Are You Ready for Real-Time Marketing?

Real-Time Marketing
Real-time marketing gets users involved in the moment.

Are you managing on the front side, or the back side? Traditional marketing campaigns have more time, effort, and money dedicated to the preparation phase. Once it’s launched, you can breathe a lot easier. That might be changing. In fact, the change has already begun.

Real time marketing isn’t about building and creating a package to present to your audience as much as it’s about relating to them in the moment. To do that, you’ll have to forget about a separation between marketing and the audience, and get out there among them. So to speak.

What Real-Time Marketing Is

Real-time marketing is about responding to your audience and to situations as they unfold to engage people and promote your brand, both at the same time. This means knowing your audience in a way that you might have imagined you did, but may soon realize you don’t. It also means keeping your eyes open for opportunity all the time.

Let’s say you run an ad, and it makes waves. The good kind of waves. If people are talking, you need to be there to join the conversation and expand on it. But how about a difference scenario. For example, Miranda Miller for Top Rank Marketing mentions the 2013 Super Bowl blackout where Oreo did a very simple thing that took off like a rocket.

”You can still dunk in the dark,” was a spontaneous Tweet by Oreo in reaction to an event in real time. The public responded by Re-Tweeting it, writing about it, Facebooking about it, and generally sharing that simple line to the point where even TV and radio stations were talking about it.

SEE ALSO: 5 Best Practices of Social Engagement

Real-time marketing is active-participation marketing, and it’s an audience development tool.

Features of Real-Time Marketing

Social media terms written on small pieces of paper
Social involvement is what makes real-time marketing work.

Colin Mitchell, Worldwide Head of Planning at Ogilvy & Mather, offers real-time marketing as having several features. His whitepaper, Real-Time Marketing: Why Future Campaigns will Need to be Planned Less and Managed More explains these features as dynamic content, conversation management, and real-time optimization.

Dynamic content relates to a more traditional ad or a spur of the moment piece of content that the public relates and responds to. When you knock it out of the park with a campaign that you’ve worked on for months and the public starts sharing, that’s your cue to jump in and help it grow.

Conversation management is actively involving yourself and managing the conversation that’s happening around what you created. This is the ”making it grow” part. This can be adding to the original content and breaking off into new but related content.

Real-time optimization, according to Mitchell, means planning for talk, rapid response research, rapid prototyping, opportunistic media, planning for the end, and spreading out payments. Planning for talk and rapid-response research are fairly self-explanatory.

Rapid prototyping simply means being spontaneous and willing to take risks with your real-time campaigns. Opportunistic media is all about media placement collaboration. As for planning for the end and spreading out payments, all campaigns have to end sometime. Instead of using your marketing budget on creation and launch, be sure you have enough funds available to see it through.

Real-time marketing is new, and it’s not. All businesses try to stay on the cutting edge, and this is no different. What is different about it is the level of involvement, start to finish. Instead of working hard on the front end and sending it off to fly, you help give it wings the whole way.

This is about managing more from the back side, where most of the action happens anyway. Instead of creation and presentation, this is a turn toward interacting, promoting, and mingling.

Real-time marketing can be more relevant than anything else you’ve done because it involves your audience like never before. It takes what’s happening in the here and now, nurtures it, and helps it grow. The key is staying aware, and staying on your toes. You never know when the public will react, and you have to be there when they do.

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