Real-time marketing is one of the most important digital and ecommerce trends in 2014, with many businesses seeking to make their marketing teams more agile in the way that they deal with consumers.

But what are perceived to be the main business benefits of real-time marketing?

A new report from Econsultancy and Monetate asked both client-side and agency respondents to answer this very question, with a better customer experience proving to be the most popular answer (84% company vs. 82% agency).

Around three-quarters of respondents cited improved conversion rates as a key benefit (72% vs. 74%) making it the second most-popular answer.

What do you or your clients perceive as the main benefits of real-time marketing?

The findings come from the new Real-Time Marketing Report, published by Econsultancy in association with Monetate, which provides a snapshot of real-time marketing in 2014 that marketers can use as a baseline when assessing their plans for this year and beyond.

The research, based on a survey of almost 900 client-side and agency respondents, looks at where organisations are in their quest to become real-time marketers, what advantages early adopters are seeing and what’s been holding back those who are gearing up now.

Use of real-time marketing

Despite the very real benefits of using real-time marketing there remains a significant proportion of companies that are yet to adopt it as part of their marketing strategy.

Data taken from the report shows that half of company respondents (53%) currently use real-time marketing in digital channels (e.g. web, email, display, search), while 45% use it for real-time personal responses on social networks.

However around a third of respondents (29%) are still not employing these tactics, and there is also a question mark over whether personal, non-automated responses by brands on social media are instantaneous enough to fall under the category of ‘real-time’.

For example, if you had to wait several hours before a customer service agent responded to a query on Twitter would that constitute real-time marketing?

Do you or your clients currently employ any of the following?

For a more in-depth look at this year’s most important marketing trends, download Ashley Friedlein’s Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Trends and Predictions for 2014.