The challenge of the retail business is the human condition.
We are very much aware with the buzz that gets created with any business- big or small. Every business is being talked upon Twitter these days with both positive and negative comments. Sites like Tumblr provide us with deep, visual and viral content which is incredibly unique and useful for businesses. Information sites like WordPress deliver fully formed opinions and professionally written content that serves as a constructive feedback for businesses. And,last but not the least, tracking check-ins to your stores, competitors’ stores, and other localized check-ins using web services like foursquare can provide retail brands data that they can’t get anywhere else.
But has one ever wondered, are we making the most optimum use of the plethora of information we are surrounded with?
If the answer is NO till date, what if we could use these resources to build our business and survive in the market?
THE TALE OF RETAIL MARKETING
There lies no iota of doubt in the fact that no company aims for their marketing skills to go in vain once they have invested money and have built marketing strategies around the same.
Therefore, to be on the safer side, there is a natural tendency to prioritize campaigns that have historically increased revenue most.
However, one fails to realise that with the terrific advancement in possibly all aspects in the world and with the proliferation of the use of electronic instruments, consumers do not get lured by the age old monotonous techniques of marketing anymore. They need customised and personalised access to everything. Thus, the companies have to do things differently in order to “keep their customers forever”.
This is where in today’s marketing world, real-time marketing works best—and is more effective at driving revenue—when the focus is placed on enhancing the customer experience. It’s simple: If you put the motivations of your customer at the forefront of your strategy, your customers will be more receptive to your messaging and your offers.
Besides that, the other benefits of real time marketing in the retail world are :
Real-time marketing helps in increasing order value and helping customers enjoy a better all-around experience. Smart offers while targeting customers more effectively and intelligently can create a better overall experience that can lead to more engagement of customers; possibly turning them into repeat customers and also increasing sales volume and order value.
Real-time marketing strategies can also be a very interactive way to learn from. It always helps to be in sync in at all times on social media because you have no idea when a potential opportunity can arise. The last blog mentioned about the Oreo tweet from the 2013 Super Bowl, is a superb way to exemplify this. It was simple, fun and incredibly relevant and timely.
Even the one as follows:
Something like this should elicit a lot of engagement and shares, increasing the range of your company and appealing to the specific target audience at the most appropriate times.
Lastly, Real-time marketing can help set your company apart if done right, so it’s important to keep things current and fresh; converging social media and other inbound marketing strategies with intelligent targeting onsite.
After jotting down the benefits of real time marketing in the retail world, the next question that arises is if real-time marketing is sufficient to win over the marketing battle?
Let us look into the following example. With the holiday season upon us, real-time marketing may be at an all-time high. There’s a natural tie-in for any store or company this time of year because it’s so easy to create memes or sponsored posts to help advertise your latest deal / event / product, etc.
However, this time of year also brings about more competition. Many companies are offering deals and specials and releasing new products, so it could be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
This makes us conclude that the answer to a daunting challenge of “marketing your products differently” is not covered in these three words- REAL-TIME MARKETING.There is a lot attached to it.
Real-time marketing comes with three more important R’s as follows:
As rightly said, “Right Marketing is Real-time Marketing but at the most convenient time of your customers”
You need to deliver a message according to an action taken by a customer as well the mode of shopping. You can make offers to your customers if they are using mobile apps. But if you make offers while they are standing in queue of your retail store, that won’t make any difference.
Providing real time information is not enough. It is essential to provide customers with messages and offers which they will find relevant. With upselling and cross selling, you can generate revenue. But, that is possible only when your customers will understand and relate to your offers.
Relationship with consumers:
Unless you are aware of your customers’ needs, you cannot provide relevant information. So, know about your customers through internal information like purchase details as well external information from other data sources and social media platforms. You can provide a unique shopping experience to your customers by combining internal as well as external information. Add customers’ sentiment from social media information and you are good to go.Personal interaction in the form of customer support will help retailers to know more about selling opportunities. On the other hand mobile usage can help in collecting geo-location data based on which offers can be made to the customers.
The retail industry is evolving with time and is demanding us to be fast and smart. However, you simply can’t do everything at once. START small, OPTIMISE, AUTOMATE when possible, and ADD to your real-time marketing initiatives when it makes sense for both your company and your customers.
Make sure to not lag behind in any form!
After all, “it’s not the time to market but the time to acceptance that determines success in a crowded marketplace!”