In the first part of this series on live web analytics articles, we wrote about the importance of focussing on customer experience, highlighting that a data driven approach employing real-time web analytics is essential. We went on to outline the major benefits afforded by monitoring real-time traffic along with real-time retargeting and promotions.
In this article, we extend the analysis to examine in greater detail at how live web analytics tools such as ContactPigeon’s analytics underpin this.
There is nothing new about real-time marketing. It first gained the attention of marketing professionals back in the 1990s when the banking sector rolled out this marketing method, which applied a multichannel analysis of customer behavior to improving customer retention and selling new financial products. Of course, the latency in the early days was something different from what it is now; back then it still could take days or even weeks to process all the information. Today real-time means just about what it says on the tin, with latencies measured in seconds or even fractions of a second.
We have reached a point where many major brands embrace real-time marketing as a matter of fact today. Theoretically, the days should be long gone when it was possible to set your own marketing timetable by planning marketing campaigns in advance and sitting back to observe the results coming in. Despite the fact that we all are aware of that, many organizations still lag behind in adopting real time marketing.
Challenges in adopting real-time marketing
The primary problem is that embracing real-time marketing requires a significant cultural shift. Specifically, it involves moving from a campaign-based approach to one that focuses on continuity with marketing viewed as an ongoing chain of interactions with always-connected customers.
Real-time marketing requires a multi-channel approach, responding to customers based on your knowledge of how they are interacting with your business on any channel including your e-commerce website and social media. It gives marketers the power to launch promotions and content at the moment customers indicate their intent, matching the speed at which your customers make decisions with targeted responses to guide their shopping experience and decision making. While this demands a systematic approach to how you respond to customers on an always-on basis, your primary challenge is to understand what your customer wants in real time.
Naturally, moving away from the traditional approach carries an element of risk. It demands a culture that embraces experimentation and that is not averse to risk. Mistakes will be a certainty, but by adopting an iterative approach, you will bypass them and streamline your real-time marketing approach.
Being flexible is also key. News changes, fashions change, consumer’ habits and needs change constantly. What was your most effective response to their viewing specific content last month may already be dated; today it is likely that you will need to respond differently in order to maintain their engagement.
Real-time web analytics
The only way you can know and understand what your customer is engaging with in real time is by implementing real-time analytics. Static web analytics on its own cannot provide this kind of insight into your customers’ behaviors. While static analytics are undeniably valuable, it is only when they are augmented by real-time data that the full value of data analytics is realized. Without live analytics, you are missing a massive opportunity.
With ContactPigeon’s live web analytics, every visitor to your website is tracked in real time so you receive live data on what products each visitor is browsing at this precise moment. You can also tell in real time which visitors are known and which are unknown, something not offered by real-time web analytics tools such as Google.
The ContactPigeon platform enables you to see everything that is happening on your website in real time. Each click is monitored so it’s clear who has clicked on what. It allows you to view your customers’ profile and the results of your campaign all on your dashboard.
This empowers you to react to emerging real-time trends, instantly modify your marketing tactics, launch and monitor new campaigns, as well as identify new or even unanticipated opportunities. Some examples of this might be spotting when a particular promotion is trailing in results and deciding to make editorial changes in the instant; detecting products that are trending in search and modifying product placement accordingly.
Real-time marketing based on live web analytics is a rapidly growing trend that has disrupted and continues to disrupt the traditional approach to marketing and sales. The ability to see exactly what each of your customers is doing on your website and acting on that information in real time has added a new dimension to online marketing.
The value of real-time data far exceeds that of historical data. In fact, it has been suggested that the value of real-time data falls off exponentially with time, so if your response is not virtually immediate, much of your investment in gathering that data will be wasted.
Acting to convert and retain your potential customer on the insights provided by real-time web analytics can have a huge impact on your profits. As a study by the Harvard Business School indicates, just a 5% increase in customer retention can bolster profits by up to 95%.