Real Time Marketing - Why Just in Time May be Just Too Late

Don’t underestimate your customers and prospects. These days they are only a click away from going to a competitor. Rather than just in time sales offers or ‘please come back’ pleading for dollars, why not invest in ongoing nurturing of a relationship from day 1? Not such a bad approach but not rocket science either.

Real-time marketing does not take the place of social media communications, traditional email newsletters, creating amazing content or even advertising. It is a strategic move that many organizations are adopting as we speak to complement their existing marketing activities.

When a user comes to your website, what are you doing to ensure they are being presented with content that is relevant to them? A visit doesn’t imply they are interested in every piece of information available, it simply demonstrates someone made an effort to go there. It is up to you, the organization to make the effort to keep them there.

Real-time marketing online implies you do in fact know something about the user. That means they have either visited your site before or have visited a site (or sites) that harbors a pixel that is tracking some of their behavior. Once you know what a user’s interests are, your organization can present content that is meaningful to them.

It may make you wonder, “What else is known about my online behavior?” At the end of the day and from a purely marketing point of view, real-time marketing should be used to create a pleasant, non-intrusive user experience designed to make visitors feel special, stay, return and ultimately do business with you.

Let’s examine some real-time programmatic use cases and potential results.

Real-time Recommendations 

  • You purchased this, you may enjoy these.
  • People who looked at this item, also looked at this item.
  • If you purchase this, you can also purchase this item at a discount.

Carla is interested in business books, specifically best sellers from online marketing “gurus.” She goes to a major online bookstore and starts to look at the best sellers then reads the descriptions and the reviews of the top selling books. On one side of the screen there is a list of books she may be interested in based on what books she has browsed through on the site today, on previous visits and based on her purchase history. When she clicks on the top best selling marketing book she also sees that people who purchased that book also purchased Book A and Book B. This is a pure peer pressure play, people like you, liked this so you will too! In addition, Carla is presented with an offer that provides these 2 books plus the one she is viewing as a discounted bundle if she buys all 3. She’s on a budget but recognizes that she gets a discount if she buys all of the books together. PLUS that puts her over the threshold to get FREE shipping. It’s a DEAL. Carla takes advantage of the recommended 3 book bundle and as an added bonus gets free shipping of her 3 books.

Upside for the e-tailer:

  • larger sales transaction
  • customer loyalty & repeat business
  • word of mouth recommendations

Real-time Content Personalization

  • Customized User Experience every time, all the time.
  • Increased loyalty based on knowing what I like to read/watch/listen to.

Jack is a busy CEO and has very little time in the morning. As he drinks his coffee he visits a major news website to read the daily news. He frequents the Finance, Business and World news segments, rarely ever reads local stories, entertainment and never has any interest in fashion or house and garden features. The news site detects Jack when he visits and personalizes the content he may be most interested in on the first page. Popular article headlines and teaser text for each article pertaining to his top topics are displayed at the top and his secondary topics are displayed towards the bottom of the screen. He reads all of the articles presented for his favorite topics and 1 or 2 of the secondary topics. The reason he returns to this particular site is that the articles he enjoys are automatically presented to him. No entering information in forms, no endless navigation or browsing – the up to the minute news information he wants is right there for him at all times.

Upside for the news outlet:

  • targeted advertising based on user interests
  • high potential for a premium subscription

Real-time Notifications

  • Instilling a sense of urgency to make a buying decision.
  • Using Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to accelerate the sales cycle.

Lisa is an avid traveller. She has a high standard when it comes to travel but she is always looking for the best possible price. She visits a discount hotel site that she frequents, enters in her hotel, location and date criteria and is presented with a list of options. Lisa selects a hotel and starts reading the profile. While she is reading she sees a discreet popup notification indicating that 8 other people are looking at this hotel right now. This instills a sense of urgency to make a buying decision and capitalizes on FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. A few seconds after the first pop up goes away another one appears indicating that 4 people booked this hotel in the last hour. Lisa is getting a little nervous. What if the hotel get’s sold out? Lisa is concerned she won’t get into this hotel and get’s the impression it is booking up quickly. It almost feels like a competition to get a room at this particular hotel. She clicks the RESERVE button and makes her reservation and breathes easy.

Upside for the hotel site:

  • accelerated conversions
  • repeat business

Real-time Audience Targeting

Dave visits a car site. He is interested in specific type of car, let’s say a BMW. He then visits local dealer sites, online classifieds for his area and review sites for cars and vendors. While online he also goes to a site and buys a childrens play structure and books a trip to 4 to Australia. So how are these relevant? The system now knows that he has specific interests BMW, Family Outdoor Activities, Travel. From his online behavior the system can make some assumptions that he is a family man, probably a professional with adequate funds for a BMW purchase. The system them starts to serve up content that may be of interest – BMW car ads, from vendors in his area that would be suitable for a family of four. i.e. no 2 seater convertibles here. The desired outcome is that Dave is provided all the information he requires to make a purchase decision quickly from one of the vendors who has ads for a BMW car in his area.

Upsides for the ad publisher:

  • high performance ad campaign
  • adding another potential buyer to other segments (travel, outdoor living, children's products)

Your organization knows more than you think about your customers and visitors. This information is currently contained in CRM systems, web logs and can be augmented through reputable third party data to broaden your audience or precision target for specific offers. Using this data to provide your customers with a personalized experience in real-time is an excellent strategy to continue nurturing the relationship programmatically. Real-time is how people operate. Just in time – may be just too little, too late.

Find out how your organization can leverage the Datacratic Machine Learning Platform to add real time capabilities to power your product or solution.

Tweet: Why Just In Time #Marketing May be Just too Late - #RealTime Marketing Advantages by @AVV from @Datacratic.




Interesting insights into the feasibility of online marketing strategies used in reservations-- real-time notifications have the potential to be win-win for customers, too. Thanks for sharing.

Submitted by Brian on

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