Real-time marketing is a new phrase that came about in the last month. It’s an extension of content marketing. Brands need to adjust to a new 24/7 marketing model, according to social media commentary. A prime example of real-time marketing in action is Oreo’s tweet, “dunk in the dark” in response to the power outage at the Super Bowl. The power outage was unexpected and the tweet was successful because it related to the public and what they were going through, instead of relating to Oreo.
Major public events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl are a party that we’re all attending through the media. Real-time engagement requires witty comments revolving around world events and cultural touch points. Brands need to grasp opportunities as they happen. They also need to know when and how to say something to inspire engagement.
The Oscars revealed several clumsy real-time marketing attempts. On his site Convince and Convert, Jay Baer discusses brand tweets in a few categories such as “missed opportunities”, “planned in advance, just okay”, and “trying to hard.”
Real-time marketing requires the ability to monitor and process information quickly and the ability to provide content which suits the audience rather than brand. Witty comments that work require the poster to have: a sense of timing, the ability to read the audience, knowledge of universally understood concepts and cultural touch points, and good judgment. David Armano (managing director of Edelman Digital in Chicago) commented on the social marketing of brands at the Oscars with, “while the marketing community lost last night” they need to take risks to see rewards.
To make real-time marketing work, brands need to have a newsroom mentality. The Harvard Business Review suggests brands need to grasp clever content development, if they want to think like newsrooms. The reality of this new real-time approach is that it’s difficult and expensive. Staffing up for a special event for a limited time period is much more affordable.
Catching a Wave
Recently two major Twitter accounts were hacked, Burger King and Jeep. Immediately after, brands made clumsy attempts at real-time marketing by trying to harness the excitement of the day. MTV and BET hacked their own accounts. Donald Trump claimed his account was hacked (it was only for one tweet) and he regained control within the hour…really? The reason real-time marketing works is because it takes the audience by surprise and the content is original.