Real good, real time marketing

We live our lives in real time, and these days it’s no surprise that we expect that the information, media, and even marketing campaigns we consume should be able to keep up.

A fantastic article in CIO this morning outlined the ways in which marketers, by keeping their fingers well and truly on the pulse, are creating nimble, up-to-the-second marketing campaigns that add something to an existing conversation happening in the world (or your geographic location) at any given time. The internet is a fickle place, and what’s not news one day is completely forgotten about the next.

The article provides some great insights from brand managers who are creating real time marketing campaigns, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to be selective in the stories you want to contribute to. While a news piece, event, or trend doesn’t necessarily at first seem relevant to your brand (take the example of Dunkin’ Donuts in the US jumping in on the “Dressgate” debate), if you’re really forcing it, then it’s probably best to let it go. There’s be a new viral news story in no time – we promise.

It appears that real time marketing is here to stay, and it’s something that we will definitely be exploring more of for our own clients, and indeed, our own brand marketing efforts. A few more things to keep in mind when thinking about implementing elements of real time marketing into your campaigns:

Become a news junkie

Most of us have no problem with spending at least 10-15 minutes a day actually reading the news and finding out what’s happening in the world. We find that spending time on Twitter and using services like Feedly to keep all of your news in one place helps to streamline things.

Don’t forget about your PPC campaigns

The piece covers off some great social media examples of real time marketing, but I think there can also be a huge benefit in adjusting your PPC campaigns to reflect current events and newsworthy items. We’ve previously written an article about using real time search trends for PPC right here on the Reef Blog. We’ve seen great examples of brands updating their ad copy to receive current events and topics du jour – Check out these creative PPC campaigns which offer both good and bad examples.

The same rules of good marketing apply – Perhaps even more so

Don’t expect to post just one half-hearted tweet that includes a trending hashtag and receive any extra engagement or interest from it. You still need to offer your audience something that’s genuinely useful, interesting, educational, or at the very least, funny and entertaining.

During the Sydney storms some months ago, some of the brands I follow on social media decided to offer something to their audience, with some, such as the luxury sports wear brand, The Upside, deciding to run a two-day “Storm Sale” to capitalise that many people were most likely working from home or otherwise cooped up in the house.

Upside

Stay classy

This really should go without saying, but sadly there’s always at least one brand that experiences a major WTF moment by inappropriately jumping in on negative events or tragedies in order to promote themselves. Just a couple of months ago, Tim Burrows published an article on mUmBRELLA which outlined Mortein’s poor attempt to “elbow” its way into a conversation about the tragic murder of Stephanie Scott. Choose your stories wisely, and if it’s a tragic event that you’re commenting on – it’s best to stick with sincere messages of support and condolences.

Does your brand use real time marketing frequently? What about any tools like Spredfast to help you keep up with what’s trending?

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One Response

  1. Thank you Marina. Especially agree with the last point about staying classy, and to address it from a different angle for a moment if I may:

    Many online advertising networks use keyword based targeting for display campaigns. The idea is that a display ad will show alongside an article that includes specific keywords, therefore making the ad more relevant to the subject matter.

    Where keyword targeting gets tricky is when tragic events occur. If the article about said event mentions a keyword being targeted, the advertisers ad may show. Showing ads next to tragic news stories is distasteful. Effective real time campaign management would seek to respond quickly in a scenario like this, preventing the situation from occuring.

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