Call it the way the Oreo crumbles. Ever since the popular cookie brand hijacked the Super Bowl conversation with a timely tweet that rocketed around the internet, digital has had a serious crush on real-time marketing. (For different reasons, some have also had a serious crush on real-time bidding, but that's a different topic with a confusingly similar name.)
But this isn't an article about Oreo. We long ago exhausted the usefulness of writing lengthy articles about a single tweet. Instead, this article is about a new(ish) reality in marketing. After all, real-time marketing (RTM) isn't really new, and it didn't come out of left field.
"Over the past 50 years, marketing has approached RTM since production time of print, radio, and television has dwindled down," says Hyperactivate CEO and founder Marc Fischman. "What took months to produce in the '60s now takes only days to produce. With the advent of social media, marketing can now be focused at the moment with efforts targeting what is currently relevant to the brand."
OK, so it's a continuum. But RTM is also a big part of consumer expectations these days.
"[Consumers] expect brands to be aware of the world around them and to know their audience and what they care about," says Teresa Caro, SVP of social and content marketing at Engauge. "They expect brands to be aware of and acknowledge that instance when their ad had a presence in a controversial Rolling Stone issue -- and they expect brands to know why. People expect a brand to know why (a hypothetical) 'What's in the bag?' post scheduled in mid-April, while completely unrelated, is now entirely unsuitable. And, people fully appreciate when a brand connects itself in a smart way to an event that they care about."
Clearly, expectations are high, and rightly so. But those expectations are determined, in large part, by context, and that's where RTM gets really interesting -- which is why we're looking at five different contexts for RTM.