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The art of real-time marketing
November 25, 2013 | Inga Rundquist

In our hyper-connected, digital world, time has become even more of the essence. Marketers have always wanted their messages to reach the right audience, at the right place at the right time. However, real-time marketing, powered by social media and technology, has the potential to take messaging to a whole new level. As a result, many marketers are striving to instantly adapt communication and campaigns to the "here and now.” And we’re talking right now.

According to a 2012 survey sponsored by Infogroup Targeting Solutions and YesMail Interactive, 53 percent of marketers planned to make greater use of real-time data in their 2013 marketing campaigns.

So – what exactly is real-time marketing? In real-time marketing, marketers capitalize on current events, trends and news stories to find ways to promote their brand. When done successfully, these messages "piggy-back” on the actual news stories about the event, and the content goes viral. Another way to think of it is this: timely content is the fire, and social media is the gasoline! One example of this was Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet.

While Oreo’s campaign was highly successful, some companies have crashed and burned in their real-time marketing endeavors lots of examples took place during the Oscars. To help you prevent these mistakes, we’ve put together a list of what makes real-time marketing effective.

1. Agility

Brands must be nimble enough to pick up on opportunities. Tide hit a win when a pit crew used Tide detergent to clean the track at NASCAR’s Daytona 500 race. The company quickly capitalized on the free product placement, picked up the footage and produced a commercial that went viral.

2. Relevance

Delta was the first airline to submit a plan to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. It then launched a #Below10KFeet contest where passengers upload a photo taken on a Delta flight below 10,000 feet to win first class tickets to a continental U.S. destination.

3. Smart, timely and creative content

Cue Oreo: You can still dunk in the dark!

4. Measurement/adaptability

McDonald’s discovered what mattered most to consumers with the release of its Cheddar Bacon Onion Burger. Turned out, consumers were more engaged with bacon-centric tweets. Rick Wion, director of social media for McDonald’s, discusses the restaurant’s ongoing use of social analytics in this article.

While real-time marketing may be executed quickly, it requires planning and an organized team that is proactive and reactive. Its success starts with your brand’s daily activity and understanding conversations on social platforms. Real-time marketing done right has the power to increase positive perceptions of a brand; increase interest in a product; increase the likelihood a consumer will recommend the brand to others; and increase the likelihood to consider, choose or try a product.

That’s enough to make any marketing practitioner drool. In real-time.

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