Real-time marketing’s been said at least multiple times by every marketer in America. What took off with one tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl has turned into a brand pile-on when royal births are announced, the Grammy’s happen or even a random food holiday has its time on the calendar. It was once a way to stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s just a way to be part of it. Everyone’s doing it, and there are no shortage of bad examples from brands. The Prince tributes may take the cake, however.
Real-time marketing had its moment in the sun. Now, it’s growing up. (Many) Marketers are getting smarter with their choices in when and how they react.
Super Bowl 50 came and went, and countless brands took aim to stand out during the big event with content shared across social networks. The magic of the ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet is one that will always be remembered fondly as one of social media marketing’s great moments, whether consumers were paying attention or not.
The time of war rooming during social events, however, should no longer be commonplace. That’s not how you succeed with social media in the modern age. Channels have changed. Consumer expectations have evolved. And the noise created by brands is louder than ever.
In an era of tech proliferation, we have a lot, but one thing becoming increasingly scarce is attention to spare. For marketers, reach is one thing, but getting people to pay attention when they tell their stories is an entirely different ball game where relevance is everything.
Relevance is a loaded term. It conjures up eye rolls and is easy to dismiss, but when it comes down to it, it’s about what advertising has always been about, making a message relevant to a consumer’s life and current mindset. The challenge now is lifestyles are more diverse and mindsets shift on a minute-by-minute basis. But understanding what is on a large segment of the population’s mind is easier than ever if we pay attention.
Real-time video is the hot topic on the social media marketing hype train. Publications are writing about it, pundits are pontificating about it and everyone’s asking the question: Periscope or Meerkat?
It’s easy to get platform tunnel vision when new technology makes its way onto the scene, and marketers find themselves asking what platform they need to be on. The answer shouldn’t be what platform. The answer lies in whether or not the technology makes sense for the brand in the first place.
It comes as no surprise that real-time marketing isn't a trend. It's becoming the foundation for social content creation. Facebook has upgraded its algorithm to surface fresh, news-related content Twitter has always been about sharing in-the-moment, real-time information. Instagram has become a hotbed for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. And at the end of the day, it's what people care about.
The magic in real-time marketing is relevance. When brands are able to understand why people are talking about a particular topic and how they can make their brand connect to that topic, that brand suddenly becomes a relevant, value-add to the conversation.
Real-time marketing has been on the tongue of every marketer since the 2013 Super Bowl when Oreo tweeted the right message at the right time and garnered a lot of attention. Digiday chronicles the failed attempts by marketers to make their brands part of the conversation. Real-time marketing as it's currently being executed faces a bleak future of being dominated by the worst kinds of social media marketing.