GolinHarris unveiled the results of a new study on the impact of real-time marketing (RTM) — proactive, systematic, multi-channel engagement based upon real-time insights — on consumer behavior during a panel this week at the South by Southwest 2012 interactive marketing festival. The GolinHarris-led session, "The Promise and Pitfalls of Real-Time Marketing," focused on a hot topic in the communications world — how companies can better reach their targets in the moments and media that matter most, in real time. For the study, GolinHarris interviewed 3,200 U.S. consumers to learn about RTM's impact on consumer behavior and potential value to brands. The research measured the likelihood of consumers engaging in particular behaviors with and without exposure to RTM. The research also explored the effect RTM has on other marketing activities. "We learned that real-time marketing provides demonstrable value for companies that apply it as a strategic, systematic and sustained pillar of integrated communication and campaign management," said Jeff Beringer, executive director and global digital practice leader at GolinHarris, in a news release. "No matter what type of brand or category in which you compete, RTM helps reach customers at the right places at the right times. Brands that make real-time marketing a core element of their everyday communications mix and customer relationship management create deeper, even more meaningful, connections and opportunities for engagement that build favorability, consideration, trial, preference, purchase and loyalty."
The research revealed four key reasons why marketers should add RTM to their cross-channel marketing in today's dynamic 24/7 communications environment.
- Real-time marketing delivers the business outcomes marketers seek most — Exposure to RTM led to a significant uptick in desirable consumer behaviors versus no exposure to RTM. Regardless of product or category, marketers that engage in RTM can expect a 21% increase in positive brand perceptions; 19% increase in product interest; 26% increase in consideration; and 18% increase in likelihood to buy. Further, consumers exposed to RTM are 22% more likely to recommend brands associated with the communication. Marketers who serve as the stewards of brands should consider RTM strategies as part of any communication program intended to capture attention, drive WOM, increase preference, or bolster the likelihood to try or buy.
- Real-time marketing turbocharges other marketing efforts — RTM helps other traditional and online marketing investments work harder, amplifying each activity's effectiveness. The research showed a significant lift in likelihood to seek out, pay attention to, and participate in various brand communications delivered in common channels when RTM is added to the mix. For example, the likelihood for a consumer to follow, seek, pay attention to other media coverage and commentary about the brand increases 25% after RTM.
- From coffee to cars, real-time marketing increases positive behaviors — The research compared before/after RTM impact scores for market leaders, legacy brands, and challengers in several product categories. For market leaders, RTM can play an important role keeping loyal customers engaged. Legacy and challenger brands can leverage RTM to help level the playing field against competitors and enhance consumer receptivity to their stories.
- In RTM, brand matters — Communication delivered through RTM activities is dramatically more impactful when a brand is clearly defined. When specific brands were introduced into the research, the impact of RTM on consumer behavior is even more potent, resulting in a 55% likelihood to consider a brand identified in the RTM communication, and a 45% likelihood to buy. Marketers who apply RTM to their marketing mixes shouldn't be bashful to associate their brands with relevant content.
Beringer added: "RTM should no longer be regarded as "icing on the cake" for modern marketing plans, but rather an integral ingredient for lean-forward communication with impact."
GolinHarris Real-Time Marketing research based upon 3,200 online consumer interviews, 10-15 February, 2012. Margin of Error ± 3.3% TO ± 3.7% at 95% Confidence. Coffee, Diet and Auto respondents controlled for category interest and intent.