1whyTo implement what’s needed for modern dialogue marketing, real-time marketing automation technology is essential that automatically controls the lifecycle communication on the basis of real-time data on behavior - context-sensitive, data protection compliant, and in all relevant dialogue channels.

Such real-time marketing automation is actually even the more indispensable, since the demands of customers for digital communications are heavily rising. Successful dialogue marketing today has to provide every single customer with the appropriate content, in accordance with his/her expectations and position in the customer lifecycle, to unfold maximum effect for loyalty and purchasing behavior.

Increasing complexity and demanding customers

Digitalization has made the world of business clearly more complex and dynamic. For the customer, digitization means maximum transparency and availability on the market for him to be satisfied. The switching barriers between different providers are generally low and the competitive pressure is increasing. Classical differentiation characteristics, such as price, become less important when the cheaper provider is just one mouse-click or a line on a comparison site away.

Customers are becoming increasingly more self-determined and have higher demands. Therefore, companies have to orient themselves on best practice and focus radically on customer orientation. Besides that, they should keep in mind that the variety of options often not only disburden customers, the depth of information and choice can also overwhelm and complicate the decision-making. Companies have to take this pony into account as well and make the life of the customers easier through individualized communication that is adapted to their wishes, needs and interactions.

Even the complexity of the customer journey increases. The times when you could guide customers through predetermined touchpoints purposefully - from A to B - are over. Customers today use a growing number of touchpoints, not only the company's own, across multiple devices in a variety of contexts. Websites, newsletters, communities, blogs, transactional emails, apps, mobile messenger, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, POS terminals, geolocation services, service hotlines are just a few. They don’t differentiate between these touchpoints, but expect the company to be "accessible" everywhere and consistently, but most of all demand that the desired information and (digital) services are immediately and conveniently available in the right quality.

The requirements companies have to meet in the digital dialogue in order to meet the expectations of customers are summarized as follows:

• They have to offer the right content in the requested quality,

• Individualized for every single user,

• Respond in real-time,

• At the same time consider and evaluate any user interaction, and incorporate the results immediately again in the communication,

• Besides considering all relevant touchpoints,

• Consistently communicate to each of these touchpoints,

• And continuously benchmarking best practice case studies.

Real-time marketing automation is the key to the customer

Clearly, the key to meet the demands of the market lies in the proper use of real-time marketing automation technology and needs to be able to represent four core capabilities:

1. The automated execution of communication measures, individually for each user, in real time, based on his/her reactions.

2. The dynamic adaptation of the content at the time of use to the context: e.g. location, weather, position in the customer lifecycle, or characteristics of the end device.

3. The integration of all relevant channels in a lifecycle, e.g. in addition to email, as well in social media, WhatsApp or mobile push-messages in geo-fencing contexts.

4. The fully data privacy-compliant collection, processing, and storage of real-time response data.

Benefits of real-time marketing automation

So far, it sounds as if company would only rely on real-time marketing automation, in order not to lose out. This is basically correct, but only part of the truth. Real-time marketing automation is not only a "must", but due to multiple benefits, advisable. Here are some figures which demonstrate the advantages of (real-time) marketing automation:

• Companies that make use of marketing automation, achieve a 53% higher conversion rate and increase their annual sales growth by 3.1%, compared to companies that don’t (Aberdeen Group)

• Companies that use marketing automation generate 50% more leads with 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

• Companies that automate lead management reported a revenue growth of 10% in the first six to nine months. (Gartner)

• Marketing automation increases the effectiveness of the salesmen by 14.5% and lowers overhead costs in marketing by 12.5%. (Nucleus Research)

• Three-fourth of all companies that use marketing automation achieve ROI within the first twelve months, 44% within the first six months. (Focus)

• 77% of marketing automation users were able to increase their conversion rate (VB Insight) and 32% achieve higher revenues already after one year. (Circle Research)

• B2C marketers that used marketing automation for campaigns – e.g.  remarketing at shopping cart abandonment - achieved conversion rates of up to 50%. (eMarketer)

Automating processes in dialogue marketing quite obviously lead to significant increases in efficiency and effectiveness. Hence, the next logical step in the evolution of marketing automation is going real-time to meet the increasing demands of the market, such as dynamically played communication activities across all touchpoints.

By Daniela La Marca