Today’s customers expect tailored, customized marketing messages. They expect you to know who they are and what they need, all without your company seeming “creepy” by knowing too much about them. Companies are turning to real-time interaction management to meet these demands and increase their conversions and sales as a result.
Forrester defines real-time interaction management (RTIM) 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.” Let’s break that down.
…Contextually Relevant Experiences, Value and Utility…
These experiences come in a variety of forms from emails triggered by predictive modeling to in-store displays pairing items often purchased together (whomever thought to put a small display of limes next to the tequila clearly saw me coming). The key to successfully delivering these experiences is to know how your customers shop and what they are going to need next. In order for RTIM to be successful, it needs to draw information from your customers’ histories and past buying behaviors and tailor predictions appropriately for your unique industry and market position.
…At the Appropriate Moment…
Putting the limes next to the tequila might be an evergreen contextual experience but few are. It is not enough to know that customers who bought widget X usually buy widget Y afterwards. You need to know how long the time between those purchases usually is and then time an appropriate offer to hit those customers to trigger their need for that purchase and associate it with your brand.
…Via Preferred Customer Touchpoints.
This is critical. Just like your tone of voice can drastically change the perception of your words in conversation, the channel through which you communicate with your customers can drastically change the efficacy of your message. It’s not just a matter of opt-in or opt-out. You need to know and understand your customer personas well enough to know which channels are most engaging. Here, data is your best friend. A media-mix analysis can tell you which media are performing best and where to increase (or decrease) your spending accordingly.
We will be digging into RTIM a bunch more over the coming months. We’ll be looking at how the data is used – specifically how past campaign performance will impact future campaigns. Is the customer churn you’re experiencing an acquisition problem or a retention problem? Stay tuned.