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Real-time digital insights & automation: Powering digital marketer’s performance

30-second summary:

  • Too often, the budget is wasted because the marketer driving the ship isn’t keeping pace with modern consumer behavior.
  • The coming year holds great promise for digital marketers. In this article, we’ll take a look at two areas of great opportunity—two places you can focus to tackle these challenges head-on: real-time insights and real-time automation.
  • It’s about truly understanding your customer’s need at that moment—even if there isn’t a human on the other end of the interaction.

Last year digital marketers wasted on average of 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies {Rakuten Marketing}.

While there are many different reasons and ways in which marketing strategies underperform, I believe there is a common thread woven through many of the campaigns we see today.

Too often, the budget is wasted because the marketer driving the ship isn’t keeping pace with modern consumer behavior.

As consumers evolve, so too must digital marketers. Yet the issue isn’t simply that marketers need to move faster or work harder to keep up. Increasingly, they’re having to do so in the face of internal competition for budget, limited resources, and constraints on their time.

The C-level demands the accountability and ROI accounting they know is technologically possible but may not be enabled in their funding and allocation of resources.

Digital marketers today are expected to pull off campaigns that are nearly omnipresent, ensuring the brand is ready and waiting at each consumer touchpoint with individualized offers, personalized content and just the right messaging to help that consumer convert to their next step.

The coming year holds great promise for digital marketers. In this article, we’ll take a look at two areas of great opportunity—two places you can focus to tackle these challenges head-on: real-time insights and real-time automation.

Real-time insight is the new baseline standard

If you don’t have a deep understanding of who your consumer is, you’re throwing marketing dollars down the drain from the moment your campaign kicks off. Today, we cannot afford to try things based on what worked last year, or gut feeling (even if it feels like a really, really good one).

With each new app they use, every service that exceeds their expectations, consumers’ demands and behaviors are evolving. From “bring me Thai food fast” on Door Dash to “show me desk lamp inventory” on IKEA, today’s consumer has become accustomed to instant answers to their every question and query. If you can’t be there in the moment to provide that answer, chances are a competitor will.

Real-time insight isn’t just the timely collection of data, true insight requires that you are able to understand and activate that data, as well. It’s about truly understanding your customer’s need at that moment—even if there isn’t a human on the other end of the interaction. Your technology must be able to recognize exactly what it is that consumer needs at that moment and present content that delivers.

Real-time insights enable you to respond quickly on that personal level, but also to

  • Recognize trends and shifts in consumer behavior that call for changes in service, product development, or other areas of the business.
  • Pinpoint operational errors and take immediate steps to remedy them.
  • Discover new opportunities for upselling, cross-selling, and loyalty.
  • Quickly identify chances to engage online, which improves service for that individual and also expands your digital footprint (for example, rapid online reviews response and answering Google Q&As).

Truly real-time insight is challenging, but it’s worth getting right. According to Thomas Baumgartner et al’s Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World’s Sales Leaders, organizations that implement changes based on data analytics can expect to see sales margins increase between 8 and 25%.

For digital marketers, the key to activating data analytics is search optimization, not only one of the biggest channels, the search is front and center in the vast majority of customers’ purchasing journey. In fact, 87% of customers begin their product searches online. In addition to its critical place at the forefront of product discovery, search, in turn, feeds key insights into content marketing, email marketing, social media, and paid media to help improve the efficacy of each channel.

Real-time insights provide you the opportunity to reach your customers in the most critical moments, at every step in their customer journey. If you know what people are looking for at the moment, you can capitalize on those trends across all digital channels to deliver a truly holistic shopping experience.

Of course, all of this data gathering, analysis and activation is simply impossible without a solid underpinning of smart, real-time automation.

Real-time automation and enhanced economies of development

In its most simplistic form, automation gives our capabilities scale. It allows us to let technology do the work of redundant tasks, and to reduce manual labor. It frees up time for humans to focus on more creative and impactful work.

But all automation is not created equal, not by a long-shot. In order to be a real driver in this mission to deliver the exceptional in-the-moment experiences consumers crave, your marketing automation must enable the brand to respond to immediate consumer needs with precision and accuracy—in real-time, or as near to it as possible.

In fact, engaging with customers in real-time has been identified as both marketing’s greatest challenge and its greatest opportunity.

We have incredible opportunities to transform every aspect of the business with intelligent automation. You’re not just looking to save time, but to improve performance, enhance productivity and increase scalability.

You’re looking to delight customers with real-time personalized experiences and motivate employees by augmenting their capabilities. Intelligent automation not only makes us efficient but helps us make smarter and better-informed decisions, as well.

What does this look like in practice? Consider the example of martech leader Adobe, who have automated bidding performance in Adobe Advertising Cloud Search, with the help of AI and machine learning technology from Adobe Sensei.

Salesforce continues to transform CRM with automated processes, flows, and workflows. Where I work, BrightEdge Autopilot automatically optimizes content and fixes web and mobile errors with self-driving technology.

Using this technology Campbells soup saw a 204% traffic lift year-over-year. With one day of implementation they were able to compress 75,000 images and within a few weeks saw an improved faster mobile page load speed for 35% of pages.

These types of innovations are streamlining the responsibilities of digital marketers and freeing up time to focus on more innovation, creativity, and testing.

Unlike other industries (that is, manufacturing) where workers feel threatened with displacement, in digital employees are recognizing the massive professional opportunities open to those who can effectively use technology to enhance their own performance.

The intelligent use of automation is here to assist digital marketing through what I like to call “economies of development”, wherein digital marketers stand to extend their influence and leadership across the organization.

Digital marketers are uniquely positioned to not only grow digital marketing but to fundamentally shift the way organizations use technology to elevate professional and personal performance.

As technology continues to permeate operations in every division marketers can become tech Sherpas for the organization, helping everyone from finance to product development to sales and beyond to capitalize on the opportunities real-time insight and automation offer.

Make this year, the year you realize the greatest potential of both people and technology. Invest in continuing education to help your digital marketing team learn how to leverage real-time insights, and automate not for the sake of automating, but intelligently—to drive a deeper understanding of your customer. To facilitate smarter decision-making. To enable the brand to deliver faster, better, and more exactly.

The way I see it, people are born to be creative. When technology successfully complements rather than replaces services, that human connection is not only maintained but nurtured and expanded upon.

This evolution of real-time marketing puts digital marketers squarely at the forefront of strategy, creative, and innovation. Are you positioned to capitalize on that opportunity?

Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise SEO and content performance platform. 

The post Real-time digital insights & automation: Powering digital marketer’s performance appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 6 months ago from www.clickz.com

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