Getting Real About Real-Time Marketing #4: Types of Real-Time Marketing

The following is part of a series of blog posts related to 2013’s hottest point of social discussion—real-time marketing. This is the second post in the series. The first post is here. The second post is here. The third post is here.

Real-time marketing has become synonymous with generating new creative content very quickly based on the context of a situation. Oreo did it during the Super Bowl, and impressed everyone with its ability to develop something to say and images associated with it, but that only scratches the surface of the forms real-time marketing can take.

Everything is Moving Faster

Nearly every aspect of business needs to be nimbler than ever before, so limiting real-time marketing to creative development doesn’t do it justice.

Three Types of Real-Time Marketing

Arguably real-time marketing can take many forms from media optimizations to changing creative automatically based on performance, but in the realm of social media customer engagement, real-time marketing comes in three forms.

  1. Reactive real-time marketing involves responding to people who have directly reached out to the brand. This involves a brand set-up for ‘listening-to-respond’ to brand-focused conversations. Brands like Gatorade, MasterCard, Dell and Cisco have set-up social media command centers for the purpose of monitoring and responding to conversations. Other brands have approached this on a smaller but just as effective scale.
  2. Proactive real-time marketing involves offering value in an unexpected way by monitoring and delivering value to category-focused conversations—conversations where the brand plays but is not directly referenced. The Rio Hotel did this in Las Vegas when an online influencer was having difficulty checking into his hotel and tweeting about it. The Rio reached out and offered to help in an effort to steal a customer and earn an advocate for life.
  3. Finally, Opportunistic real-time marketing is about capitalizing on conversation zeitgeist with a brand POV. It’s about joining conversations that are relevant to the brand and where the brand can add value with a compelling POV. Oreo did this brilliantly during the Super Bowl by capitalizing on a cultural moment by adding to the conversation. Oakley did the same thing offline by offering trapped Chilean miners Oakley sunglasses as they emerged from being trapped for days in a mine. The world was watching, and the only brand on their bodies was Oakley.

Don’t get caught up in one type of real-time marketing. A combination of the three allows brands to be faster and more adaptable to the marketing landscape we work in today.