Increasingly, users expect more than passive, one-way content. They have become used to participating, interacting, and connecting with both the content itself and fellow consumers.
For Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, this means reimagining the way you connect with consumers at large, and looking to innovative ways to enhance digital channels. Now, it's not enough to connect with a massive number of people, you must also find ways to increase conversions - typically subscriptions, sales, sign-up.
This poses a challenge for many digital teams that now have to manage a complex technology environment that might not be flexible enough to quickly respond to consumer demands. This is where a real-time engagement platform can help.
What is a Real-time Engagement Platform?
A Real-time Engagement Platform (RTEP) is cloud-hosted software that provides interactive capabilities to organisations that want to engage and monetise large audiences with compelling interaction at scale. The emergence of RTEPs is the result of consolidating software tools and vendor services into one-stop-shop solutions provided on a Software as a Service (SaaS) basis.
The typical components are combined into one hub, servicing content creators, product managers, revenue-generation, and data strategy teams.
Real-time Interactive Content Creation & Management
Audience Data storage and analytics
Ready-made front-end tools and applications providing voting, live quiz, and play-along, interactive video or other variants
The output of visual results into big screens, out of home or TV graphics
Highly scalable infrastructure able to cope with the demands of live events
SDKs for extensibility
Integration into existing tech such as CRMs, Ad Servers or Online Video Platforms (OVPs) & Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)
The value of Real-time Engagement Platforms
As technology evolves and people become more reliant on their devices to guide pretty much every decision they make, you will inevitably need to create a variety of digital experiences that place your brand in front of the right audience and drive them to take action.
But with so many digital channels, you also want to make sure your strategy doesn’t become complex to manage and that you have visibility and access to powerful user behaviour data that can be turned into something valuable for your organisation.
That can be a challenge!
A real-time engagement platform serves two purposes for every organisation. First, it delivers interactivity for massive audiences, both live or on-demand, providing them with fun and dynamic experiences keeping your brand relevant. Then, as people engage with the experience itself, data & insights are organically collected and feed to your customer data platform or CRM - to be used for personalised marketing and retargeting campaigns that drive conversions, increasing sales and driving efficient acquisition (CAC) costs.
Depending on your business model and the information you have available on your target audience, you can embed an interactive experience that is customised to drive and collect the data points you need to better target and convert that segment.
Why do organisations adopt Real-time Engagement Platforms?
Owners of entertainment or sports properties, for instance, are challenged with developing and delivering a constant flow of new ideas, product updates, apps, website, and social activations which service the need to keep people interested and engaged through their devices.
Known as “fan engagement” in sport, and “audience participation” in the world of TV, the breadth of mechanics available is vast and ever-changing. From forms of gaming, contests/competitions, interactive video, and voting to newer techniques that use AR to bring stadium screens alive and many other ideas.
Increasingly, this is not an optional activity. In progressive organisations, fan engagement is now part of a customer journey that drives attention and converts to specific measurable goals including purchases, subscriptions, or sponsorship activation.
As the importance of these activities has grown, so has the demand on in-house technology and product teams, and the industries that serve them. As a result of the proliferation of ideas and therefore tools, companies increasingly look to consolidate technology into a smaller number of tools to service ongoing needs, rather than buying in discreet solutions from many different vendors.
Choosing the right Real-time Engagement Platform
There are four key considerations to have when assessing the options.
Scalability: How can you deliver a digital experience for a global audience? The ability to deploy a digital experience for massive audiences in multiple geographic locations, allowing for a large number of concurrent users without damaging the quality of the experience.
Data Pipelines: How are digital experiences conducting data collection? How are they managing data privacy and GDPR? and how are they mapping user-behaviour into your internal systems? Data, data, data, every digital experience that you set will have the power of either bringing direct revenue via a shoppable video, for instance, or collecting information about end-users preferences that can be used for retargeting (interactive polls).
Speed of Deployment: Time is of the essence, custom developments for apps or interactive elements can be a lengthy process that oftentimes involves multiple teams and vendors making it complex to manage in the long run. When looking for a real-time engagement platform consider one that has a preset of interactive experiences and elements you can customise to match your brand without having to start from scratch. This will make it so much easier on your digital teams and it will reduce the complexity of management and also give you more possibility to have multiple campaigns running at any given time.
Security: Interactive experiences such as real-time voting will require a robust layer of security and this is something you'll need to evaluate. As the goal of engagement is to actually convert fans/audiences into customers, you'll be collecting personal data on end-users so choose a real-time engagement platform that has clear and transparent policies around security and compliance.
Ultimately, look for a real-time engagement platform that has proven experience in delivering all of the above considerations, this is a great way to ensure a better understanding of how to align the platform to your digital strategies.
The Real-time Engagement Platform adopted by the biggest sports and media brands
Monterosa / Interaction Cloud™ is the leading Real-time Engagement Platform powering the world's biggest entertainment and sports properties.
“We created the Interaction Cloud to help content, product and marketing teams deliver compelling experiences to massive audiences, all over the world. Rather than build complex real-time infrastructure and software, they can rely on a system and a company to take all of that pain away so they can focus on engagement, interaction and conversion.”
Some of the biggest brands in sports and media continue to adopt Monterosa's Real-time Engagement Platform as part of their tech stack to deliver on their audience and fan engagement campaigns. Here are a few examples:
Looking to invest in a Real-time Engagement Platform? Monterosa / Interaction Cloud™ is here to help!