Real-Time Marketing Done Right: Why Customers Should Be Your Main Focus
by Megan Ritter
In addition to more traditional marketing tactics, Real-Time Marketing (RTM) can reach out to a demographic which has made hashtags, tweets, pins, tweets, and likes a significant part of their personal lives.
The true use of the term “real-time” describes getting the right message to the right person at the right moment. It helps to be acutely aware of emerging situations so as to exploit them, and create memorable experiences with which to attract people to your business.
A Real-Time “Slam Dunk”
In 2013, Oreo took advantage of a power outage during Super Bowl XLVII by tweeting “You can still dunk in the dark”. It was retweeted over 15,000 times and has received more than 20,000 Likes! Not bad for an improvised and almost-instant ad campaign.
And here’s where the word “real-time” really takes-on some meaning: Oreo had a 15-person social media team ready to respond to whatever happened during the event – in ten minutes or less! This was in addition to their regular commercial. The real-time tactics were more than just improvised. They also assessed every possible scenario and prepared a marketing response in advance. That included two different versions of their victory tweet, one having the correct team colors.
At one time this may have been considered a coup of sorts. Not anymore.
Response Times are Key
How about taking a spill on a New York City Bike in the rain, ruining your pants, then turning it into a marketing opportunity which involved Citi Bike (NYC’s city-wide bike membership program) and J. Crew stores? It happened, resulting in a gift certificate for new pants and instant social media attention.
Intended to capture moments in 140 characters (or less), most people would agree that Twitter is probably the most effective social media tool for anything having to do with real-time communications.
You can be that fast, as long as you’re that good.
A recurring theme in social media blogs is that “It’s all about the content”. Having the ability to pivot off current event’s and develop a clever Tweet while in the moment is a challenge. However, if the social media team doesn’t consider the possible consequences of its action, it can do more harm than good.
The above examples illustrate how a highly trained team can exploit real-life events in real-time through improvisation, and produce long lasting benefits. Other opportunities are slightly less chaotic and involve email distribution and website development, which are still significant channels for RTM.
You’ve Got the Power
There’s intense interest in developer tools and services for marketers. A well known example is Google Analytics for viewing visitor site data. Woopra, Chartbeat and Clicky have taken analysis a step further and include things like real-time interactions with your site. They answer questions like “Who’s visiting now and what page are they looking at?”
Location services like geofencing, further enhance the RTM experience. It combines information on the user’s current location with information about a nearby point of interest. It can be especially important for customers in close proximity to your store, for example.
Every social media outlet is an opportunity for RTM, as long as your target audience sees it in real-time. That means using your options in combination. Gardener Supply Company successfully used email to draw attention to their page on Pinterest, and dramatically increased customer conversion.
And, as you’re keeping your followers informed, be sure to maintain your search for new ones. It’s easy to forget that social media is also great for social prospecting.
About the author:
Megan Ritter is an online journalist and entrepreneur with a background in business communications. In addition to researching and implementing trends in real-time social marketing, her writing also covers business technology, globalization, and digital content marketing.