Marketers constantly seek to match the right message with the right person at the right time. Due to the proliferation of digital media, executing on the time factor in this equation has become more important than ever. Direct response techniques that have proven so successful for direct mail and email marketers are now available across nearly every marketing channel, because every consumer's click can now be used to infer intent and personalize the next message that a consumer sees. Click-stream analysis can place each consumer at the appropriate stage within conversion funnels for your offers, and because the "right message" for each consumer depends entirely on their position in the funnel, faster click-stream analysis results in more relevant messaging and improved campaign response. In other words, marketers who invest in reducing the data latency involved in analyzing the digital behaviors that result from their campaigns make more money for their firms.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. Marketers buy keywords and their ads are instantly displayed alongside the search results for those keywords. Those ads would be far less relevant - and far less effective - were they displayed hours, days, or weeks after those keyword searches were performed. The "right time" to display those ads is instantly - at the very moment the consumer enters the keywords, signaling their intent.
Since nearly every marketing channel now provides data that can be used to close the direct response loop, similar principles can now be applied more broadly. For example, on websites, every visitor's clicks can be fed into algorithms used to optimize content on every page and layer display ads alongside that content in order to maximize the relevance of every page to every unique visitor. Every click has the potential to change the definition of relevance for every visitor, so there's no time to lose in analyzing them. In the mobile channel, local retailers can feed every patron's location into algorithms that trigger the delivery of special offers to those that are nearby. Every step away from the retailer's location represents a step away from a conversion, so time is of the essence. In social media channels, firms can monitor when their brands are mentioned and respond appropriately. Rapid responses can mean the difference between positive outcomes and negative impacts on a brand.
The following examples - one from the direct marketing world and another from the real-time display advertising world - further illustrate the importance of reducing data latency in order to market in real time, regardless of channel focus:
Smart marketers (chief marketing officers in particular) recognize that real-time marketing requires a significant focus on big data and the technology strategy required to unlock its value. They also realize that the value created by marketing in real time is more than worth the effort, because it lets them get closer to their customers and prospects by creating more meaningful and relevant interactions with them in support of their campaign goals, which ultimately leads to increased customer acquisition and retention - the metrics by which every marketer's success is measured.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Brad Terrell is responsible for maximizing the value that Netezza technology delivers to the many innovative digital media firms that power their large scale data analysis initiatives with Netezza's analytics appliances.
Before joining Netezza (IBM acquired Netezza November 2010), Brad led digital media initiatives at Endeca as director of business development and helped fuel the firm's rapid growth from $10 million to more than $100 million in annual revenue. Prior to Endeca, Brad helped design and launch products including the Spyglass Mosaic web browser, IBM PowerPC microprocessor, H&R Block online investing website, and FlightSafety International's FAA Level C-certified flight simulators.
Brad's entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding and serving as president of ElectricWish.com, ranked among the top five e-commerce sites on the web by ZDNet in 1999, and M-Nova, a pioneer in product development outsourcing to Eastern Europe. Brad holds an MBA from MIT Sloan and a computer science degree from Rice University.
March 19, 2014