The Marketing Immediacy Mantra: how to deliver excellent real-time experiences

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Engaging consumers in the micro-moment is becoming a top goal for direct marketers, however, unless marketers are able to deliver value with each interaction, they risk alienating customers. Here are some tips for getting started:

There’s a new sheriff in the land of marketing: immediacy.

Otherwise sometimes know as instantaneous, now, pronto, boom. Immediacy is the mantra that runs the marketer’s realm, from program planning, to data and analytics and, most importantly, every aspect of automated lifecycle communications across all digital channels.

‘Now-ness’ is the new necessity when it comes to putting data into action to drive consumer experiences and conversions in the moment.

Of course, the driving factor is fast-acting consumers with mobile devices 24/7 accessing anything and everything – they continue to push the immediacy shift.

With 55% of email opens on mobile (and climbing) according to Litmus, we have more opportunities to impact with marketing immediacy and value than ever before. In many businesses, it’s really get faster or go home time.

Analysis of 13 Billion Email Opens  2015 Market Share StatsLitmus Blog

With immediacy running the show today, marketers need a clear roadmap with vision for speed and agility to close the gap around any latency to action. The challenge is to instantly connect cause and effect across the lifecycle.

This process honors the concept of Consumer-First Marketing, where marketing is truly aligned with a consumer’s contextual state, by recognizing and responding in the most relevant way possible to add value.

To deliver on this, data attributes from every channel need to be accessed in near real-time and put into action.

With the Immediacy Mantra breathing down our necks, let’s consider what needs to be done to achieve immediacy in the delivery of consumer experiences:

Ask, ask and ask again

Marketers need to be in the business of asking questions. They will not always be overt questions to a consumer, but can be in the form of both explicit and implicit information gathering across all channels.

This continual asking will continue to shape contextual opportunities in the moment. For example, simply asking and knowing a consumer’s location opens up an array of real-time communication opportunities.

Marketers should also be asking themselves what data attributes are worthy of being put into action and tested across channel communications. The days of demographic segmentation are behind us, today we need to keep studying how to use real-time data in many forms to deliver value immediately.

Don’t believe me? Consider this example from Dr. Peter Gentsch, founder of Business Intelligence Group, as recounted by Brian Solis in Forbes.

 

Act and React

Immediacy is all about fast action and reaction. This is where marketers need to do an assessment across resources.

Having the right partnerships, both internally and externally, to deliver data-driven experiences that add value in the moment is key. Evaluating the people, partners and processes that go into consumer experience delivery is the first stop on the fast track to success.

There will most likely be an evolution required, so take time to do this well, as it will set the stage to deliver on the future vision. During this evolution, continue to focus on data attributes that can be put into action to deliver immediate value.

For example, a marketer knows ‘Consumer A’ recently browsed hotels in Palms Springs on a mobile device and they like shopping stylish brands and golfing. What could a hotel marketer do to add value to this consumer’s vacation planning process? So many possibilities. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Deliver value, again and again

An important note about the immediacy mantra is that value is equally imperative to speed. If you are immediately reacting and reaching out with something that the consumer doesn’t see value in, you are doing more harm than good.

With Consumer-First Marketing, the magic is in being able to deliver consumers value at the precise time and place that it’s needed most.

With a lens toward this focus and ongoing testing and optimization, marketer’s can begin to deliver value again and again. Often, the biggest value is also timeliness and immediacy, such as the fast-tracking shopping options we see today at Amazon, or the transparency and value of the mobile experience Uber and Lyft provide when seeking transportation.

Showing consumers you are there to provide for them and not waste their time can be a true competitive advantage.

Yes, immediacy rules today, and it’s important to get it right in the moment. By asking the right questions (and asking again), having the ability to act and react in real-time, and delivering continued value, marketers can begin to craft excellent consumer experiences and deliver value at the moment in time when the consumer is most apt to act.

What is your team doing to take on the immediacy mantra during 2016?

Catherine Magoffin is the Director of Strategic Services at Selligent

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