The digital business marketplace is constantly being shifted, molded and tweaked with ferocity; dealing with an ever-increasing pace of change is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.
Markets change. Technologies explode. And customer expectations follow suit: They become loftier, more rigid and more difficult to attain – but you've got to keep up. You need a way to unite all your business insights and initiatives in real-time. What's real-time look like?
Unfortunately, there is no concrete definition for real-time, and it means different things for different digital business professionals. Fortunately, a concrete definition is not as important as understanding its concepts. It's knowing these subtle differences in definition that help key decision-makers find better solutions to their problems. Let's look at a few of the ways digital business professionals see “real-time.”
1. As A Function Of Responsiveness
Latency has an impact on "real-time." Latency is a term to describe the time it takes for a website or app to respond to user interaction. Of course, the faster, the better – if customers click on a link and it takes more than a few milliseconds to load, they're gone.
2. As A Tool For Information
For many digital businesses, updated information is the most important use of "real-time." In an ever-changing environment, information has an incredibly short shelf-life. If you're working with obsolete data, your decisions are outdated before they're even implemented. Smart business insights rely on up-to-date information.
3. As A Human Component
Humans see "real-time" through a different lens. Think about an online video game. When you're in the heat of battle or just about to level up, you won't stand for lag time – especially if you're playing with a group of friends. Any digital medium must understand that it's competing with face-to-face conversations; in order to thrive, these interactions must be flawless and fast.
All the various concepts and definitions of "real-time" don't diminish (or even complicate) its importance. On the contrary, understanding all the different takes on the applications of "real-time" is what makes businesses able to recognize and seize lucrative opportunities in an environment that's evolving at blistering speeds. Because of the abundant definitions of real-time, digital businesses have a chance to use their (and their customers') definitions as opportunities to develop new, better ways to solve customers' problems.
The lesson for digital marketing is this: Digital technologies are essential for customer interaction, but all the effort it takes to develop these tools is done behind the scenes.
End-users and consumers necessarily see the final product, but you need to dedicate real effort into delivering real-time results with no lags or bugs. As with most technologies, customers only notice a feature when it's broken or missing…and at that point, they'll move on to someone who's got it right.
For optimizing your business, you need real-time insights and metrics to identify areas where you're thriving and spots that need improvement. Without real-time data, you're simply unable to seize the opportunities presented in your market – because you won't even see them.
Start Today Tip: Sit down and develop your own definition of "real-time," taking into account what you and your customers expect from something that claims to be real-time. Are you using real-time to make internal business decisions, or are you focusing on developing technologies that deliver a real-time experience for your users? What are your goals from accessing real-time information? Once you develop a loose definition, set goals and explore different opportunities that get you closer to achieving those goals.
Square 2 Marketing- Leading The Reality Marketing And Inbound Marketing Revolutions!