The real deal on real-time marketing

For marketers willing to embrace several core principles, real-time marketing (RTM) success is within reach–along with the powerful performance it provides.

Principal #1: RTM is not a tactic, it’s an organizing principal.

Countless articles across all of the marketing/advertising venues refer to RTM by specific tools or tactics–from real-time bidding, data management platforms, and marketing automation to real-time content marketing and social CRM.

But RTM is bigger than any single marketing tactic or technology platform. RTM is an organizing principal from which brands can leverage/capitalize on an “of-the-moment” issue to achieve/accelerate business goals. The aforementioned tools enable a brand to execute RTM.

RTM will not only impact your remarketing campaigns but your entire business performance if envisioned and executed properly.

Principal #2: Spontaneity must be planned.

The magic of Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the Dark’ campaign was not its spontaneity–it was the marketing infrastructure that enabled that now-famous tweet to be launched so spontaneously.

The optimal RTM framework begins with an ecosystem of highly trusted, highly capable partners, including the advertising agency, freelancers, employees, and teams within the brand, technology vendors, etc. With the right ecosystem in place, individuals are empowered to capitalize on ‘of-the-moment’ opportunities–like a Super Bowl power failure.

From such a great RTM foundation a brand can build messaging, creative, and content that aligns with what the DMPs and other data platforms are telling you–within minutes.

Principal #3: RTM requires the right tools.

RTM is not a new concept. The idea/framework has been around for a long time. It’s the advent of new and better tools that have cast a brighter spotlight on the practice of RTM.

It’s imperative that a brand selects the right tool set. There are hundreds of tools on the market that enable data aggregation, monitoring, analytics reporting, etc. The brand that becomes an expert in a core set of tools–one that understands what a tool/platform can do and what it cannot–will rock RTM.

Principal #4: Real-time is relative.

Marketers can get hung up on the idea of real-time. In Oreo’s case, real-time was a matter of seconds. But real-time can also be hours, weeks, or even months.

Your data will tell you whether an important trend is going to be around for a while. Based on that, you can plan the appropriate timed response (using the content, creative, and messaging you’ve already developed).

The payoff

Some of you might be asking: “What can I really get out of doing all of this?” A recent study from GolinHarris shows the before and after RTM lift for all phases of a decision-making continuum (interest, consideration, etc.), as well as the lift in tactical performance (search marketing, social media, and even traditional media).

The study showed that with an RTM approach, consumers were 60 percent more likely to try/buy a product and 70 percent more likely to recommend a brand to others. This and other metrics clearly demonstrate that the ability for a brand to tie into what’s topically relevant and top-of-mind for its target accelerates campaign and brand performance.

And while we all expect RTM to lift performance across word-of-mouth and social media, the study also showed that an RTM approach drove a 60 percent lift in search marketing performance and a 63 percent increase in Web site activity.

RTM will without a doubt be a brand activation driver. To really activate a brand, envision how RTM impacts your entire organization. Without the integration and support of other individuals and teams (IT, customer service, sales), real-time marketing becomes just another buzzword.

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