/ 5 Reasons Why Real-Time Data is About to Reach Critical Mass

With billions of internet users generating 2.5 exabytes of data every day, there’s no question that data management, analysis, and visualization are critical to business success. What isn’t as cut and dry is how fresh that data needs to be in order for businesses to extract the necessary insights for their brands.

Take a look at how companies like Unilever, for instance, are incorporating real-time data into their marketing strategies. The company is cutting back on the number of agencies it works with and producing 30% fewer ads. It’s focusing instead on the relevance, timeliness, and efficiency of its messaging, in order to market “in real time, in the culture.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Digiday the new CMO of online fashion retailer Farfetch explained the vital role that data plays in his marketing efforts. “A real focus for us is to use the data on our platform — the rich profiles of visitors and existing customers — to find more customers,” John Veichmanis said, predicting that ten years from now marketing teams “at any level” will be able to make data-based decisions in real-time.

With leading marketers not only emphasizing real-time data’s value but building their marketing strategies around the business intelligence it delivers, it seems that this method of capturing and maximizing analytics is about to reach critical mass. Here’s why real-time data is so valuable, and what it can do for your brand.

  1. It’s reliable. Because there’s little lag time between data generation and access, real-time data is information in its most reliable form. Marketers can rest assured that the insights they’re getting are as accurate as possible.
  2. It’s relevant. Fresh data ensures that all ensuing marketing messages are highly relevant to consumers. That’s important given that consumers are bombarded by countless ad messages every day. As noted by Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, “There’s a real premium on getting people’s attention in a cluttered world.”
  3. It’s brand-safe. Like an ad that appears outdated or obsolete to consumers, using stale data to create customized marketing campaigns can reflect poorly on a brand. On the other hand, the application of real time data can leave a positive impression on consumers — it’s an opportunity to build loyalty and trust.
  4. It gives marketers an edge. When the goal is to surpass competitors in the quest to acquire and retain customers, brands that operate in highly competitive industries like retail and technology need data that’s flawless. Only then can they employ the kind of precision targeting that will give them a competitive edge.
  5. It’s crucial to a strong business strategy. A business strategy is only as powerful as the data on which it is based. Real-time insights allows companies to make more informed and intelligent business decisions, both in the moment and over time.

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