Developing real-time marketing intelligence

August 20, 2012 by Experian Marketing Services

Marketers have always struggled to target the right consumer with the right offer. And with more than 313 million people live in the United States according to the U.S. Census, the challenge is more difficult than ever.

With the proliferation of the Internet and mobile technology, today’s consumer operates differently and expects more from their favorite brands. To adapt to that new American consumer, marketers are using highly targeted strategies to drive interest. These can be messages that are relevant to a few hundred consumers or detailed one-on-one communications that target individuals at the point of sale or online.

But some marketers struggle to execute these tactics effectively. Most segmentation is currently done prior to a campaign, meaning that marketers determine which message a consumer will receive before ever interacting with that individual. Unfortunately, with the rapid nature of purchasing decisions and buying transactions, businesses often miss opportunities because it takes too long to get the right message to the right consumer.

To keep up, marketers need to collect intelligence at the point of contact so they can understand each individual consumer’s habits and preferences during that connection. This intelligence can then feed modeling algorithms that enable automatic offers based on an individual’s preferences.

To develop a strategy around real-time marketing intelligence, marketers should take the following steps:

    1. Clean existing data – at the root of any intelligence strategy is data. Information determines a company’s ability to reach target individuals – and understand who they are and what they’re interested in. Unfortunately, if the data that feeds intelligence efforts is inaccurate, marketers are simply unable to communicate with or understand consumers. Ensuring the validity of contact information, internal records and third-party data elements helps organizations target consumers and ensures that sophisticated analysis is as precise as possible.
    2. Identify strategies – organizations should analyze their target markets and determine which communication channels could benefit from a more personalized customer experience. Marketers should decide how they want to change each communication to help drive the desired action from each consumer. Consider personalizing website displays based on geographic regions, customizing an introductory message or revamping loyalty campaigns based on purchase history and consumer interests.
    3. Real-time intelligence – marketers should build models to help predict the best offers for each target audience. These models can be designed to take into account demographic and behavioral information, as well as purchase history and internal data. Marketers can feed these models with intelligence gained at the point of contact to prompt consumers in real time with specific, relevant offers.

As marketers continue to enhance and refine targeting efforts, it’s important to gain customer insight. Those who leverage these advanced technologies and strategies will create stronger customer engagement.

Segmenting customers and taking measurable action in real time are advanced techniques that appeal to many marketers today. Achieving this level of interaction allows organizations to optimize marketing efforts and provide the right offer at the right time to the right consumer.