It’s been really fun over the past few months to see the growth in the amount of commentary and analysis of the real-time marketing trend. Recently, two Gartner execs offered their own takes on it.
Mark P. McDonald, a group vice president and head of research for Gartner Executive Programs, wrote about the role of digital technology in shaping consumers’ behavior and experiences in real time.
Some key snippets:
There are two sides to behavior. One is marketing in real time, which the Gartner for Marketing Leaders team defines as “a deliberate, sustained commitment to garnering business advantages through speed.” Real time in this sense focuses on increasing the dynamism within the customer – company marketing dialog to enable organizations to sense and respond quickly to changing demands, for example airlines use of dynamic pricing, dynamic offers, and the like. The focus on real time in this sense is on organization for speed, agility and rapid response to unplanned events — within time frames that can impact business advantage.
A digital edge customer experience realizes that the best experience an individual can have is one that they create for themselves, in real time. Consider an experience shaped by the customer, open to their context, past experience and delivered in their own time, on their own terms and specific to their situation.
Research VP Richard Fouts wrote about turning an organization into a real-time marketing machine. In his opinion, the transformation doesn’t involve a massive top-to-bottom business transformation. “Those efforts usually fail,” he writes, “because they try to deal with too much, and they often fight well established culture norms that need to handled more delicately. A more measured approach that leads by example is usually the better way to go.”
Good advice to remember for marketers, and for me as I cover this topic in more depth. It won’t do anyone any good to put out sweeping declarations about the need for real-time marketing. Better to show how the things marketers are already doing – using social analytics, doing search marketing, developing creative, etc. – can happen faster.