As a marketer, you need a control panel to make decisions. The world is moving faster and faster every day, enabling literally billions of interactions about your company and products around the globe. What you need is real-time intelligence. The term “real-time” used to only apply to Wall Street and market quotes. Now it applies to marketing, and how its channels can help drive more traffic and improve overall campaign efforts.
In this context, real-time intelligence is an extension of online marketing as a means to provide measurable impact to a company’s bottom line. Real-time intelligence data can be accessed immediately so marketers can focus on information about trends, news, events, products, contacts, fans — and when they’re interested in you, qualified prospects.
Real-time intelligence helps you monitor your industry, brand, company, products and competitors — allowing marketers to identify behavior and reach out to prospects with the right message at the right time. For example, if a customer sends a tweet that disparages your company, you can react immediately to catalog customer opinions. You can also organize your team to respond to the complaint directly.
If you are able to match the state of mind of your customers, and match their location in the purchase cycle, then you have a strong chance of meeting their needs and closing a deal. You may be able to help them with purchasing decisions and have a timely opportunity to differentiate from competitors. Reach out to prospects when you, or your product, are still fresh in their mind — within 24 hours to see the greatest results.
In the financial markets, seconds can mean millions of dollars. As a marketer, real-time information can enable you to beat the competition. Though you won’t see it in a commodity trade, you’ll see it in your close rates. Knowing the latest news on your competition gives you insight into their latest products, prices and potential weaknesses.
Following are three ways business marketers can use real-time intelligence to align with sales, maximize online efforts and impact your company’s bottom line:
Identify and Leverage Industry Trends
Real-time intelligence reveals trends, and it allows marketers to create or build content and messaging associated with those trends. By staying up-to-date on industry news and trends, marketers can increase site traffic and brand awareness, strengthening the “attention” phase of the purchase cycle.
It is also important to track and monitor campaigns to determine which efforts are paying off. Working in real-time, marketers can tweak outreach as needed to ensure the most effective results.
Further, analyze the website behavior and performance of various Web pages to understand the effectiveness of your website in converting visitors into leads. Adapt to the real-time micro-trends on your website to maximize the potential of your Web pages, and make content more appealing to specific verticals and companies.
Customers are looking for you — no matter what your industry — to be a thought leader. Just sharing what you see on the Web that’s interesting can be enough. Working in real-time, you can tune your outreach and see what’s working.
Convert Visitors into Leads
Your website is the lab to test your approaches. Use applications like Google Analytics and others to observe performance of your Web pages. Test your content to see what traffic you can command from Google. Use multivariate testing to maximize conversion rates of landing pages.
Also, make lead and visitor website activity available to the sales team in real-time, allowing them to tailor messages and to help with decisions dependent upon recent activity on the site. The more information you have regarding a prospect and its location in the purchase cycle, the greater the impact marketers can have on sales numbers by increasing lead-to-customer conversion rates.
Close the Deal
Knowing when to call a lead can make the difference between success and failure. Real-time intelligence tells you when a lead is ready to move from decision to action. If you consider a certain page on your website as an indicator for a lead’s readiness to buy, you can set internal alerts to notify marketing and sales when a specific lead hits that page.
For example, a car dealer would want to know when visitors are clicking through his “directions” page — as that visitor may be ready to buy! Getting notification in real-time enables sales to contact prospects at the best time to talk.
Marketing will always be a merger of art and science, but technology and real-time intelligence provide the ability to tune your message and contact the right person at the right time. A concise and targeted message and a timely call to action can make all the difference in the world during the purchase or action stage of the sales cycle.
Brian Goffman is CEO and Co-Founder of Optify.