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Determining Real-Time Marketing Success Requires a Robust Measurement System

Complex analytics tools provide deeper insights into RTM’s impact

Real-time marketing (RTM) captured marketers’ attention in 2013. However, questions remain about where real-time techniques fit in a marketing plan, how much money brands should invest in it and whether the results are worth the cost and effort, according to a new eMarketer report, “Measuring the Effectiveness of Real-Time Marketing: Looking Beyond Social Media Metrics.”

Measurement plays an important role in answering those questions and in helping marketers understand the impact RTM will have on key metrics they track—brand health, customer loyalty and sales. In 2014, brands must start to compare the effectiveness of their real-time endeavors with that of more traditional, evergreen types of marketing. They must also look beyond social media data to understand how RTM affects key business metrics.

The path toward measuring RTM success isn’t linear, and these are still early days for figuring it all out. Interviews with brand marketers and agency executives who have been on the leading edge of RTM reveal several guidelines that can help establish a solid measurement infrastructure that goes beyond simple social media metrics.

One important guideline? Ensuring your measurement system is robust enough. Measuring RTM requires the ability to parse through huge amounts of data quickly at all stages of the process.

Brands must have analytics tools that “enable on-the-fly report generation, as well as collaborative reporting solutions to enable rapid production and dissemination of insights,” as Dachis Group advised in its September 2013 white paper. “If it takes two or more weeks to get your existing social reporting completed, then your existing solution is inadequate for real-time marketing.”

At automaker MINI, for example, third-party data partners provide critical information such as monitoring, sentiment and website traffic. On top of that, the company assesses its RTM efforts campaign by campaign with reports provided by its digital agency, BEAM.

Having this level of infrastructure and discipline will prepare companies as they explore the deeper impact of RTM on their overall business.


The full report, “Measuring the Effectiveness of Real-Time Marketing: Looking Beyond Social Media Metrics,” also answers these key questions:

  • Why is it important to measure real-time marketing?
  • What role do social media metrics play in assessing RTM’s effectiveness?
  • How can brands determine RTM’s business impact?
  • What RTM strategies do marketers such as Dell, MINI and Nestlé Purina use?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.

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