Real-Time Marketing | A brief overview

What exactly is real-time marketing?
RTM (Real-time marketing), also referred to as agile marketing, has been given many definitions over the years including:
Personalising content in response to consumer interactions’ – EMarketer
Triggered communications set in action by consumer behaviour’ – The Guardian
The ability to engage with your customers or fans instantly based on real-time information – like their actions and behaviour, changes to your own data or external news or events’ – Smart Focus
In brief, real-time marketing is the the act of creating engaging and personalised content in response to events, news, trends or customer behaviour at the time it happened.
Benefits of real-time marketing
RTM has many benefits to a brand or business if done well. Consumers are now connected through various devices for most of their waking day; this gives brands plenty of opportunity to connect with them and provide engagement through creative and well thought out content.
Better customer experience and increasing customer engagement has been reported as the main perceived benefits, with increased order value falling to the bottom of the list. This is unsurprising as brands adopting a RTM strategy do so to create conversation with their audience and obtain a response, usually via social media.
It sounds good so far, so what’s stopping businesses implementing RTM then?
A lack of time, resources and money are the main obstacles preventing companies from adopting a real-time approach. Know how is also another factor that needs to be considered as RTM is very different to the usual marketing practices. Normally marketing campaigns take months to organise, design and deliver but with real-time, companies are required to be on the ball and respond quickly to events or news.
Here’s some examples of good real-time marketing :
Oreo have been praised many times for their RTM tweets; their most notable one being the response to Superbowl’s blackout in 2013. It’s claimed that this was the first RTM post of its kind and was very well received, gaining over 15,000 retweets and more than 6,000 favourites.
The Met Gala is an annual red carpet event that gives celebrities the chance to show the world their wonderful (and sometimes very bizarre) outfits. However, many of the dresses came to be the butt of many jokes on social media last Tuesday, and Greggs couldn’t help but join in with this fantastic tweet. It goes to show how a bit of creativity earns a lot of visibility, as Greggs’ previous tweet only had 5 retweets.
It’s not just events that encourages RTM from well known brands; take a look at this image that was tweeted by KitKat after the iPhone 6 #bendgate debacle. This was a clever move from KitKat, and worked because the of the witty tag line ‘we don’t bend, we #break’.
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Snickers ‘you’re not you when your hungry’ campaign has been extremely well received over the past few years, and they have further extended the campaign through their real-time and responsive marketing efforts, including sending Jeremy Clarkson this box of Snickers during the Top Gear sacking scandal.
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Finally, our last example is the infamous ‘oscar selfie’ as tweeted by Ellen DeGeneres and retweeted by over 3 million people. There was speculation whether Samsung planned the selfie, as their Galaxy 3 smart phone was used to take the photo and they had bought over 5 minutes of commercial time during the Oscars broadcast. It broke records in 2014 by becoming one of the most re-tweeted pictures, and Ad Age claims it has raised the bar for real-time marketing.
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Smart Focus
The Guardian

Written by Shannon May