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Is 'Real-Time Marketing' Good for Customers?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Unfortunately we are not privy to the conversations going on right now at SXSW. But most of the conversation is most likely circling around digital and real-time marketing (RTM).

In our classes, we had the opportunity to talk about RTM and delayed gratification — when a consumer holds off on receiving an immediate reward for the opportunity of getting something equal or greater.

In many cases, the instant that consumers showed delayed gratification, they would buy more and the salesperson would sell more. 

So, is "real-time" the best for consumers?

It depends. At SXSW, we heard of Mondelez's booth, and they were churning out Oreos based on the flavors that were being talked about in real-time. Many of the flavors were pretty out there, and many of them were good — at the time. But would that real-time service be sustainable? And would customers now in the future demand such service?

A slippery slope indeed.

Real time gives the customer less time to review their initial decision. Studies do in fact show that our initial decision is in most cases the best one. But when it comes to real time, meaning that we have no time to review options, we are not sure if that is the best avenue for consumers. 

Instant gratification, in our opinion, decreases the value of the product. 

As these RTM activities continue, it will be interesting to carry on a research study that would evaluate the effects of a brand providing things instantly versus one that makes its customers wait just a little bit before the reward. We think the latter will inspire the most loyalty.

We guess that we'll wait for the research to talk.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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