The Connected Consumer: Right Time Over Real-Time and the Omnichannel Experience
By Aptaris / July 2016Insights
When consumers are always “on,” checking friends’ status updates, surfing the web on a whim and shopping, there’s pressure for businesses to respond in real-time.
Some real-time marketing efforts may be welcomed by consumers, such as chatbots, robots that simulate human conversation. A recent Washington Post article describes retailers using chatbots to help shoppers to browse and buy their products, including Sephora and H&M. The ability for chatbots to insert emojis and conversational commerce, such as Generation Z slangs “outfit inspo” and “Perf!” are likely to facilitate the buying process.
However, not every situation calls for an immediate marketing message or promotional offer. In this age of empowered e-consumers, the customer is in control. They demand communications at a time when it is most suitable to their needs and in the channels they prefer.
Right Time Marketing, which matches offline and online data sets to establish optimally timed connections with consumers, may be a preferred business strategy.
According to the DMA, Direct Marketing Association, Right Time Marketing has evolved to embrace the four R’s:
- The Right Person by accessing a combination of customer and prospect data as well as third-party demographic data.
- The Right Channel using a multichannel approach to target consumers and creating a seamless brand experience across screens – from smartphone and tablets to laptops. Today, consumers use an average of eight channels and various devices to research and make purchases.
- The Right Moment because consumers are bombarded with marketing messages, retailers must stand out with relevant messages at the right time.
- The Right Answer by integrating the right data across multiple channels to anticipate customer behaviors, retailers can provide the information to ensure each interaction is an opportunity to strengthen customer loyalty, minimize churn and increase revenue.
To accommodate right time, right channel messaging, markers must continually collect data such as where consumers have been, who they are, what they are doing, and which channels they use. In some cases, a real-time response may be the correct course of action, but using data insights and analytics will inform marketing decisions and the best customer interaction can be achieved.
According to marketing technology firm, DataMentors, marketers are realizing that data drives competitive advantage. Marketers must augment internal data sets with third party sources to better understand their customers and prospects.
Based on an Econsultancy study, the top data sources are:
- Transaction history – 87%
- Customer information from a CRM – 80%
- Behavioral data from websites and campaigns – 74%
- Data about customers from trusted partners – 60%
- Behavioral data from third party sources – 52%
- Customer data from third party sources – 51%
- Demographic customer data from third party sources – 49%
Data and the way it’s used is the clear path to empowering right time engagement and acquisition. DataMentors spotlights a survey from VB Insight of more than 3,000 marketers and looked at tools used on over three million website. The research found that when the right data informs marketing strategies, the average ROI is a whopping 224%.
Another aspect of Right Time Marketing is fulfillment aligned with customers’ omnichannel experience. A recent Retail Touchpoints article advises retailers not to be threatened by Amazon and to focus on broadening their fulfillment capabilities:
- Monitor on-demand delivery trends
- Enhance strategies for shoppers to buy online/pick up in store and ship-from-store
- Optimize efficiency of nationwide distribution centers
By maximizing Right Time Marketing, retailers have an opportunity to build a unique brand experience and stand out from the competition.