The internet has made marketing a fundamentally real-time, responsive process. It's no longer enough simply to send out a newsletter and wait for the sales to come rolling in – businesses need to stay on top of their data if they want to connect with potential customers.
A good example emerged last month when Marketing Week reported that auction website eBay recorded a 22 per cent jump in searches for polka dot dresses on its site after the Duchess of Cambridge left the hospital wearing one following the birth of her child.
Similarly, during a cold snap in October of last year, searches for coats from the auction website jumped by nearly 50 per cent on the previous week.
Obviously, these examples are focused on the world of consumer sales, but b2b companies can also benefit from analysing their data in real time via customer relations management (CRM) processes that provide up-to-date information about how buyers are behaving.
UK head of eBay advertising Phuong Nguyen said: "Despite the opportunities, many brands aren’t leveraging instant insights, or building in the necessary flexibility for campaigns to use them as much as they could."
"Targeting based on real-time behaviour means that brands can be quick to capitalise whenever new pockets of consumers emerge."
This is transferable to the b2b sector, where flexibility can often be even more important – for instance, the oil and gas market is particularly sensitive to minute changes in the market, something that CRM can help businesses stay on top of.
Because the insight garnered through CRM processes can be used to target specific areas or customers instantaneously, it adds to the efficiency of the marketing cycle for firms keen to gain a jump on the competition.
And with the proliferation of data as smartphones and tablets make their mark, there is likely to be even more information for analysts to make use of over the coming years.
Latest posts by Claire Kirk (see all)
- What’s standing in the way of effective digital customer engagement? - September 11, 2014
- Brand honesty and social media - August 18, 2014
- GfK: Customer satisfaction falling - August 5, 2014