In the Professional World, It’s Time to Get Personal


In the Professional World, It’s Time to Get PersonalFor today’s businesses, professional connections start relationships, but personalization deepens it. You may be thinking of sales, but the same is true for online marketing. In a recent study conducted by Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association, researchers took a look at how marketers are embracing, or shying away from, real-time marketing and consumer personalization. The top findings can offer your business some insight into how it can become more personal and more successful. This post breaks down what those are and suggests a few steps you can put into your strategy today.

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What is Real-Time Marketing?

Different organizations may describe real-time marketing within their own strategies in different ways than others, but many define it as “dynamic, personalized content delivered across channels,” according to the Neolane and DMA study. Real-time marketing is a must and 77% believe real-time personalization is crucial (Tweet this stat!). Understanding where others are using real-time marketing and how can help you develop a more in-depth strategy for your own business. The study found:

  • Marketers tab email as the channel for which dynamic, personalized content is the most important with 80% rating it as highly important (Tweet this stat!) and another 17% citing it as moderately important.
  • 55% of the survey’s respondents are personalizing email content in real-time and 35% are personalizing their web content. Another 40% are planning to do so.
  • More than 60% see the benefits of marketing effectiveness, customer experience and retention with real-time marketing.
  • 69% of marketers cited personalizing web content as something of high importance for their business.

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Revving Up Your Real-Time Marketing Strategy

Successful real-time marketing is dependent on a successful integration of your various marketing channels, your customer relationship management system, and the different solutions your businesses uses to reach customers. Three key areas your business should focus on with real-time marketing, especially if you’re on a tight budget and want to allocate to the areas that can yield the greatest ROI, are: email, web, and cross-channel content. If you’re unsure how to get started, here are some helpful tips.

  • Develop a cross-channel automation strategy. You can automate emails and you can automate your social posts. Where many businesses fail is in automating across channels for greater consistency and a better customer experience.
  • Re-evaluate your CRM system. Are you using this system to its full potential, integrating information from email marketing, sales and social media? You could be in need of a more robust system or an updated training session.
  • Optimize your email. Integrate your CRM solution with your email marketing software so that your email offers are more automated, personalized and more relevant to each individual recipient.
  • Encourage your teams to focus on personalized experiences. Even when reaching out in 140 characters on Twitter, your business should be delivering a personal, professional and positive experience to customers and prospects.
  • Retarget customers to deliver a continued experience across the web. No matter where your customer is online, they should be able to see relevant content geared towards their interests or online behavior from your business.

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Even if you choose to outsource your real-time efforts, make sure you’re focusing on the things which will impact your efforts most: ease of use, data accessibility and reporting, and cross-channel capabilities. Effective real-time marketing can generate increased revenue, customer retention and help your business deliver a better experience.

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2 Responses to In the Professional World, It’s Time to Get Personal

  1. A lot of B2B companies with long sales cycles (say 8-12 months) miss out on opportunities to leverage their social networks to improve real time marketing. They may post content to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter but they may not do it on a regular basis. Most importantly companies need to engage on their social profiles. Interaction with followers shows that you are using your social platforms to engage with your audience – instead of just as another promotional channel.

    • Erica Bell says:

      Hi Nick,

      You’re right – posting consistency on social networks is must and the posts can’t just be promotional. Businesses need to aim to engage, entertain and educate their audiences with posts that add value.

      - Erica