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Marketers Vary on Just Trying to Define Real-Time Marketing



As if we have already conquered much of what the Internet space has to offer marketers, the online marketing industry is moving on and now trying to tackle the concept of real-time marketing. Of course, it’s a good idea to have a clean definition of what you are trying to master. Well, that is if you want to do something in excellence. Unfortunately, the online marketing industry often settles for doing what’s ‘in’ or ‘cool’ and then wonders why things fall apart.

But enough about that. Let’s take a look at an article from eMarketer that references a study conducted by the Direct Marketing Association on behalf of Neolane. Part of its purpose was to have marketers define real-time marketing. Here are the results.

Real Time Marketing Defined

First of all, one out of ten didn’t even bother to define it. But with 43% defining it as “dynamic personalized content across channels” I would offer that there may be bigger issues.

What do you think of when you see the term ‘real-time’? For me it’s about timeliness. It’s about doing something that is tied to an event or occurrence or whatever is happening that is relevant to your product and doing it at or near the time it happens. Oreo’s Super Bowl blackout effort was real time marketing.

But this group of marketers that were surveyed focused on personalization rather than timeliness and honestly, I don’t understand that.

Let’s add to the confusion with what channels are preferred to do this ‘real-time’ marketing.

Real Time Personalization

Uh, ok. Email as a real time technique. I am a bit confuzzled here. Email is an excellent online marketing channel for a variety of reasons. I usually don’t put ‘real time’ down as one of them.

It looks as if marketers are not quite up to snuff on the ‘real-time’ marketing concept and that should be OK. Not every product needs to be focusing on real-time opportunities because they will appear forced and come off as disingenuous. That doesn’t help anyone.

In our never ending quest to stay relevant and cool though, we often substitute anything into an area that really requires a very specific something. In this case, email is being pushed as a ‘real time’ solution but the real-time elements of an email campaign are difficult to see unless, of course, your definition of real-time allows for time to set up a campaign, develop creative etc etc.

Enough griping. How about we turn this over to you, the reader. Do you agree or disagree with the results of this survey? How would you define real-time marketing? How would you execute a real-time marketing campaign in your industry? Give us your thoughts but please do it in ‘real-time’ so you don’t just forget and move on to the next big thing.

  • hassan

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  • Patrick

    Real-time marketing is in fact much more than the Oreo campaign, it’s about speed and agility, as well as one-to-one personalization, and cross-channel automation. See the full study for details: http://tinyurl.com/krztcxu