Your Realtime Marketing Toolbox: The Essentials–And The Questions You Should Be Asking

The Realtime Marketing Toolbox

Customer, influencer and fan engagement now happens in realtime. Customers expect a 24-hour response time to inquiries they post on social networks, brands from Oreos to the USTA are using realtime marketing strategies to amplify their message, and companies such as Xerox are using realtime analytics to manage and measure the perception of their brand.

But how can you possibly manage all of these realtime interactions, at scale, and integrate them with your broader marketing strategies?

The good news: in the last 6 to 12 months, realtime marketing technologies have become far more sophisticated, bringing the ability to listen to large volumes of unstructured data, make sense of far-reaching conversations around your brand, respond with personalized content and manage the engagement of customers, influencers and fans.

The bad news: there are hundreds of different tools out there–many of them new and untested–that may or may not give you a competitive edge and deliver bottom-line business value. And, if you’re like most marketers, there’s just not enough time to learn about them all.

That’s one of the key reasons we’re hosting Realtime Marketing Lab on Monday, October 14 at the Altman Building in New York. In one day, you’ll be able to test-drive some of the latest realtime marketing tools–in fact, a number of the participating vendors are planning to release new tools at the event itself! You’ll also get to see them present the business use case for their technology to a panel of judges who are senior marketing executives from realtime brands, and hear the kinds of questions marketers from brands like Citibank, Campbell’s Soup, News Corp and JetBlue are asking about realtime marketing tools.

Here are the 3 essentials you’ll need in your realtime marketing toolbox, and the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask each one.  Keep in mind that many of these categories do overlap. In other words, vendors such as Evergage use realtime analytics to personalize a customer experience by delivering realtime content. Traackr is company that uses analytics to help you build relationships with influencers. But generally speaking, here’s what you should be looking for:

1.  Analytics and Insights

With billions of realtime social and mobile interactions to sort through, the right analytics tools can help you see where relevant conversations are happening, who the influencers are that are driving those conversations, and help you measure the results of your efforts.  Some of the questions you should ask vendors of realtime analytics tools:

  • What platforms are you measuring? What are the sources of the data?
  • How “realtime” is the data? How frequently does the information get updated?
  • How do you sort and prioritize the information? Do you use technologies such as Natural Language Processing to understand conversations? Or do you rely on keyword searches to identify the most relevant information for me?
  • Are you able to analyze information in languages other than English?
  • What kinds of reporting or visualization does your tool provide?

Vendors who will be showing analytics tools at Realtime Marketing Lab include Internet Media LabsTellagenceEvergageAttentive.lyTraackr, and Dachis Group.

2.  Realtime Content 

Whether you’re looking for fresh, realtime content from across a variety of social media feeds, or want to create opportunities for your fans or market experts to contribute crowd-sourced content, platforms that curate streams in real time can drive real engagement. Some of the questions you should ask vendors of realtime content management platforms:

  • How can your platform help me deliver the right content to the right customer, at the right time?
  • What types of content can I mix, match and stream with your platform?
  • Can I use your platform to embed streaming, realtime content on my web site? In my ad campaigns? Can I send them to mobile devices?
  • How can I filter or customize the content to make sure my customers are seeing the most relevant message?
  • How can I manage content in realtime to avoid regulatory mis-steps and to keep my brand on message?

Vendors who will be showing realtime content tools at Realtime Marketing Lab include Mass RelevanceWayin Hub, and inPowered.

 3.  Fan and Influencer Engagement Platforms

Influencer marketing and fan engagement platforms let you identify the right people to target, and then manage the relationship you build with them. There are also a diverse variety of tools that let you offer various incentives to encourage fans and brand advocates to interact with your brand, and with each other–you’ll see quite a few of these if you join us at Realtime Marketing Lab in a couple of weeks. Here’s what you should be looking for when it comes to engagement platforms:

  • What criteria do you use to identify and recommend influencers, bloggers or fans to engage?
  • What information do you provide about each influencer you identify?
  • What platforms do you track? How up to date is the data you are using to help me understand my influencers?
  • How can your tool help me engage the most important influencers, and motivate them to help me build buzz or share content?
  • As I build those relationships, how can you make it easy for me to deliver the right content to the right influencers?
  • How does your platform help me build a community?
  • How can you help me measure results and track my progress?

Vendors who will be showing realtime content tools at Realtime Marketing Lab include PunchtabRaynforestTrendr, and GroupHigh.

Realtime marketing tools are changing and evolving every day, and it can be hard to keep up. But if you can find the right ones for your needs, they can give you a competitive edge that will set you, and your brand, apart from the pack.

I hope to see many of you learning more about these tools and what they can do in the Realtime Marketing Sandbox on October 14th. If you register with code RLTM20 you’ll save 20% and your ticket to getting that competitive edge is only $276. See you at #RLTM!