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Realtime Marketing: How Well Do You Know Your Customers?

Last week I was asked to lead a discussion of trends in digital marketing with a group of senior marketing executives in the building industry. These were smart, experienced marketing leaders, running organizations that had well-executed content marketing, social media and lead nurture strategies tied to sophisticated CRM deployments.

But they didn’t know squat about their customers. You see, most of us still live in a world organized around structured databases. That means that what most companies know about me looks something like this:

Know Your Customers Traditional Demographics

It’s pretty easy to find this stuff: gender, age, education, credit score, address. Then you can layer in my purchase history, and send me special offers designed to entice me to buy more stuff like the stuff I’ve already bought.

But how much more do you know about me if you knew this:

Know Your Customers Realtime Demographics

What you’re looking at is the top of my Instagram page–which changes, in realtime, depending on what I’ve posted lately. Odds are this information is far more recent than anything in your database. More importantly, I’m sharing information about myself that creates an enormous opportunity for marketers to connect with me in a very relevant way.

I spend a lot of time around the water. I own a dog (who loves his frisbee). Bet you that information wasn’t in your database.

And maybe instead of yet another catalog touting the latest seasonal table decor, you could send me a catalog that features a yellow lab curled up next to the new paddle board I’m dreaming about? And the building industry executives I met with last week immediately saw this image and immediately realized my need for a corrosion-resistant front door mechanism, and told me about some new products I should check out –something that was actually useful to me.

Here’s another example of what you could know about me if you learned to think like a realtime marketer:

Know Your Customers Twitter Word Cloud

This is a word cloud based on the 842 tweets I sent between July 1 and September 23 of this year. At a glance, you can see the topics I talk about the most — and learn who I am in far more detail than you would by simply looking at my title or LinkedIn resume. How much more personal could you make a business sales pitch if you knew that my professional passions were around marketing, social, media, and realtime?

And here’s the important news: the tools that allow you to analyze this type of unstructured data — data from social media posts, Instagram tags, Twitter meta data, to analyze it and incorporate the findings into a broader marketing strategy? Those tools already exist. And they’re getting better every day.

So what are you waiting for? Your customers would like you to get to know them a little bit better.

You can check out the full presentation, From Digital Marketing to Realtime Marketing, on Slideshare.

And you can test drive some of the analytics tools and learn about the latest realtime marketing strategies that will allow you to learn far more about your customers than you ever thought possible by joining us at Realtime Marketing Lab this October 14th in New York City.  I hope to see you there!

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