As brands focus more and more on building ever more personalised relationships with customers, real time marketing is acting as a key tool to enable relevant and timely communication through a multitude of channels. The result of this can be an increasingly personalised relationship with the customer where they are truly at the centre of the experience, but what is it and how do we implement it using Adobe Campaign?

What is it?

Real time marketing can utilise personalised event data such as website analytics, transactions, people’s dates of births or lifecycle stage, take into account environmental data such as storms, and flood alerts, or advertise an event you’ve got coming up and then thank people for attending.

It can also make use of less direct means such as blog posts and publishing to social media pages or more direct means such as push messaging, email and outbound calls to reach the customer at exactly the right point in time.

How can I move my organisation towards more real time marketing?

There are several things your organisation could do to work towards increased real time marketing, including:

  • Think about what you want to do – is your business B2B or B2C? What is it you are seeking to communicate with the person you’re talking to? Will it benefit the customer and in turn the organisation? In a highly transactional environment does the customer want a message at every turn?
  • Map your customer journeys – this will help you understand the routes your customer takes when interacting with your organisation, and any opportunities that offers. Not every opportunity requires an action. Prioritising the messages can be key to success.
  • Understand the events, behaviours or triggers that enable real time communication – can you access the relevant systems, data points or interactions to act on these identified opportunities?
  • Explore what your data tells you about your customers – behaviours, channels they use or preferences they have? Do you only target certain segments with certain messages?

However, organisations should keep in mind that it might not be right for every business and indeed might not be possible to access and use the data required to facilitate real time campaigns. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you have to.

For those that will benefit from real time marketing, taking the time to consider the above steps will help you in reaching the desired outcome from these activities.

I’ve thought about it, I have Adobe Campaign implemented, how do I go about it?

With Adobe Campaign there are several approaches you could adopt to action real time marketing, depending on what you have prioritised within the customer journeys.

Simple trigger or scheduled campaigns – campaign Workflows enable activities to repeat indefinitely and can be simply based on current data, making it easy to setup things such as Birthday emails, or emails that occur a set number of days before or after a recurring event.

Integration with your analytics – Adobe Campaign can integrate with your analytics solution, allowing you to pull through data in near real time, meaning you can easily create emails that work from events such as a customer abandoning a basket.

Transactional or behavioural messaging  – the message centre allows your marketing department to control the look and feel of any real time messaging, whilst integrating seamlessly with your website or other transactional systems such as EPOS, through use of a SOAP based API. Order or booking confirmations can be enriched with relevant content that enhances the brand experience and offers potential targeted marketing messages to be included

For lower volume or less urgent messaging, integration via APIs allows you to connect any of your services directly to the marketing instance. Observed behaviours can be tracked and followed up on automatically within the platform.

A big factor in optimising the personalisation and relevancy is leveraging the content management capability of Adobe Campaign. This system can be connected with most CMS’s enabling organisations to then manage brand consistency across channels, providing access to these assets to be used within defined templates that can populate messages and offers via business rules according to individual customer and executed across any channel.

Used effectively, real time marketing can help organisations to drive all important, personalised customer relationships, something that is more important now than ever. As such, I’d urge organisations to seriously consider using this approach.


Written by Peter Russell


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