Most marketers say they struggle to personalize content in real-time, even though 77% say real-time marketing is highly important to their organization, according to a recent report by Neolane and The Direct Marketing Association.

Overall, marketers surveyed rate personalizing messages based on consumer behavior as their top challenge (60%), followed by marketing effectiveness/response rates (57%), improving customer retention (43%), harnessing Big Data (41%), and driving revenue via cross-sell/up-sell (38%).

Below, additional key findings from the Real-Time Marketing Insights Study, which was based on a survey 235 North American marketers.

What Is Real-Time Marketing?

  • 43% of survey respondents define real-time marketing as providing "dynamic personalized content across channels."
  • 13% define it as "dynamic personalized content in outbound channels."
  • 12% define it as "developing quick response to mainstream event."

Highest Rated Real-Time Marketing Channels

  • Email is the highest rated real-time marketing channel: 80% of respondents find it very important.
  • The next highest rated real-time channel is the Web (69% of marketers find it highly important), followed by mobile devices (53%), point of sale (49%), call centers (49%), and social channels (45%).
  • 75% of marketers rate dynamic, personalized content across channels as highly important, and 95% find it moderately to highly important.

Plans for Real-Time Personalization

  • 29% of marketers currently practice cross-channel real-time marketing, and an additional 49% are planning to do so in the future.
  • More than half (55%) of marketers already practice real-time email marketing, and 32% have plans to do so in the future.

Real-Time Concerns

Survey respondents' top concerns about real-time marketing include the complexity of systems (50%), access to real-time data (46%), data privacy (45%), and training (39%).

About the research: The report was based on a survey 235 North American marketers. The majority (53%) work for companies with revenues under $99 million.

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Marketers Struggling With Real-Time Personalization

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a writer, editor, and a content strategist. He is a co-founder of ICW Media and a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji