Real Time Marketing: Online and Offline

In today’s digital world, real time marketing (RTM) has become a common term used to describe on-demand marketing. Forrester Research defines real time marketing as the “use of marketing activities that occur in real time in response to activities (in real life) that are important to consumers.” In other words, when a consumer is interacting with a company in real life, whether it’s through a social media channel or in a physical store, that company’s marketing efforts are considered real time marketing. This definition encompasses traditional offline marketing (papers, TV, radio ads), as well as newer digital marketing tactics like online marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Why Are Companies Turning To Real Time Marketing?

Many companies have embraced real time marketing because they recognize its value. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 83% of Gen Z and 74% of millennials identify “real-time marketing” as an effective approach to engage with customers. Furthermore, 61% of Gen Z and 69% of millennials say they’ve been a part of a marketing campaign that was executed in real time. Finally, 56% of Gen Z say they’ve been contacted by a marketer based on their real-time behavior (like a chat log or social media post).

These findings suggest that consumers are getting their information and engaging with brands and marketers in real time—which is something new for marketers.

What Is Real Time Marketing?

Real time marketing is a type of marketing that’s responsive to the times and places that consumers are interacting with companies. With traditional offline marketing, such as print ads, radio spots, and TV commercials, companies could identify demographic groups and regions that they wanted to target, and then run their ad campaigns accordingly.

With RTM, companies must consider the platforms that their audience is using to consume content and conduct business. The proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices has made it easier than ever for consumers to receive promotional materials (ads) while on the go. This has resulted in an explosion of opportunity in digital marketing.

The lines between online and offline marketing have blurred, and marketers must learn to think beyond traditional print and radio ads. Additionally, consumers’ habits change rapidly, and traditional methods of reaching audiences have adjusted with it. For example, while TV advertising once dominated the airwaves, today’s audiences are turning to digital platforms like YouTube to research and find videos that interest them.

The Rise Of Virtual Shopping

Just as we’ve shifted towards a digital world, virtual shopping has taken over as a new form of retail. It’s now possible to buy almost anything (e.g., clothing, accessories, etc.) online, and customers can complete their purchases without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. This convenience has led to a boom in online shopping, with retail e-commerce marketplaces growing at a rate of 30% annually.

E-commerce platforms allow for companies to operate stores virtually, which has resulted in a convenience for consumers and reduced overhead for business owners. Additionally, due to the size of some online markets, finding products that meet a consumer’s needs can be easily accomplished. This, in turn, has led to an increase in personalized marketing, where companies target their customers with relevant offers and discounts based on their interests and behaviors.

The rise of virtual shopping has also changed the way that consumers expect to interact with businesses and brands. While going to a store is still relatively common, customers are now much more likely to research and compare products online before making a purchase. Furthermore, with the emergence of online marketplaces, customers can access a wealth of content related to virtually any product or service, which makes researching and choosing a product or service much easier. This, in turn, has increased the effectiveness of marketing and advertising online, as businesses are now able to target consumers across multiple platforms with highly relevant content that speaks to them based on their interests and behaviors.

Marketing In The Age Of Authentic Conversation

In the past, consumers would visit websites, look at online reviews, watch commercials, and maybe see a few online videos to learn about a product. Now, with the rise of digital marketing, consumers can access information and engage with businesses and brands through text, images, and videos, which have dramatically changed the way that consumers discover and experience marketing content.

Millennials and Gen Z are now dominating online conversation due to the rise of social media. Over 40 million American consumers use TikTok, while another 17 million use Instagram. In fact, 82% of users say that these platforms help them discover new things and keep them interested in what’s being posted. Additionally, 59% of millennials say that the content on these platforms helps them discover new products and brands that they might like. Further, 55% of Millennials and 41% of Gen Z say that these platforms allow them to have open conversations with brands.

Social Media For Customer Service And Marketing

The customer is at the heart of every business. However, the way that consumers feel about businesses changes depending on what channel they use to interact with them. In his article, “The 4 Types of Customers You’ll Meet In Business,” Neil Patel of HubSpot Blogs reports that while 55% of American Express survey respondents are satisfied with the service they receive from businesses, only 34% are satisfied with the way their brand is treated on social media.

This suggests that while consumers are using social media to learn about a brand, they’re also using it to have conversations with brands, which could lead to a dissatisfied customer. As a result, companies must be careful when it comes to social media and strive to engage with consumers on their preferred platforms to ensure they’ll stay engaged and, ultimately, become profitable customers.

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

The way consumers interact with brands and businesses changes as technology evolves. As more people gain online access and search capabilities, they expect to find relevant information quickly and easily. As a result, marketers must adjust their strategies and methods to succeed in a digital world.

While more people are moving towards digital marketing as a result of the increasing availability of advanced technologies, marketers should not get too comfortable. As people get more used to searching for information online, they might expect to only find digital marketing content. This, in turn, could lead to a decrease in brand loyalty and increase in the number of people opting out (or spamming) of email marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing might be exploding, but that doesn’t mean that traditional marketing is a thing of the past. Print ads and billboards still play an important role in brand awareness and gaining new customers. What’s more, live events and TV commercials remain popular as more people prefer to receive information and engage with companies and brands during these times. The key difference is that digital marketing focuses on attracting and engaging with customers online, while traditional marketing focuses on attracting and engaging with audiences via print ads, radio spots, and TV commercials.

The Future Of Marketing

Now that we’ve covered the basics of real time marketing, let’s take a look at the future of marketing.

Based on the research findings discussed above and the emerging trends that emerge from them, marketers should begin implementing real time marketing into their businesses. Doing so can help businesses attract and retain customers in the future.