Commentary

A Real Big Real-Time Opportunity Awaits Marketers

Real-time advertising -- whether it be via programmatic campaigns, tweets during live events, or “right time” offers sent to a mobile phone -- has taken off in the advertising world, but it turns out advertisers aren’t the only ones impacted by the instant gratification-ation of the world. 

Case in point: A whopping 91% of consumers feel that an “in the moment” (read: real-time) offer from a brand might impact their purchase. In other words, nearly all consumer purchases could be impacted at the last second by timely ads. I was skeptical, so I reached out to Kitewheel, the company that commissioned the study from which the 91% figure came. The study was carried out by research firm Strategic Marketing Research.

The 91% figure is in regard to reaching consumers on mobile devices via social media, according to Jeff Nicholson, VP of marketing at Kitewheel. Nicholson also believes that number is “astonishing,” but pointed out that 25% of respondents said they are likely to ultimately select the brand who presents the in the moment offer, compared to the 91% that might be influenced. Just 9% said that a real-time offer while shopping would not influence them.

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Okay -- so 25% is not 91%, and is much more in-line with what I would expect. Before being directed to the 25% figure, I was planning to use this space to explore the implications of the 91% figure; about how it goes well beyond “good advertising” and would indicate that the way people shop and what they have come to expect of connected devices, smartphones in particular, had transformed beyond even the most futuristic projections. The smartphones would literally be telling them what to get -- all they would have to do is show up to the store, or Web site -- and let the rest take care of itself.

But while 25% is well below 91%, the implications remain huge. One in four shoppers are likely to select the brand that reaches them with a real-time offer, with a further 60-something percent potentially to be influenced.

“Why?” asked Nicholson. "Because as the research illustrates, today’s consumers demand immediate gratification.”

“In another telling example of this,” Nicholson continued, “nearly half of consumers (47%) said that even though they prefer one company, if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly online, they will move to another online company to find what they need. The implication of this statistic is that even where there is a brand preference at play, customer loyalty is fickle and depends upon immediacy.”

Kitewheel is a real-time customer engagement hub for agencies. It previously operated as Provenir’s customer engagement division before branching off as a standalone business in late September. For the report, Strategic Marketing Research surveyed 209 marketing executives and 382 “connected consumers” -- i.e. consumers that use the Internet daily, are active on social media and use smartphones.

The potential of real-time offers is plain, but nearly half of the 209 marketing execs polled (46%) said they are struggling to convert integrated consumer data into real-time action plans, per the report. “While consumers confirmed that in the moment offers are highly likely to impact their purchase -- most companies are currently struggling to connect data, and take action in real-time to capitalize on this opportunity,” the report reads.

1 comment about "A Real Big Real-Time Opportunity Awaits Marketers".
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  1. Jeff Nicholson from Kitweheel, October 8, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

    It was great to connect with Tyler regarding this brand new research. Thank you for the strong insights and perspectives on the emerging real-time opportunity!

    For any that would like to read on, the full report may be downloaded here: http://www.kitewheel.com/journey2014

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