5 Facts about Real-Time Marketing that every marketer should know!!

September 22, 2015 Back to blog

After our previous blog post which covered 5 benefits of weather triggered marketing, we are back with another countdown, hoping to tickle your witty bones with some of our fun yet interesting facts:

1) Marketing is not a NEWS anymore, it is a PARTICIPATION!

Not a Monologue but a Dialogue!!

Couple of months ago, the photo of a ‘dress’ went viral on social media where people kept discussing about its colour (blue-black or gold-white). The picture was reposted and shared several times in a very short span.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.07.29 pm

Usually as marketers we focus on doing something to interrupt an experience so consumers shift to thinking about our product or service (commercials, display advertising, etc.), but real-time marketing is the complete opposite. Since your consumers’ attention is already focused on these trending topics because they identify with the topic, find it useful, or it just makes them laugh, real-time marketing can just ride the coattails of what is already working to evoke engagement.

For instance,the famous donut brand, dunkin’ donuts came up with the following tweet in regards to the ‘dress colour’ buzz!

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.11.51 pm

This one tweet witnessed an increase of 2,590% in retweets and 3,464% in favorites as compared to their last tweet!!!That is an incredible amount of engagement for one tweet about ‘the dress’!
The reason is clear. It’s because brands are taking the best features from RTM and implementing them in their daily conversations with their followers. Brands are listening—and responding—in real time with original ideas and great customer service.


2) There are 5 types of real time marketing


Real-time marketing has come to mean different things to different parts of the marketing department. For some, it requires constant monitoring, war rooms, and an on-call team ready to map a message to an instantaneous opportunity. For others, RTM is a new way to stand apart even if the odds are stacked against them.

This calls for the broad classification of RTM by Chris Kerns under what he terms as trendology.
Should an airline be talking about the royal baby? What’s a candy bar doing Tweeting about a soccer match? Since when does laundry detergent weigh in on TV shows? Those conversations seem crazy, right? They’re mismatched, they’re nonsense… and they are working!!!

In Trendology, Chris Kerns uses a data-driven approach to analyze how brands are using social media.
The 4 types of RTM are:

– Planned: You’ll know a lot of information about these events before they even happen and can schedule content beforehand. (i.e. The Oscars)
– Opportunistic: You’ll know an event is going to happen, but something unexpected also happened (i.e. the Oreo moment at the Superbowl)
– Watch List: You know something will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. It may result in one of two options (i.e. the Royal Baby birth)
– Everyday: You don’t know what will happen, but it will pop up in small events (i.e. The Dress example cited above)


3) Surprisingly, anything can work!


There is no written formulae, no secret paths and no success mantra.
The closest trick one can know is that the brands should talk about the trend and not about themselves to add value, utility, and insight.

For instance, the tweet from J.C Penney after the kick off of Super Bowl was the brand’s first illegible tweet that seemed like either he has been drunk typing from a bar or his account has been hacked! Moreover,there was another tweet that followed less than an hour later and people on Twitter piled on.

It later turned out that the person handling J.C Penney’s Twitter account was not drunk, just cold.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.16.10 pm

Nevertheless, whatever was going on with J.C Penney’s tweets, they proved to be the most exciting real-time marketing of Super Bowl XLVIII.
The relevant point to note here is that anything can click. A thing as bizarre as a wrongly typed tweet could work in favour of the brand as it could grab the attention from many.

The latest story trending these days is about the 13-year old guy Ahmed who was suspended to take a home made clock to school. It wouldn’t be a surprise to spot the repetitive use of Obama’s tweet by many brands to use it for boosting their popularity.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.19.12 pm

It seems like a good opportunity for non-profits, political parties and even clock manufacturers to leverage upon and increase sales and why just the brands that are relevant to the news? Today, anyone can make use of this and it can create a buzz! Well, that is actually how the marketing world is working.


4) Do not compete for MOMENT. Compete for MEANING


It is irrelevant and futile at the same time to compete for a moment because the moment is for everyone. Oscars, for instance, is an event that the entire world is informed about. Thus, all companies are democratic to mention it in marketing their brands. The value you can possibly add is how can you convert it meaningful for you?
The perfect example that comes to my mind is of a startup in India named PS Take Care. They have followed the simple basics of real-time marketing and that is the main reason behind mentioning them in this article. Knowing about the different festivals in India and the connection people share with them enabled PS Take Care publish posts on these specific days. The result was increased customer footfalls.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 4.27.03 pm

The picture is from their latest marketing campaign on one of the biggest festivals in India.


5) Marketing is about being CONSISTENT, not REPETITIVE in our social media messages


Every brand wants to be consistent with the brand image they are propagating and the values they stand by. But one has to make sure that in lieu of being consistent, are we falling prey of repetition? You want to be consistent, not repetitive. Avoiding repetition can be as simple as changing up the way you phrase something, or coming at it from a different angle. Even if you’re still promoting the same thing.

Let us check out Target’s example on their Twitter and Facebook profiles:


They have posted the exact same content with the exact same picture on both the social profiles.
The promo is smart and funny, but it loses its authenticity and charm when you see that it was copied and pasted into another social profile. And if people love TARGET they would definitely follow them everywhere and not in just one place.

Well, on the other side, what is worth mentioning is their post on National Cheeseburger day!


Same image, same basic message, but it feels much more engaging when you see that whoever is posting for them took the time to write two different things. And as much as social media is about getting your message out, it’s also about creating brand loyalty and engagement.

Next time you check your social feeds, think about the way different brands handle this idea of sharing the same information in different ways. Then follow the good examples and do the same for your own business!

“Doing a common thing uncommonly well brings success!”



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