Real-time marketing or “RTM” is the process of engaging with customers instantly based on breaking news and information. It’s about maintaining a consistent relationship with your audience with cutting-edge data.

Modern customers are more demanding than ever, and the days of waiting 24 hours for an update are over. Instant forms of communication like SMS, IM and social media prompt the rise of real-time marketing.

>How Real-Time Marketing Works

Real-time marketing thrives on current information. It may mean adapting your marketing to suit changes in your own data or alterations in audience behavior. Alternatively, RTM could involve using social media to comment on news stories and respond to customer queries.

Before now, real-time marketing wasn’t easy. By the time marketers knew about an update or event, it took too long for them to roll out an instant response. Now, with social media, social listening tools and automation, marketing is revolutionized.

Real-Time Marketing and Customer Analytics

The early days of real-time marketing were risky. Taking advantage of moments as they occur with no real context or background often causes advertising blunders. Social media monitoring, customer analytics and other insightful tools alleviate this problem.

With plenty of data to create buyer personas and social guidelines, companies now manage real-time marketing more successfully. Targeting and segmentation ensure that the right sentiments and messages reach the right people. Real-time marketing is both timely and relevant to each customer. However, you need the right tools, including:

  • Social listening tools
  • Social automation platforms
  • Customer analytics tools

How Marketers Use Real-Time Marketing

Despite its instantaneous nature, real-time marketing still needs a plan. To be successful, companies need to think about the 4 key components of RTM:

  • The Trigger: What information is prompting the opportunity for real-time marketing? E.g., Stock updates, weather forecasts, national celebrations, breaking news or social media trends.
  • The Audience: Which groups or customers will be engaged by this RTM? E.g., customers in specific locations, clients interested in a particular niche, customers searching for a keyword or people waiting for products to come back in stock.
  • The Method: How will you communicate in real time? E.g., Social media, SMS, email or instant message.
  • The Outcome: What do you want to achieve with your real-time marketing? E.g., driving brand awareness, increasing customer engagement or improving revenue.

The Benefits of Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is an answer to modern marketer’s biggest question: “How do I engage the constantly-connected customer?”

Marketing today is more complex than ever. Messages need to cut through the rising din of your competition and make a lasting impact. That means creating the right campaigns, for the right people at the right time.

Real-time marketing gives companies a chance to share their message in a specific context. It ensures that you’re fresh, relevant and up to date with the needs of your audience. Used correctly, real-time marketing:

  • Provides a wider opportunity to interact with and engage customers
  • Allows companies to earn credibility as thought leaders
  • Facilitates highly-targeted and relevant marketing campaigns