Data analytics are powering almost every area of business today, from the way sales teams gather leads to the way leaders make big decisions. Like their colleagues, marketers closely watch analytics, whether they’re connected to search engine rankings or social media engagement.

As analytics have grown in popularity, professionals have begun to expect instant access to information. They then want to put that information to use as soon as possible in their daily activities. This is especially true of marketers, who can immediately adjust their efforts in response to the information they get. This has ushered in a not-so-new trend called real-time marketing, where campaigns are produced and tweaked in real time.

But there are good reasons to believe real-time marketing is more than a trend. It’s likely a way of life for professionals. Technology has permanently changed the way businesses interact with customers, requiring them to keep up in order to remain competitive. Here are a few reasons real-time marketing will likely be around for many years.

Customers React to Personalization

Personalization is taking over advertising and marketing. Instead of blindly launching campaigns, businesses must now use analytics to learn as much as possible about customers and put that information to use when deploying marketing messages, whether through email, social media, or paid advertising.

With real-time marketing, brands can tweak their campaigns in response to the information they learn about their customers. If customers are reacting to one product over another, a brand can shift its messaging accordingly. If customer reaction is lukewarm, a brand can ramp things up to potentially get better results.

Social Media Is Instant

At one time, consumers got their news from the morning paper or the evening newscast on television. Social media has changed all of that. When something important happens, it instantly spreads across social media as people rush to share the information with friends, family members, and associates.

Related Article: 7 Big Myths of Content Marketing

As a result, businesses must find ways to make their responses instant. When a major news event happens, a marketer can get attention by responding with a fun media update. Here are a few examples of real-time marketing campaigns that worked because they were timely. Extremely timely content is more likely to be shared, especially if it takes a humorous approach to current events.

Spontaneity Can Be Planned

While brands will never stop carefully strategizing their marketing campaigns, this introduction of real-time marketing to the equation simply means they must plan for the unexpected. A brand can still create a core campaign that states how the message will be disseminated. But brands must also add in wiggle room to allow for unexpected changes.

One example of planned spontaneity was Oreo’s famous 2013 Super Bowl tweet. When the power went out, Oreo quickly assembled a graphic that let customers know, “you can still dunk in the dark.” But the move wasn’t completely spontaneous. In fact, Oreo was able to pull off the attention-grabbing move because it had a social media command center in place throughout the Super Bowl, ready to post updates as needed.

Real-Time Marketing Removes Barriers

Unfortunately, one thing that holds many brands back in marketing is the red tape involved in getting even the smallest marketing move approved. If every campaign must pass through a five-step approval process, real-time marketing likely won’t work. A brand must have trustworthy marketing teams in place and be able to get any decisions approved quickly.

As a result, real-time marketing puts brands more directly in touch with their customers. They’ll have the authority to interact with customers through social media in a way that increases brand loyalty and recognition. By removing levels of red tape, brands can create a more informal relationship with audiences and get better results.

Brands must learn to create marketing campaigns that are instantaneous and responsive in order to win customers. In doing so, they’ll be able to not only remain competitive, but to forge better relationships with customers who will remain loyal. For that reason, real-time marketing is likely a permanent part of the way brands reach customers.

Lisa FroelingsAuthor: Lisa Froelings is a productivity consultant with over 4 years of experience in human resources. She worked for a major retailer before she decided to build her own business. Her interests include technology, mindfulness as well as time management. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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