realtimeWhen is the optimum moment to approach someone to get what you want?

You want a puppy – ask your partner whilst watching One Hundred & One Dalmatians at Christmas

You want to watch the football – ask your wife just after you’ve run her a bath

You want an expensive pair of shoes – ask your husband whilst he’s watching the football

This is marketing in the real time, and although the above maybe deemed as slightly aggressive in nature it will certainly have more impact due to choosing the correct time and place.

Consumer purchasing power

These days, consumers have all the purchasing power and will make a split-second decision based upon quick and ruthless research. Holidays, games and even food are all available and brand loyalty is becoming less and less of a factor within our buying behaviour.

So, how can you get the savvy consumer to buy your service, product or puppy when they have such a range of choice available?

The key is to appeal to them at the moment when they’re most susceptible. This can be achieved through knowing what customers are doing at a given moment in time e.g. comparing sites for the latest gadget, sharing holiday snaps on Facebook, playing World of Warcraft etc. and then act accordingly with whatever marketing strategy is most suitable i.e. ads, special offers, celebrity endorsements etc.

This real time marketing requires all areas of your business to be on-side so decisions can be made and manipulated without the need for complicated and lengthy sign-offs; for example: if you want to send out an advert to act upon a consumer’s behaviour you don’t want to hang about for the legal department to give it the thumbs up before you can publish.

Ideally, if you can market in the real time, you’ll be aiming to provide the potential customer with a call to action that allows them to commit to an instant response as opposed to allowing them to wonder off and make a less-instinctive decision.

This strategy of contacting a customer just as they’re ripe to buy comes from the customer relationship management model and synchronizes a chain of sales and marketing events which, in turn, allows customers to feel that their decision has been made naturally and without any undue pressure.

How to do it

CRM systems can track and measure clicks, responses, direct mail campaigns, emails and social media communications to create a perfect storm where potential customers can be targeted at an optimum time and with exactly the right method of marketing tool.

It’s pretty much a given that real time marketing will start to work its way into the mobile platform market as customer location, surroundings, context and shared communications all play a major part in behavioural buying patterns, for instance: what they’re watching on TV – oh yeah!

Live interactions with customers, such as: inbound telephone calls, emails, instant messaging, live chat, texting and video calls, are all essential parts of the real time marketing and sales mix and prove that timely content is an essential key to success.

Marketing managers need to realise that the once staple of spread sheet data is way out-of-date and only through tailor-made customer experiences, which occur with access to analytical reports and technical know-how, will businesses be able to adapt to the ever-increasing demands of the ‘I want it now’ generation.

Only through speedy automation, sales intelligence and targeted communication can we ensure that we’re able to keep up with ever-changing consumer trends and demands by actually being able to influence responses and entice a call to action.

It’s really no coincidence that Google has acquired such an inordinate amount of big data which can, inevitably, be used to assist in making real time interest-based ads for advertisers and publishers.

Relating such ads to social circles, events, activities and instant information, allows consumers to engage and respond with confidence and a certain amount of authority.

In 2013 consumers want up-to-the-second information and businesses need to adjust and adapt their marketing strategy accordingly or fear being left behind.