In today’s world, expectations surrounding immediacy have changed a lot. The power of social media gives its users instant gratification through likes, comments, shares, and views.
Such tools have been tailor-made to closely connect to our deepest feelings of belonging and attention. Plus, it acts as a real-time feedback machine for everything we do. Most of us are guilty of posting something and immediately checking every few seconds after to see whether or not we've received any form of engagement. Or staring at your WhatsApp screen in anticipation of the two blue checkmarks appearing.
Google caters to this need for quick results in its search engine. Google does not only provide the most relevant links to your search queries, it also displays the most likely answer to your question directly at the top of the results page, without the need to click through to any of the links it provides. Immediacy has replaced our habit of acquiring knowledge as means of answering questions, with an acute need to seek instant and actionable solutions to our problems.
Businesses that actively embrace this trend stand to benefit a great deal. Customer service through live chat has firmly established itself as the new status quo. From a marketing perspective, this paved the way for the dominance of content marketing. Those people seeking answers online with a wish to find solutions quickly needn't delve into the finer details and obtain a thorough understanding of how things work. Instead, they're often satisfied with an easily-digestible account of the specific aspects relevant to their search query, which has given rise to more listicles and how-to content being produced by content marketers. Users' needs for immediate answers have presented B2B companies with a great opportunity to grow through the content creation that directly addresses specific problems encountered by their audience.
Patience is worth its weight in gold
You might think that good ol’ patience is a rare good these days...and you might be right.
This also appears to be true for the customer journey in the B2B field. Since we've implemented a live chat feature on our website (we use Drift by the way), we talk to a lot of people directly. The engagement we receive ranges from inquiries concerning specific features to long elaborate stories about user experience in the world of data analytics. There is a clear indication that people love engaging in such dialogues and receiving immediate responses to their queries - even before they become customers.
From our daily experience in collaborating with data analysts and marketers, we also receive similar feedback from their work. No client nor marketing executive has the luxury of waiting for days and weeks on end to assess the performance and outcome of any given campaign. In the past, when clocks seemed to move a little slower than today, it was perhaps acceptable to look at results on a monthly basis before deciding on any next steps to be taken. But in today's digitalized world, such an approach would be considered counterintuitive. If your analytics tool is unable to quickly show whether or not your efforts are translating into the results you'd expect, the urge for immediacy and gratification remains unsatisfied. Even worse than this, you fail to capitalize on the full potential that the tech and data world has to offer.
If you, as a client leader, cannot definitively say on an (at least) daily basis how a certain campaign is performing, your client is unlikely to be happy. We're now longing for quick wins and quick fixes - even though in most cases, this zoomed-in perspective doesn't provide the bigger picture.
But what will the future hold? Kieran Flanagan, VP of Marketing at Hubspot wrote: “AI/ML is going to change marketing analytics a lot in the future. Instead of feeding us data to interpret events long after they happened, I think we'll see a lot more recommendations. We'll see results in real-time and recommendations of improvements we could make instantly to affect numbers.”
You know what? We think he is right. But while we don’t have Alexa reading the latest click-through-rates out loud to us (that does not sound particularly exciting, huh?), we must work on improving the UX of the existing marketing intelligence activities. That’s why we've developed a series of features that adequately serve our newfound need for immediacy, as well as understanding the results of our actions at the speed of a few clicks:
- Automated updates. Data from all your sources are up-to-date and ready for your analysis. No more manual downloads or refreshing required. Datasets patiently wait for you in your dashboards.
- Fast drag & drop visualization lets you quickly create graphs and dashboards displaying insightful information. Want to combine different data streams from different channels? Yup, no problemo.
- Similarly, data exploration efforts have never been more effective. If you want to prove your hypotheses but don’t really know where to look, use our 'explore' feature to create visualizations in next-to-no-time and find that needle in the haystack.
- Data transformations help analysts improve their analytical efficiency through the automated cleaning of datasets. The normalization of datasets reduces their complexity and helps makes the lives of data-driven marketers much easier.