Your Customer’s Life Is Happening NOW - How Are You Responding?

  |  September 2, 2014   |  Comments

Consumers' lives are becoming more and more fast-paced. How can marketers keep up with a customer base that expects everything to be taken care of "now"?

Technology is speeding up the way consumers receive information and interact with the world. People today expect search results to show up immediately, videos to stream on demand, instant updates on friends and family's status, location, and activities, and news alerts the moment anything happens. We are getting used to an "everything now" world, where instant gratification is no longer just a customer demand; it's becoming the new norm.

In a recent HBR blog post from professor Roland T. Rust titled "Most Marketers Flop at Real-Time Customer Interactions," he talks about how the market needs to head toward "adaptive personalization systems" to meet today's consumer demand. This concept sounds very similar to what we at StrongView call contextual messaging.

There are several ways marketers are responding to this "everything now" mentality. Whether you call these tactics real-time response, adaptive personalization, or contextual messaging, they're all part of the next wave of digital marketing focused on providing the real-time interactions that customers now demand.

Below are a few real-time response tactics that many marketers are already using to make their email and cross-channel messaging contextual:

  • Personalizing content and creative in response to customer interactions
  • Personalizing content and creative at time of open
  • Responding to customers in the context of their Web interactions
  • Responding to current events and trends in social media
  • SMS alerts regarding product or service information (orders, traffic, reservations, etc.)
  • Mobile app push notifications based on geo-targeting, products, or services information

Although the above is not an exhaustive list, in order to be successful with any of these real-time response tactics, marketers have to leverage advanced marketing technologies that make an "adaptive personalization system" or, in other words, contextual messaging, possible by automating:

  • Customer data collection and analysis to better understand consumer sentiment and increase contextual relevance
  • Content and creative processes to optimize against evolving customer behaviors and preferences
  • Distribution to automate triggered and individualized messaging across channels

As the world gets increasingly "now"-focused, the shelf life of trends, current events, and consumer sentiment keeps getting shortened. Thus, the shelf life of your contextual messaging keeps getting shortened, too. The only way marketers can begin to catch up - and keep up - is to use smart platforms as a fast-forward to get more competitive and not "flop" at real-time customer interactions.

How are you responding to the consumer expectation of "now"? Let us know in the comments below.


Katrina Conn

Katrina leverages more than 15 years of cross-channel email, mobile, social, display, and direct marketing experience to oversee the development and execution of StrongView's suite of cross-channel strategic, creative, and implementation services. An established industry thought leader, Conn works with StrongView's enterprise marketer clients in retail, financial, hospitality, consumer services, and media to help them develop, deploy, and measure cross-channel marketing programs and advanced marketing analytics initiatives.

Conn has been in the business of email and database marketing since 1999. Most recently, she served as a senior strategist at Responsys, where she helped brands design and optimize cross-channel marketing programs. Prior to Responsys, Conn served as Director of Client Services for Datran Media's StormPost division, where she managed client services and strategy teams serving brands such as Microsoft, NBC, and Turner Broadcasting. She has held management roles at digital marketing companies Alterian, Donnelley Marketing/Yesmail, and DoubleClick/MessageMedia.

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