What does “real-time” really mean?
Many platforms’ marketing predictions are made on a scheduled or ad hoc basis. Real-time intelligence is unique because it is triggered by specific behaviors, usually consumer actions, like signing up for an email newsletter. Insights and predictions made in real-time help marketers automate certain processes that depend on immediacy for success (e.g. welcome emails, website personalization, etc.).
While it sounds cool to have access to real-time intelligence, it’s important to understand when it is and is not useful. Let’s discuss a few use cases where Faraday clients have successfully enhanced their customer experiences using real-time intelligence.
Email marketing predictions
Email is a major marketing channel for brands looking to reach their customers with newsletters, promotional offers, and transaction details.
Real-time intelligence can make a huge difference in this case, especially when a subscriber first signs up. As the new email is pushed into your CRM, it instantly triggers a prediction. This might look like a persona assignment, lead score, or product preference. Each of these predictions can help to personalize the email drip sent to the new subscriber — and since all of these predictions happen within milliseconds of the new signup, even the welcome email can be customized with these predictions in mind.
Real-time lead scoring
Lead scoring is a popular method of prioritizing new or prospective customers. Sometimes lead lists are bought by a brand in order to reach out to many new people en masse — but this is not where real-time predictions come in handy. When leads come through the door one by one, however, real-time intelligence is very helpful.
This one-off lead acquisition may look like the email subscribers discussed above; leads can also come in through SMS opt-ins, giveaways, or email signups at a retail location during checkout, to name a few examples. What these all have in common is that they include one-time email, phone number, or home address entries that require timely brand communication.
Scoring each lead in real-time helps marketers understand which ones are the most likely to actually engage and give those higher priority when it comes to method, volume, or personalization of outreach.
Call center automation
Call centers, whether used for lead outreach or for customer service, can also benefit from real-time intelligence. Often triggered by an information request (e.g. a quote for a truck rental) or a customer service engagement, these predictions help call centers anticipate customer needs and personalize both their automated and human services.
Not only does real-time intelligence enhance the customer’s call center experience and make it more enjoyable, but it can even relieve customer service reps of frustration or confusion when it comes to engaging with the customer. Perhaps the customer’s purchase and customer service history are queued up in the call center’s system, or the call service is directed to offer automated options or information that are specific to the customer (e.g. recent purchase information, address and hours of the company’s closest location).
One thing all these use cases have in common? A better experience for both the customer and the marketer. With real-time intelligence, customers benefit from near-instantaneous response times and outreach that caters to their preferences; marketers save a ton of time and legwork with automated predictions, not to mention customer acquisition and retention efforts become far more efficient.
No matter if they are real-time, scheduled, or ad hoc, predictions make marketing strategies more anticipatory, streamlined, and insightful – and there's a time and a place for all three types of prediction. Not sure where to start? Reach out.