How to Unlock the Value of Your Data in Real-Time
Marketers have flocked in droves to the concept of real-time marketing (RTM). At its core, RTM is about reacting in the moment to events or conversations with relevant and timely content. Do you remember the Super Bowl a few years back when the lights went out due to a power cut? Oreo was on it, instantly tweeting an image of a cookie in the dark with the tagline, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
Other brands have similarly reacted on the fly with popular campaigns in real-time. For example, Snickers last year responded with the image of a bitten Snickers bar and the words “More Satisfying than Italian” during the World Cup when footballer Luis Suarez bit an Italian’s player’s ear.
While these are two famous examples, the point is the world is moving fast, consumers are on the go, and your marketing needs to keep up.
According to a March 15 report by Wayin, marketers use RTM for a variety of strategies. Topping the list were triggered emails and social media conversations.
Real Time Marketing is about interacting with consumers on the fly. So likewise, you need to make sure that the data flowing into your marketing systems is cleaned and appended with the correct information in real-time.
A variety of vendors offer these services through an API so you can take immediate action when an opportunity arises. Here are 4 real-time data strategies to keep your data accurate and ready to use at a moment’s notice:
Want to know more about your customers or prospects? Perhaps they were on your car dealership website, filled out a “contact us” form, and before you reach out to them with an offer for a new vehicle, you want to know what type of vehicle they drive, their income, and their age. Or you have several hot furniture prospects who you know are ready to buy but all you have is a phone number and name and their contact preference happens to be via email. A variety of scenarios similar to these are constantly occurring in your business, representing an opportunity you need to act on now before the opportunity is lost.
By accessing a third-party data system via an API, you can instantly append this information with numerous data elements such as age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, marital status, vehicle they drive, lifestyle, home information, and more.
Accessing this enhanced information increases the value and the conversion rates of your leads, eliminates the need to request this information from your customers and prospects which otherwise would cause many opportunities to leak from your sales funnel, as well as allows better call handling, lead routing, customer service, etc. (e.g. route Spanish speaking callers to a Spanish speaking rep or to a Spanish language landing page).
Numerous consumer-protection laws and regulations are in place and marketers must ensure their data is in strict legal compliance or run the risk of racking up hefty fines. This includes honoring consumer opt-out requests, adhering to Do Not Call (DNC) files, understanding which phone numbers are wireless, and other regulations such as CAN-SPAM.
In the example of telephone numbers, a real-time compliance service flags inbound and outbound calls to determine whether they are wireless numbers or on the DNC list. Even though a consumer may have provided a phone number, the TCPA prohibits using automated dialers to dial wireless numbers. Companies using consumer data for immediate telemarketing campaigns as they receive inquiries must ensure they process their data immediately preceding any outbound auto dialing campaign to avoid FCC fines or other actions.
Many organizations experience data errors when information is manually entered, at a rate of 2% and 8%. A real-time data verification process verifies and corrects information provided through your web forms, CRM or order entry systems. If you capture the wrong email address or phone when a lead is received you lose the ability to follow-up with a prospect and miss out on sales.
Some of the more common types of real-time processes include:
- Verification and correction of phone numbers by matching it against a directory assistance / 411 database.
- Confirmation that an address is deliverable and conforms to USPS address standards including indicating whether a suite, unit or apartment number may be required.
- Validation of an email address, including auto correction of some common typos, to ensure it is deliverable.
With only a phone number, email address or address, a real-time data identification service can identify your current or next customer and provide you with complete contact information in real time.
Some common uses include:
- Shortening of web forms to only require a phone or email address and let us populate the rest (i.e. address, alternate phones, emails, etc.).
- Removal of wasted time, data entry errors and poor customer service required in asking the customer or prospect to provide a long list of information.
- Provision of the customer complete picture so that you can compare to your CRM system to see if they are a current customer, prospect or new lead.
Using real-time data services, marketers have a range of tools at their fingertips to:
- Correct data as it is being captured
- Prevent fraudulent data entry
- Save time and money by ensuring accurate phone numbers for call centers or sales teams
- Save postage and printing costs on direct mail
- Avoid fines and consumer bad will for telemarketing without permission
- Ensure the email address you collect is valid
- Create and deliver targeted messages based on the profile of the prospect