Take the Leap into Real-Time Marketing

Is today the perfect day for what you sell?

11 Nov Take the Leap into Real-Time Marketing

Let’s talk about urges.

Urges to buy stuff, of course. Minds out of the gutter, folks. We run a wholesome, respectable blog here.

Impulse purchasing is a compelling urge extensively studied by marketers, retailers, and psychologists. A key reason people readily succumb is because they don’t like feeling like they missed out on something. Something like an opportunity to save money or to look like a savvy buyer. And they appreciate getting around the burden of having to think things through.

The Age of Instant Communication

Just about everybody is constantly reachable now. Many spend most of their workday at a computer. Many spend most of their free time on a computer or mobile device. And many have their smartphones or tablets within arm’s reach every waking and sleeping moment.

Email inboxes and social media accounts and messenger programs are usually open or patiently awaiting the chance to send out an alert.

So, you can get in touch with all your customers and connections any time you want. Without abusing that privilege (see the caveat concluding this post), you can create impulse buy situations based on current circumstances.

Real-Time Marketing

This refers to marketing products or services based on what’s happening at any given moment. Sure, you can do it by slapping up a sign in your store window, but today it tends to happen via social media networks and email.

It’s probably best explained with a simple example:

A nasty cold front just rolled in. Your coffee shop makes a rich, creamy, delicious hot chocolate. So, you send out an email blast and post to your social media pages that you’re giving away a free one with the purchase of a sandwich or dessert for the next 2 hours to anyone who mentions the offer. Yum. Or maybe you’re offering 25 percent off all gloves, scarves, and coats today.

You can easily incentivize connections to share the offers via their own social media pages, too. Lots of people are happy to get an additional 10 percent off just for reposting.

Smart businesses are finding creative ways to adopt occasional real-time marketing practices. Can you come up with an angle for your own little micro-campaign? Think about what’s going on around you and how you might link your products or services to it in a relevant way.

Is there a big game on this afternoon, or a special event downtown? Is it an overlooked holiday, like Arbor Day or Grandparents Day or Leif Erikson Day or Valentines Day? Or, Google “weird holidays” and see what random things today celebrates. Did a torrential downpour just start?

A Quick Caveat

Let’s clarify something important before you run off. We don’t like spam or spammers, and neither does anybody else.

Only reach out to people with real-time marketing who’ve opted in to being contacted by following you on your social media pages or subscribing to a newsletter or otherwise willfully handing over their email addresses.

Also, don’t start bombarding your contacts list with onslaughts of ads and special offers. Real-time marketing should be used on occasion, and it should offer people something they’d have a genuine interest in. Remember, scarcity adds value; overdoing it quickly gets you tuned out.