The combination of Big Data, real-time decision engines
and dynamic, multi-channel content creation and delivery
technology is dramatically expanding opportunities for
today’s marketers, especially with the always-connected
The impact of Big Data comes from two factors. First, data
storage, analytics and raw computing power has reached
transformational levels. Second, consumer data is being
collected at a mind-boggling pace.
Real-time Decision Engines (RDE) extend the impact of
Big Data by using the insights gleaned from it to identify
consumers in real time and then quickly determine the
appropriate marketing message, and the channel through
which to deliver that message. This can include milieu data
and actions data. With this data on board, these engines can
quickly determine what marketing message, if any, and what
offer, if any, to present to the consumer at a given point in
Dynamic, Multi-Channel Content Creation and Delivery
Technology completes the loop, receiving instructions from
the RDE and making the data actionable by instantaneously
assembling and serving the proper content in the proper
Independent, these technologies are intriguing. Together,
they are industry changing.
This Distributed Marketing Leadership Series guidebook
explores each part of the technology trinity and suggests
steps organizations should take today to capitalize on the
opportunity. It also explores unique ways distributed
marketing organizations can utilize these trinity technologies
to capitalize on the local marketing advantage while meeting
the demands of the always-connected consumer.
As data storage becomes a commodity and raw computing
power reaches transformational levels, Big Data has become
a hot topic. Marketers can now collect massive amounts
of data about their consumers through loyalty programs,
CRM systems, social media, and mobile applications. When
coupled with analytics, Big Data transforms into detailed,
ever-evolving profiles of consumer behavior and can model
Ironically, however, the biggest benefits of Big Data are often
found in its small nuanced discoveries.
Marketers have always had data at their disposal and
customer profiling and segmentation is far from new.
However, as each progressively improved segmentation and
profiling technology was released, marketers discovered how
flawed the previous ones were. “Like individuals” worked
as a definition for a cluster or segment, but not as a reality.
“Like” and “individual” are simply conflicting terms.
In many ways, Big Data doesn’t really change that challenge.
But it is BIG and therefore much more refined. The amount
of data available for analysis and the speed at which analytical
queries can be run is astounding. In addition, when one
Why Big Data is a Big Deal for
Personalized Local Marketing
considers that Singularity, that moment when the laptop on
your desk equals the computing power of the human mind, is
a mere seven years away, Big Data clearly becomes a Big Deal.
Big Data Personalizes Insights
Big Data enables the shedding of the “like” and facilitates a
focus on the “individual.” With so much personal data now
being captured from social channels, web engagements,
commerce transactions, and mobile apps, the depth of data
available for creating a detailed profile of every individual is
substantial. Further, analytics software packages and web
service calls that connect this data enable individualized
profile creation at amazing speed.
The result is personalized insight both for the marketer
and for the consumer. In theory, this should set the stage
for highly efficient marketing for the advertiser and highly
personalized encounters for the consumer.
Big Data May Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves
Big Data has a scary side too. Most everyone has experienced
completing a personality profile tool and being surprised
and how accurate the results were. With Big Data and
marketing analytics, those results can be an even more
accurate representation of an individual. However, this may
even happen without the person ever filling out a profile
survey tool as the individual’s every action, every habit and
every engagement is minutely examined and compared and
contrasted with the action of others.
With so much data and such powerful analytics tools
available, nuanced insight into personality habits and
preferences emerges and a model for optimized marketing
engagement is built. Often, this knowledge is so hidden
within the data and so nuanced that the individual may not
even possess it within their own self-awareness.
That’s powerful. And when handled properly, this insight
can be of great value for both the corporate marketer and the
Individualized Insight Sets the Stage for Relevance
When data – whether from a CRM system, a data mining
exercise or an analytics application – brings insight to
consumer engagement, everyone wins. Businesses spend less
to deliver the correct messaging and achieve better results.
Consumers receive relevant messages, not misguided junk,
and appreciate the simplification this brings to their lives.
Local marketing becomes about local relationships and
locally relevant calls to action.
Insight gleaned from Big Data repositories and analytics
processing, however, only sets the stage for this level
of relevance. Alone, Big Data insight is interesting but
irrelevant. To be impactful and actionable, it must interact
with the other two trinity technologies for customer-centric
The next chapter examines the second of these, real time
consumer-led marketing engagement through real time
decision engine technology.
To understand the advantage of real-time insight, think
back for a moment to the failed experiences Goldilocks had
within the Three Bears’ home. Goldilocks tries two porridges
before finding the one that is just right, tries two chairs before
finding the right, albeit fragile, fit and two beds before the
one that is just right for an ill-timed nap. While the story
makes for a great children’s tale, corporate marketers today
would fail if Goldilocks were a shopper and the bears’ home
a store. Always connected, Goldilocks expects local and
personal relevance and has little, if any, tolerance for the
missed matches of food, chair or bed. When you miss, like
Goldilocks, potential customers move on to other products,
stores, and selections.
To be instantly relevant is no small task. To make sure
the right product, right pricing and right call to action is
delivered upon demand requires more than just assembling
and analyzing Big Data as outlined in chapter one.
Performing at this level of consumer engagement requires a
Real Time Decision Engine (RDE), the second of technology
trinity for personal and local marketing.
These powerful software technologies serve as instantaneous
campaign management engines, capturing consumer actions
Happens in Real Time
and formulating optimized reactions. In addition to the
consumer’s live actions, an RDE will often take into account
location data, environment data, inventory data and, of
course, individualized profile data from Big Data processes.
Drawing on this assembled insight, the RDE can apply
business logic to quickly determine and instruct what content
and what call to action in which channel should be served to
The Searcher vs. the Searched
The explosion of search and search marketing creates the
foundation for a real time consumer interaction. This is not,
however, traditional SEO and PPC marketing. With the
always connected consumer, search may mean a traditional
keyword encounter, but it is more likely to involve interaction
with point-of-sale marketing materials or packaging, a map
or other location-based inquiry, or an exchange via a loyalty
program or information or entertainment app.
In this environment, the corporate or local marketer is still
“searching” for prospective consumers by encouraging
engagement. However, the ability to respond quickly to those
who are searching for or about the product or service is of far
When this consumer engagement occurs, only a powerful
technology such as an RDE can marry this search interaction
with information previously known about the individual and
provide a relevant, sub-second response.
Being Relevant When and Where it Matters Most
At its core, an RDE is about being relevant when and where it
Big Data, CRM systems and customer segmentation can all
lead to relevant omni-direction outbound marketing. Only
RDE, however, can provide a truly relevant message strategy
in real time.
The beauty of RDE is that it is always on. Thus, the
moment a consumer touch occurs, the RDE can prepare an
instantaneous response. For the always-connected consumer,
the “touch” moment is often squarely tied to “a moment
of truth” when a purchase decision or purchase research
is about to occur. An RDE, armed with information about
the location, situation and the individual, can insightfully
provide highly relevant and timely information it knows the
consumer will find valuable. Further, when the consumer
responds, the RDE responds in kind, providing a logical
It’s Logical, Conditionally Speaking
Although an RDE can increasingly improve outcomes
through more data and broader insight, an RDE is only as
powerful as the business logic it contains.
Clearly, an organization implementing a sophisticated
technology such as RDE will have the capacity to implement
the business logic needed for the system to operate effectively.
However, the design of an RDE is really never done. Results
feed insight. Insight leads to tweaks to the business logic
model. Newly designed logic is tested and provides results
back for gaining new insights and continuing the never
ending improvement loop.
When engaging in such a dialogue, an RDE can produce two
sets of instructions for engagement with the consumer. First,
the RDE can dictate specific fixed content to assemble and
serve to the consumer. It may, to draw on the Goldilocks
analogy, instruct delivery of a picture of a “just right” bowl
of porridge along with a map and instructions of where to
find it. Alternatively, an RDE can be structured to serve data
which in turn triggers a conditional logic content creation
However, impressive as RDE technology is in determining
current, relevant, personalized and localized content that
is optimized for an individual at just the right moment in
time, it is completely dependent on the other two trinity
technologies to be actionable and impactful. Of itself,
an RDE does not contain the data or insight needed to
determine an action. Of itself it has no ability to create and
deliver engaging content and initiate consumer dialogue. As
with Big Data, alone it is interesting, but irrelevant. But when
connected with the other trinity technologies for real-time,
consumer-engaging marketing, the potential for RDE to
change the way marketers market and consumers consume is
mind numbing, powerful and exciting.
The next chapter examines the final technology in the triad
– dynamic cross media content creation and multi-channel
delivery. This technology turns the insight of Big Data and
decisioning of RDE into meaningful, mobilizing, engaging
Both Big Data and RDEs provide powerful insight and
precise targeting capabilities for corporate and local
marketers. However, both are completely dependent on the
third piece of the technology trinity, multi-channel dynamic
content creation for real-time customer engagement, to make
them actionable. When this critical component is missing,
consumers must be lumped into generic segments and
receive generic communication for that segment. But no two
consumers, as Big Data shows, are alike, and effectiveness is
When a dynamic content creation engine is connected,
however, truly personalized engagement, across channels and
in real time is both possible and powerful.
The Mathematics of Personalization
The premise of Big Data and RDE technology is that every
insight deserves its own unique, personalized response. The
mechanics of this, however, can be challenging. Consider
this potential scenario:
• One brand
• Three campaigns per year
• Five channels per campaign
Turning Insight into Action at
Each Moment of Truth
• Three formats per channel
• Six languages
• 900 Locations
10,000 consumers/customers per location
= 1,340,000,000 unique messages needed.
Clearly, a conventional approach to content creation cannot
meet this big content demand.
This challenge becomes even larger when real-time dialogue
is added to mix. Responding to a consumer action with
a time, place, medium and individually relevant message
simply doesn’t happen through conventional content creation
and staging processes.
To address this big content need, corporate marketers must
rethink how content is assembled and delivered. Instead of
considering how to create the amount of content needed,
they must instead look to a new dynamic approach to content
creation that focuses on the components of content instead of
Rethinking Content Creation
A dynamic approach to real time content creation is built on
several key principles:
• External instructions (coming from Big Data, RDE,
loyalty programs and POS engagement).
• A framework for content assembly (templates,
design definitions and rule sets).
• A collection of brand marketing objects (images/
graphics, copy, headlines, etc.).
• A method for relational connecting of marketing
objects (an image selection automatically triggering
placement of a correct headline and copy).
• A process for resizing, automated image cropping,
graphic re-rendering and responsive design.
• A process for file optimization for medium/
channel of delivery.
• An automated system for delivering the
dynamically created content to the customer/
consumer at the time and in the medium of choice.
While initial creation of a dynamic content structure is
obviously more complex than the simple creation of a single
piece of marketing content, a dynamic content approach
quickly becomes more efficient than conventional processes
when multiple versions of content are needed. Further, once
the system is in place, updating or maintaining content
within the system is relatively easy compared to traditional
content management processes.
Not all dynamic content creation systems, however, can
support the demands of big content. Key consideration must
be given to multi-channel capability, nested templating,
robust resizing, global language support, real-time content
fulfillment, ease of content management, and strong
Creating Local Dialogue and Calls to Action
A powerful benefit of dynamic content creation is the ability
to localize both content and calls to action and to engage
the local marketer in the content creation process. Many
corporate marketers have found that the blending of the
corporate insight that is gleaned through Big Data with the
intuition of local marketers can be a powerful combination.
As insightful as Big Data can be, it won’t, for example, know
that the local marketer has a temporary “storefront” set up at
a community celebration.
Dynamic content technology providers that also provide
distributed marketing management technology can enable
this powerful, federated local involvement in content
creation. In such a model, a local marketer could be given
control of a portion of a marketing message to a customer
or consumer while the majority of the content is controlled
by corporate or driven by instructions by the RDE or
segmentation from Big Data or CRM systems.
Again, this blend of corporate insight and local intuition can
lead to highly relevant engagement with consumers.
Preparing an organization for real-time, engaging
communications with an always connected consumer is best
approached as a series of small steps rather than a single large
initiative. Trying to do too much at this point may simply
prove too challenging.
By this point in time, most companies are likely well
down the path to organizing data structures to consolidate
customer records. If this isn’t the case with your organization,
it should be. Similarly, your organization should be at least
in the early stages of transforming its marketing content
creation and management strategies to support the need of
big content serving. Exploration of real time decision engines
should also begin soon.
With these early stage frameworks in place, begin to
experiment. While it’s unlikely what you do today will match
your ultimate destination, now is the time to learn and create
a long-term competitive advantage.
Build Content Engines for Immediate Impact
Rethinking how marketing content is created and delivered
is an excellent starting point. Traditional processes clearly
will not meet future demands. Additionally, a new, dynamic
Taking the First Small Steps
for Your Big Idea
approach to content creation and serving is as much a
mindset change as it a technology change. Starting now
creates three compelling advantages:
• It streamlines existing processes and lowers content
• It migrates your organization to an agile content
philosophy and addresses change barriers early.
• It builds the right team with the right skill sets and
mindset for delivering real time content.
As you make the transition, create simple, real-time customer
engagement projects that will help you learn and help your
customers acclimate to initiating and guiding marketing
Learn to Ask the Right Questions of Your Data
Starting early and in small steps will help you on the Big Data
and analytics front as well. While you will have an ever-
increasing volume of data to draw on, your success or failure
won’t be based on the amount of data but on the questions
you ask of it. Starting early will help you identify these right
Create a Real-Time Customer Engagement Platform
While an investment in a real-time decision engine
technology may seem like an item to defer, starting now
creates many of the same compelling benefits that come
from early adoption of the other two parts of the customer
engagement technology trinity. RDE adoption is also about
changing corporate mindset and the earlier you start, the
better prepared you will be to capitalize on the rapidly
emerging opportunities it provides.
The Challenge of Early Innovation
While early adoption and early innovation can create a
compelling advantage for an organization, they also require
change and a change mindset within an organization.
Shepherding this through an organization can be tough.
Engaging the right individuals, teams and resources in the
right sequence is key to a successful outcome.
Saepio offers multiple resources designed to help corporate
marketer move marketing technology initiatives through an
organization. These are available at no charge through
Saepio.com or by contacting a Saepio account executive at
Applied intelligently, the Technology Trinity for Real-time
Consumer Engagement is poised to transform marketing.
Big Data, CRM and analytics systems provide insight never
Real-time decision engines provide real-time, consumer
specific campaign strategy and management.
Multi-channel, dynamic content creation engines receive
the insight from Big Data and instructions from real time
decision engines and convert it into engaging, unique big
Apart these technologies are interesting. Together, they offer
Corporate marketers should begin to build out and connect
each of the trinity technologies and to explore and test the
consumer engaging possibilities they provide.
Saepio makes it easy for corporate and local marketers to
build and run effective and engaging all-channel marketing
Saepio’s powerful MarketPort marketing platform starts with
• Easy to Build and Run a Cross-Channel Campaign
because everything – email, landing pages, social, mobile,
digital banner ads, signage, print ads, direct mail, and
much more – is all managed in a single, integrated digital
• Easy to Maximize Brand Value at the Local Level
because local and corporate marketers share a single
platform but experience the same platform differently
based on their roles. Brand control, speed to market, and
content localization is all easily accomplished whether
messages are for local, national or global audiences and
corporate marketers can easily assign campaign tasks to
• Easy to Engage Customers with personalized, relevant
messages because corporate intelligence gleaned from
CRM data, customer analytics, consumer actions and
more can determine what content is served when, where
• Easy to Automate Marketing Fulfillment because
robust workflow enables every cross channel customer
touch point to happen automatically whether launched
by corporate marketing, initiated by a local marketer or
triggered by a customer’s action.
This robust yet simplified approach to today’s complex
marketing challenges is in use at hundreds of leading
companies and organizations, including many of the
world’s most powerful brands. It is transforming the way
corporations focus and manage their marketing efforts in a
world that introduces new channels, new competitors, new
regulations and new opportunities at every turn.
Visit Saepio.com, email email@example.com or call
877-468-7613 to learn more.