Most brand experts equate real-time marketing with the delivery of personalized content and customer interactions online. That’s true. But real-time marketing is also the process of delivering a personalized customer experience at the right time and at the right place.

Social media provides an excellent platform for customization because it leverages in-the-moment interactions with target audiences. But a deep sea of marketing channels remains widely untapped for many brands. According to a new survey by Evergage, most marketers are only beginning to scratch the surface of real-time marketing.

According to the study, almost half of all marketers are implementing real-time tactics on social networks and the web, while 39 percent are using email to send triggered messages. But channels like search, mobile SMS, and even email are not being used to their full potential.

Mobile is among the most underutilized approaches in real-time marketing. Five billion people will use mobile phones by 2017. Over 39 percent of the time people spend on the Internet is on smartphones, while 12 percent is on tablets. And with the introduction of new laptop/tablet hybrids, the total number is projected to grow significantly in the next 3 to 5 years. But even with this explosion, few brands are taking advantage of the vast real-time marketing opportunities that go beyond information collection. The growing availability of GPS-enabled devices has opened the door for detailed personalization based on timely data collection.

When ramping up your real-time marketing approach, don’t overlook channels like search and point of sale. Combining search marketing and social media with good SEO practices will not only help your audience find you, but it will create a road map for you to find them. Also, the greatest opportunity for customer satisfaction begins with the point of sale interaction with your customer. It’s an opportunity to reaffirm your customer’s decision to buy now and in the future.

Most marketers see the opportunities of marketing in real-time. For the 36 percent of marketers who said they track ROI of real-time marketing, a quarter see returns of more than 50 percent and nearly as many see 75 percent ROI. According to, when added to the marketing mix, real-time marketing provides a dramatic lift to consumer sentiment, interest, likelihood to recommend, and serious consideration. It makes other media – like the brand Web site, social channels, search, and word-of-mouth programs – work harder.

These benefits should not be overlooked when faced with the question of whether or not to employ real-time marketing. While executing any new marketing tactic can be challenging, the leading constraints to implementing real-time marketing are lack of resources, lack of time and limited knowledge. Ultimately, it’s about getting to know your customer so they can get to know you better. And the more positive a customer’s interaction is with your brand, the greater your brand value.