Activating brands in real-time
It's fascinating the way terms pop up, gain traction, and become "of the moment”. Think “inbound marketing”. Or “paid, earned, and owned media”. Or “the social Web”. I’m sure you have plenty of your own favorites.
Lately, I’ve been seeing the term “real-time marketing” hit its stride. I get e-newsletters with that title. I see event tracks carrying the moniker. For me, this is one term that resonates, particularly in the context of brand activation.
At our agency, we espouse the notion that brand activation requires extreme topicality. (David Meerman Scott uses a colorfully provocative term for this–“newsjacking”–and he has even written a book about it.
At Stein IAS, we believe that the more a brand is plugged into the topical dynamics and drivers in its market, the more ‘activated’ it likely will, or can, be.
Example: One of Stein IAS’ clients serves industries and decision-maker functions that are massively befuddled by the 2,200 pages of legislation collectively called, “Healthcare Reform”. Said client and we have been on this like white on rice. We are hell-bent on providing clarity where there is confusion. Prescriptive and actionable advice at a time when there is a void. All in a variety of forms and form factors that seamlessly span channels and are widely discoverable.
To me, this is real-time marketing at its best. Extremely valuable. Leveraging our client’s experience and expertise. Providing a richer context for client and customer engagement. Of course, there are plenty of other applications of real-time marketing, such as serving creative in real time based on market conditions (we do that for a financial services client).
What’s important is making marketing and brands all about value delivered (and not just solutions delivered), doing so continually, and doing so based on what’s of the moment, in the moment (and in moments to come).
So, real-time marketing? It’s a fine term. It is enjoying a justified moment in the sun. But what it really means is that activated brands understand that topicality always is an ally.