5 Big Benefits of a Real-Time Data & Insights Strategy

As technology evolves at a lightning-fast pace, data is quickly becoming a digital marketer’s most valuable resource. Consumers have come to expect personalized experiences at every touchpoint, and it’s impossible to deliver these types of highly targeted ads and campaigns without the analytics-derived insights needed to power them.
But as data streams grow larger, faster, and more complex by the minute, the speed at which these insights are put to use is becoming just as important as the insights themselves. In fact, Statista projects that by 2025, there will be more than 24 billion interconnected devices in use around the globe — all generating continuous flows of data filled with critical (but often time-sensitive) consumer info.

To take full advantage of these robust data streams and mine them for the most accurate and up-to-date insights they can offer, companies need to establish real-time data analytics strategies. In addition to enhancing personalization efforts and improving the overall customer experience, real-time data can help boost business agility, improve campaign performance, increase operational efficiency, and enhance customer understanding. All of these benefits are now necessities — not just nice-to-haves — for businesses hoping to engage customers effectively and grow.

The Power of Real-Time Data

As the name implies, real-time data is data that’s instantly available. Instead of being stored in a database and analyzed in batches before being distributed, it’s delivered immediately upon collection. This gives marketers the opportunity to identify trends in real time and make immediate adjustments to dynamic creatives and campaigns. It also enables brands to be proactive in their customer retention efforts and improve customer experience by reacting to the freshest, most up-to-date insights.
This is not to say that traditional marketing analytics such as page views and click-through rates are no longer valuable. They’re just not enough to power effective, business-boosting insights on their own. They focus on events that have already occurred, whereas real-time data reports on consumer behaviors that are happening right now — including of-the-moment shifts in preferences, shopping patterns, and brand loyalties. If your business is not tracking these ever-changing metrics in real time across a wide variety of channels, you’re bound to lose ground to the competition — especially when it comes to engaging and acquiring new customers, and keeping the ones you already have.

58% of business leaders around the world say they’ve seen marked increases in customer retention as a result of real-time data analytics. -Harvard Business Review Analytic Services 

How Real-Time Data Can Boost Business Success

1. Create High-Converting Customer Profiles

Investing in a real-time data and insights strategy can help you increase conversions and boost your bottom line by improving your customer profiles. When a customer data platform (CDP) integrates with real-time data, segments update automatically with every new behavior and action. This pulls in prospects in real time, creating the highly targeted buying personas that lead to paying customers.

2. Improve Campaign Performance

Having instant access to data means you can make informed adjustments to in-flight marketing campaigns based on consumer actions. Rather than wait for batched data that may be outdated by the time its delivered, you’ll know immediately what’s working and what’s not. This allows you to change course if you need to make improvements or brainstorm ways to further optimize performance and build on a campaign’s momentum.

3. Enhance Business Efficiency

Traditional data reporting is tedious work that takes a great deal of time and effort. In addition to delivering information quickly, real-time data management programs provide insights that are condensed and ready to analyze. The more your business can rely on these programs to translate raw data into actionable insights instantly, the less manual data reporting your employees will have to do on their own. In addition, most real-time data platforms allow you to create customizable dashboards that are shareable across teams, so there’s no limitation or delay in who can access important marketing insights.

4. Connect With Customers Across Touchpoints

Today’s consumers expect personalized shopping experiences that allow them to move seamlessly from one channel to another. This is especially true in our post-pandemic world, where hybrid services like curbside pickup and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) have become the norm. For retailers in particular, this makes real-time, cross-channel data imperative for effective customer service. In order to engage with consumers effectively at their preferred touchpoints, brands must be able to track their changing contexts 24/7. This requires cross-channel data that’s immediately processed and served, rather than stored in a database for analysis at a later date.

By 2025, each connected person in the world will have at least one data interaction every 18 seconds. 

International Data Corporation

5. Easily Track Competitiors

Real-time data can also help you keep a closer eye on the competition. Alerts can be set to notify your teams when competitors adjust store hours, lower prices, launch new promotions, and make other kinds of strategic and operational changes. Receiving this information in real time allows you to pivot your own strategies swiftly and accordingly so you can continuously evolve your business and take optimum advantage of changing trends.

In Conclusion

For digital marketers, every second counts in today’s increasingly connected world, where data is generated constantly and insights quickly become outdated. Brands can no longer rely on traditional, lagging data alone if they expect to remain competitive and grow in 2022 — especially if they’re D2C businesses or retailers. Establishing a real-time data and insights strategy is a must to guide effective decision-making, ensure business agility, and keep your customers connected and engaged at every touchpoint.

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