Real-time marketing concept might seem new to you as the majority of us marketers spend most of our time planning our marketing strategies, campaigns and PR’s and tend to forget or neglect the importance of real-time moment to communicate to the audience and customers. To emphasize on its importance did you know that, When added to the marketing mix, real-time marketing provides a dramatic lift to consumer sentiment (16% lift), purchase intent (14% lift), interest (18% lift), likelihood to recommend (18% lift), and seriously consider (18%)?! and also Consumers are 22 percent more likely to consider a brand as a result of real-time marketing?!. Aren’t those facts interesting! Since this topic is important in today’s marketing world, I thought of sharing some useful insights about it to benefit you and to always keep an eye on opportunities.
Real-time marketing can be defined as interacting with your target audience based on current local, national or global events and trends and ultimately responding to immediate customer feedback. It also means ideas should be developed in minutes, not days or weeks! Marketers who use the moment are aiming to make their company more appealing based on the association with an exciting event which normally happens in the form of meme, video or image/graphics shared on social media channels.
Real-time marketing is a valuable tool that helps us in reaching our audience and consumers through the content that matter to them at the right time and right place. The following lines will explain why we should really think and add real-time marketing into our strategy:
- Customer Relationship: Remember, our customers are always waiting for the right message at the right time to help them in their purchase decision, by taking the chance and being available and associated with the trendy event will help build a strong relationship with them.
- Increase Social Media Engagement: By taking the opportunity and being part of a current event, it will increase our presence on different social media platforms which means better visibility to consumers and higher engagement.
- Promote Events: Event is considered real time as it happens “Right Now” whenever that may be. Hence; by involving in the moment, we can improve brand recognition among attendees and those who are following us on social media.
- New Customers: By engaging in real-time marketing, you can reach your existing customers and help them make a decision and also, reach new customers who just knew or build interest in your brand which means you are expanding your horizon.
- Brand Influencers: As we all know the importance of social media reviews and opinions to our customers, real-time marketing will help us identify a customer who is ready to become an influencer for our brand through sharing opinions to a larger number of other audience.
Now after we talked about the importance of real-time marketing, the question is: When is the right time to use or implement it?
As per the above graph shows that engaging in real-time marketing should rely mainly on three factors which are: Relevance to the business, to the customer and to the time. Always remember, a real opportunity is when you engage with what’s relevant and not what’s trendy.
A real good example of an organisation that used the moment of real-time marketing well is Arby’s which is one of the largest quick-service sandwich chains in the U.S. When the singer Pharell Williams showed up to the 2014 Grammys wearing a hat that resembled the Arby’s logo, the company took the opportunity of the moment and tweeted “Hey @Pharell, can we have our hat back? #Grammys. People who were following the Grammys hashtag on Twitter saw the tweet and started retweeting which reached to 46.1K. Few months after that, Pharrell auctioned the hat on eBay to raise funds for kids charity and it was bought for over $41K and guess by who? Arby’s.
The above example has shown how important real-time marketing has been for Arby’s, hence they took the opportunity of the right time which was also relevant to the company. To help you succeed in planning, let’s look at the ingredients of real-time marketing and what are the best ways to engage in real time:
- Create advertising based on real-time events
- Respond to a consumer right away
- Create a real-time product
- Donate your product to those in need
- Tweet thoughts to your market and consumers when they are watching
- Comment on regulatory change in your industry
- Use a news release to react to another company’s announcement
Now after taking you through real-time marketing, I would like you to pay attention to something important which is the difference between real-time marketing and newsjacking! Real-time marketing and newsjacking are often used as synonyms. And while all newsjacking that is successful are considered real-time marketing, not all real-time marketing is newsjacking.
The following graph that has been crafted by Kotsikopoulos will illustrate the differences between real-time marketing and newsjacking, and where they overlap.
This graph clearly shows that real-time is more strategic and brand or industry specific that will ultimately have a long-term impact. On the other hand, newsjacking is tactical, short team and has a low reward. However they overlap at being adaptive to the event and they are both timely.
In a nutshell, real-time marketing is an interesting tool that we marketers should consider when building our marketing strategy. Remember, to always look and keep an eye for opportunities that are relevant to your business and industry. My thinking question to you is: What are you doing to capitalize on real-time marketing?!
To read more about this interesting topic:
- Book: The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Scott