Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising 2019 finds that marketing teams that ignore the real-time nature of customer behavior and expectations could see “full-scale media crisis.” Maybe but regardless, real-time marketing is no walk in the park because, as Gartner researchers noted, marketers still “struggle for relevance in core customer engagement moments and lack a clear business case for real-time engagement.”

“The challenge is, do we have enough data, behavioral data, and enough automation tools in our system to actually deliver on that promise?” said Mike McGuire, vice president analyst in Gartner’s marketing practice and one of the authors of the Hype Cycle (with Colin Reid). “That’s where we see a lot of challenges right now. Eight to 10 years ago we all talked about big data and how we’re going to gather all this data. But now we can’t figure out with all these data points which ones are going to be most useful right now to deliver this experience?”