75% of Marketers Say Real-Time Personalization Is Important; But Looking to Bridge Gaps to Enable Superior Customer Experience  

July 17, 2013 – Conversational marketing technology provider Neolane, Inc. today announced the results of a survey conducted with The Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The survey of more than 200 marketers, spanning mid-level and executive-level respondents across industries noted the increased importance of real-time marketing in order to build a better customer experience.

The majority–77 percent–of marketers stated that real-time personalization is highly important to their organization, but that there are obstacles they need to overcome in order to gain all the benefits of these campaigns. Nearly half of the respondents agreed on the definition of real-time marketing as “dynamic personalized content across channels,” but focused on specific channels as being the most strategic to reach their business objectives. Specifically, marketers noted real-time content across digital channels such as email (80 percent), cross-channel marketing (75 percent) and websites (69 percent) as highly important.

Brands have recognized a need to market differently.  Today, many have seen the need to create relevancy in their campaigns by developing personalized messages–all with the goal of increasing overall effectiveness and eventually enhancing the customer experience.

The increased focus on real-time marketing programs comes from the value marketers see in dynamic, personalized content. Marketers noted the top business benefits of real-time marketing as increased marketing effectiveness (76 percent), increased customer satisfaction and experience (67 percent) and increased customer retention (60 percent). Marketers also indicated they are optimistic about their future plans, with two-thirds of respondents indicating they are evaluating or planning to implement real-time marketing technologies. When looking at specific channels, 32 percent are planning for real-time personalization in email, 40 percent are planning for real-time web interactions and 49 percent are planning for real-time marketing across multiple channels.

“The results of our joint survey with Neolane indicate that communicating in real-time through digital channels and creating a more cohesive customer experience is a key goal for marketers.  Clearly, marketers understand that real time communications allow them to meet consumers where they are and prefer to be,” said Linda Woolley, president and CEO, DMA.  “In addition to social media and mobile apps, marketers are making email and web communications more real time, too.  It’s encouraging to see that marketers are aiming for real-time, data-driven marketing not just because the technology is available, but because they see a measurable impact from creating cohesive, cross-channel customer experiences.”

Obstacles Marketers Must Overcome

Despite the understanding and interest in real-time marketing, the study also revealed a number of obstacles that have prevented marketers from implementing real-time marketing technologies. The greatest barriers to success and the reason why real-time initiatives are not implemented include:

  • Complexity of systems (50 percent)
  • Access to real-time data (46 percent)
  • Data privacy issues (45 percent)
  • Training required (39 percent)

“With the proliferation of digital channels, today’s brands are now embracing the idea of real-time marketing and finding the best ways to maneuver new, unchartered territories in marketing,” said Stephan Dietrich, President, Neolane, Inc. “We were pleased to see that marketers are becoming unified in their understanding of what real-time marketing means and look forward to partnering with organizations to reduce the complexity concerns of real-time execution to make their communication goals a reality.”

For the complete survey, download the Research Brief: Real-Time Marketing Insights Study eBook here: http://www.neolane.com/usa/resources/ebooks/real-time-marketing-insights-study

About Neolane

Neolane provides the only conversational marketing technology that empowers organizations to build and sustain one-to-one lifetime dialogues, dramatically increasing revenue and marketing efficiency. Born digital, with best-in-class email and inbound-outbound channel fusion capabilities architected into a single code-based platform, marketers achieve results in record time. Neolane is easy to use for both power and casual users, but powerful enough to drive the most sophisticated marketing strategies. Future proof, Neolane has a track record of enabling its customers to adapt to new customer engagement challenges and exploit opportunities more quickly than their competition. Neolane is used by more than 400 of the world’s leading companies including Alcatel Lucent, barnesandnoble.com, Sears Canada, Sephora Europe and Sony Music. Visit www.neolane.com and read our blog The Cross-Channel Conversation.

About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association (http://www.thedma.org) is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.  Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.

In 2012, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — spent $168.5 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.7 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States.  Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $2.05 trillion in incremental sales. In 2012, direct marketing accounted for 8.7 percent of total US gross domestic product and produces1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US.  Their collective sales efforts directly support 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs.

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