How to Do Effective Real-Time Marketing
1) Determine Relevant Streams
Before you can even consider implementing real-time marketing, you have to identify where conversations relevant to your brand are taking place. Is your audience using Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Reddit? Maybe they roll over in the morning and fire up Facebook even before wiping the sleepers out of their eyes.
Understand your audience. Understand their social media habits and tendencies. Know which social media platforms they frequent.
2) Organize the Stream
You can’t understand or paint a clear picture of a conversation unless you have all the pieces in one place. From a more strategic standpoint, that means having all decision-makers in the same room or, at least, connected in a way that allows you to make quick decisions based on the flow of the conversation. This is exactly what made Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark ad possible.
3) Understand the “Stream”
Once you’ve identified your audience’s neighborhood, you have to familiarize yourself with “the stream.” And by stream, I mean the flow of content related to a particular area of interest for your brand. This can be as broad as the aforementioned Super Bowl, or it can be a much smaller content stream that focuses on an event or particular focus for your brand.
4) Determine Influence and Relevance
While it’s crucial to determine when, where, and with whom the conversation takes place, the relative importance of the conversation should be of greater interest to you. Is it relevant to your brand? Just how “big” is the conversation? Does the conversation allow for the placement of contextual content your audience would deem useful, informative, or pointedly amusing?
5) Set up Alerts
The most important takeaway is that these alerts must happen in real time so your real-time marketing can be implemented properly. Had Oreo published its Dunk in the Dark ad the next day, it would not have had anywhere near the effectiveness it did during the game.
For popular, annual events such as the Super Bowl, “war room” scenarios make sense to monitor conversation and determine relevance. For smaller events they may not be necessary.
6) Frame the Conversation
Whether you’re managing a real-time marketing campaign for your own brand or for another, the conversation must be summarized and framed in a manner that is easily understood by your team, your client, or for that matter, yourself. Framing the conversation brings clarity and helps identify whether or not the conversation is one that lends itself to brand engagement.
7) Engage
Once everything is ready to go, it’s time to engage. It’s time to act on all of the information you have acquired and for you to implement some informative, insightful, or perhaps even witty real-time marketing.
If you’ve determined the relevant streams, pulled them together into a single dashboard, identified relevant conversations, informed everyone on the team, and framed the conversation in context of the brand, you’re ready to act.
Real-Time Marketing Is the Future of All Marketing
For real-time marketing to work, a different marketing mindset is required. As tools and techniques improve, just about all forms of marketing will, in essence, be real-time marketing.
To survive, you have to move at the speed of social conversation. You don’t have to join — or even acknowledge — every single conversation, but you do have to have a clear handle on what’s being said and have a plan in place to act quickly if need be.