instantly send that customer a rich offer for a computer that better suits her needs based upon her customer profile, and that offer could even include the exact aisle and shelf where the computer can be found. The store has saved the customer money, directed her to a more relevant product, and provided the exact, in-store location of the computer. That customer will leave with a positive feeling about the retailer, and may be willing to provide even more information to further personalize and optimize her future shopping experiences.
How do you develop such a highly personalized and targeted real time marketing platform? Getting that information to the customer is only possible with an analytics strategy that captures relevant customer and contextual data that is always refreshing to ensure that offers are timely and relevant. Without accurate and rich information, it is impossible to achieve the timing and relevancy that are critical to a real time strategy.
Customer Experience Should Be The Number One Priority
Real time marketing can only be effective when retailers focus on creating a strong customer experience, rather than simply bombarding a mobile user with content or offers. Customer motivation must be at the center of a real time strategy to increase the chances that the user will be receptive to the messages and offers.
Just a few years ago, Internet users were more likely to survive a plane crash than purposely click on a banner ad. Why? Those banner ads were blanket, wide-net campaigns that did not target specific customer segments. At this point in our post internet revolution era, customers know how to navigate around irrelevant marketing noise. However, those same customers appreciate and will act upon personalized communications that speak directly to those wants, needs and desires. When a real time approach to marketing is built on a strong analytics strategy and is executed from a customer-first position, it can yield powerful results.