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Why real-time personalization is vital to the customer experience

Why real-time personalization is vital to the customer experience Dheeraj Remella

The average consumer is no stranger to personalized marketing. Whether you experience it at home, at work, or in stores, hyper-personalization has become a must-have capability for all consumer-centric businesses. In fact, personalizing the customer experience is the most important goal for 70 percent of data-driven marketing strategies, according to a new survey from Ascend2.

So, where does real-time data analysis come into play? Personalized interactions need to feel responsive and address the unique needs of each consumer -- and they must be delivered in real time. When it comes to meeting customer goals and expectations in the moment, this real-time data is key. Recent survey results indicate that the biggest benefit of real-time data analysis is an enhanced customer experience: Creating meaningful context for customers through fast, on-the-fly interactions can keep customers satisfied and boost the bottom line.

Recently, a specific approach to real-time personalization called contextual marketing has become a focus for many companies. This strategy focuses on personalizing based on the combination of real-time data and a customer's intent (or inferring your customer's needs), improving relevance for each individual customer. As consumers are growing to expect more immediacy and relevance in their customer experience, this approach to personalization is becoming vital for many marketers.

Within the digital advertising and marketing industries in particular, there are many opportunities to react to data in real time to deliver a unique and customized experience to consumers. By analyzing customer data in real time, marketers and advertisers can not only deliver the right offer to the right people at the right time, but also make the offer on the right channel and in the right way. Digitally-focused advertising technology company AdTheorent is a great example of this, using data-driven, location-based intelligence to provide the right ad, to the right user, at the right time, all in real time within ROAS (Return On Advertising Spending) and brand advertisers' performance goals.

Retailers that use real-time personalization will be early beneficiaries of data management technologies built to support real-time interaction. For example, by combining real-time information with the specific location of a customer in or around a store, retailers can provide micro-personalized offers that can both drive revenue growth and deepen customer relationships.

Retailers can also use real-time data to help optimize store layouts, adjust for wait times at checkout lines, and more. Location services company Skyhook recently found that when it comes to consumer preferences around location-based targeting, 46 percent of mobile users want relevant offers and coupons, 34 percent appreciate personalized communications, and 47 percent like to receive location-specific app content. With the right real-time tools and technology, marketers, advertisers and retailers can provide these types of customized services.

Another sector in which real-time personalization strengthens customer loyalty and gives companies a competitive advantage is in the gaming industry. Real-time analysis of player data enables games to make personalized offers based on factors such as competitiveness and skill level. Understanding player behavior allows game developers to enhance the in-game player experience and thus increase player retention and revenue. Through real-time analysis of game play data, games can offer relevant power boosts, prizes, etc. at the right time and level, and avoid offering irrelevant tools and rewards at inopportune moments. These personalized offers build player satisfaction and generate profit. While serving hundreds of thousands of players at once, real-time data analysis allows games to offer customized notifications and in-game content to each player.

These are only a few of the instances in which real-time data analysis can be used to improve and personalize interactions with consumers. As the customer experience becomes increasingly valuable to brands, so will having the ability to provide targeted and relevant personalization in real time.

Dheeraj Remella leads the Solutions Architecture team at VoltDB in understanding prospects and customers' challenges and how to solve them with VoltDB. He has over 20 years of experience ranging from core engineering to professional services to...

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