Full speed ahead

John Patrick Pullen

From cars that parallel park themselves to vacuum cleaners that search out dirt on their own, automation is making the world easier to navigate. But as most marketers would undoubtedly agree, real-time automated business processes, an innovation that has changed the way most companies operate, have been slow to transform the advertising and marketing industry. That's about to change. Thanks to a wave of real-time decision management solutions, marketers now have the ability to not only streamline everything from project management to media buying but also change directions at a moment's notice.

Although the emerging field of real-time decision making is an obstacle course in provincial terminology, varied in its objectives and largely unproven in its results, the upside is that it offers marketers the promise of in-depth, split-second planning and reporting. “It's a very good ROI methodology,” says Arjen Linders, vice president of marketing for New York–based Philips Norelco, who began utilizing the technology several years ago. “Most important for me personally is that it's very timely - I have a real-time, online feeling with this. So during my hard six weeks from Black Friday and Christmas, I can really change my own destiny.”