eal-time marketing is a subset of Digital marketing. These two concepts are interrelated and are proven to be effective marketing method for organizations these days to improve their brand image.
Real-time marketing is a concept of capturing information and data of online users, which includes their purchase history & personal trends, and provide them with a customized set of targeted advertisements. This concept has the ability in helping the brands to engage with their customer based on real-time information, such as ? behaviour on a website, changes in their data, or any breaking events news. Online data collection provides the organizations with the power to offer spontaneous online ads in response to individual?s activities such as searching and purchase of products/services online. This strategy can be used for both technological and marketing aspects. When a user undergoes some online activity, the data is stored, and ads are designed based on the information received through the data. It is essential to stay relevant with the changing trends in the external market environment. As expectations and needs of customers keeps changing every day, it makes harder in staying relative. Increased marketing tactics have given the customers, the power to choose in giving their attention to specific brands. To surpass and maintain a competitive advantage, you need to level up your game.
Whereas, digital marketing is a concept of ? marketing your brand through digital channels. Channels include ? Social media, mobile applications, website, email, search engines and any other related digital mediums.? In digital marketing, as a business you will be having endless opportunities in promoting your brand and get to constantly interact with your target audience, by providing them with a personalized or customized service. Also, it helps in improving the value for user experience in relation to the brand. Whereas, impact of digital strategies on each online medium has provided marketers like us, with distinctive set of marketing techniques which will enable in reaching global audience, identification of untapped targeted groups and obtaining long term loyal customer base for the brand. The whole world has gone digital, and Digital marketing allows marketer in seeing business from the user?s perspective and of the business.
Why is real-time marketing important?
This marketing strategy has gained humongous importance just in recent times with the help of digital marketing. You might be wondering how are these two concepts of Real-time marketing (RTM) and Digital marketing are related. So, let us decipher the answer to your queries. RTM in the digital marketing context is referred to as the ?on-the-fly? mode of marketing. With development of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram the method has been revolutionized. Digital marketers today can quickly know about any situation around the world thru real-time marketing social media help and can use these platforms in implementing the real time marketing strategy successfully.
5 Real-Time marketing tactics for Digital marketers
The most common tactic to conduct real-time marketing would be, always having an attentive listening to the trends as they happen. Because, in this digital world anything can gain fame overnight, it might be a small video clipping or a malfunction by known celebrity or brand. News on internet spread like a wildfire, it happens in few minutes. Here are four ways that can help you in keeping track of the trending events online:
Turn on Google alerts for the trends specific to your industry, or maybe not it all depends on your company?s preference. For instance, if you are in a hotel business, then automation would a huge topic. So you can insert the keyword ?hotel automation? into your Google alerts, keep yourself updated few times a week and have constant knowledge on what?s trending.
Keep a tab on all the events that?s been happening in your industry sector, such as competitor?s events, their RTM strategies, and their target audience reach. These elements can give you an idea in setting benchmark for your RTM activities.
Stay updates with publications, newsletters, current trends, common questions and concerns closely related to your industry.
The most important one is to follow online influencers who advertise somethings that?s closely related to your industry products or services. Through them your brand can expand target audience reach, advocate the followers of your brand, and help in publicizing your RTM efforts when applicable.
Originality makes your brand stand out from your competition. Repetition of similar concepts too many times can make people lose interest in it. For instance, if you have copied or slightly changed a joke that has been made by your competitor based on real-time events, then it will stop being funny and users are not willing to share the same thing anymore. The internet is already overloaded with a lot of data, which makes it difficult to distinguish yours from your competitor?s. Oreo company had a stood out to be the most creative with their cleverly composed tweet. During Superbowl 2013, New Orleans faced a huge power out issue. Oreo?s real-time marketing team were quick enough in seizing the opportunity to market their brand on Twitter. They tweeted an image of the cookie in the dark with a tagline ?You can still dunk in the dark? and captioned their photo as ? ?Power out? No problem?. It was an instant and massive hit among the twitter user base. The ad had an impact on social media advertising and the company was praised for their sheer minimalistic charm. Positive press of Oreo made many other brands working towards receiving same sort of attention. The product did not just win our hearts, it also had set an excellent example for real time marketing.
Plan your RTM activities
Being receptive doesn?t mean you cannot plan your real-time marketing activities well in advance. It is true that majority of the events cannot be foreseen, like the Super Bowl event which was unexpected, and nobody expected as it is one of the huge events in American history. However, there are many other events that can be scheduled prior, like for example a royal family baby birth can be exactly estimated and predicted. Nowadays, many companies tend to employ this strategy and accordingly plan their marketing activities in advance. A clear example for this concept would the most well know HBO company, they couldn?t rightly predict the exact outcome of Emmy ward winner, so their social media team had prepared content for all the possible outcomes. This marketing tactic had been a success, as they were able to release instant and accurate responses that were consistent with the general marketing strategy of the company.
Above we have seen that HBO made it possible to align their real-time marketing with their general marketing strategy. This type of consistency should be sincerely followed and maintained by every company out to adopt this marketing technique. If an advertising message that?s based on real-time marketing doesn?t align with the company?s image then it might lead to miscommunication and downfall for the brand. Always, remember to maintain consistency through delivery time and content quality.
Be right on time
As said earlier, word on internet spreads like a wildfire. So, the online community does not wait for your company to devise and implement the real-time marketing plan. It should be done quick and with consistency. Everything happens so fast, and every competitor company is waiting to grab the opportunity. If you do not reach faster and seal the opportunity than you will lose the chance of gaining a comparative advantage over your competition. That means you should constantly keep yourself updated with the information related to events that?s been trending online, take immediate actions on using it to your marketing advantage, be responsive in planning either a campaign or single post, and publish it on online platforms before the trend dies down. In short, speak up when the news is hot in the market, before it fades away.
Listening to your customers can help the brand big time irrespective of its organization size. In 2014, there was an online user named Brandon from UK, who was confused with car purchase decision among the three established brands ? Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes. So, he tagged these three companies twitter accounts and asked for suggestions. Jaguar UK?s social media team was immediately responsive with a tweet back within an hour with an image of the car, followed by the second tweet to send a personal message with his location and contact details to stay in touch. Brandon had finally purchased their car, and with their responsive service they have gained a loyal customer for their brand. This is a perfect example of using social listening. The internet is filled with users asking for suggestions, you as a brand needs to know when to respond and where. In this scenario, Jaguar grabbed the opportunity and gained a brand ambassador for their brand, also improving their brand image on social media platforms ultimately increasing their social media reach.
How does a real time data show effect on your digital marketing strategy?
These days, many websites are providing 24*7 customer live chat service with the help of artificial intelligence. Through this service, customers can contact the company with any issue at any time. These chatbots will be responding to customers instantly and resolve issues without any delay. By this instant problem-solving technique, you can favour yourself with the customers. It can help you go through the whole process of conversation with your customers, react accordingly at each touchpoint and collect real time data. This data can be used further in improving your business performance. Whereas, the method of historical data analysis works towards shaping the future interactions, in this process there are high chances of customer being lost. By the time it is historically analyzed, with real-time data you can analyze and utilize it in practise. It is all about delivering relevant information at the right time through a personalized experience for your customers. Through these interaction procedures, you can receive information on what and where is your service going wrong, and instantly respond to the issues before it?s too late. Both customer efficiency and customer satisfaction can be achieved through this process.
Real-time data can tell you, if your business is actually meeting the customer expectations. You need not put yourself on the field conducting research, collecting customer feedback, analyzing it and making a report. You can actually give a keen consideration on these real-time data and instantly know customers response. With the increase of online platforms, users tend to get more vocal about their feedback and opinion on products/services of a business. Take these forms of data into consideration, you can instantly know if your product/service is meeting the mark or just brutally failing to meet the expectations of customers. At least, it will help in saving both your time & money. It will save you from damaging the brand image and avoid running your business into losses. For any business, meeting customer expectations or exceeding it, is a new level of achievement. It means that your business had succeeded in the market. To achieve this level of success, you need to consider the real-time data as your all-time weapon and use it to modify your marketing decisions. Use of wrong words can deliver a totally different message on social media platforms, so constantly you need to be careful of your surroundings. For example, real-time data will tell you when to use the word ?pop? or ?soda? when you make any cold drink-based ad in the regional streams. Wrong words will communicate a totally different message that can cause bad press for the company.
Also, when you conduct real time marketing, it will enable you in enhancing your ability to find new customer base. Many social media platforms have these hashtags and filters, heavily used by the online users these days. With the help of these elements, you can track and discover your potential customers. You can have a clear picture on who are purchasing your products/services and you can court them as your customers. Similar method can be used in knowing the issues with competitor?s products/services.
The data received from these tools, can help in determining the performance of your brand?s product/service. Based on this information, you can make required modifications to your marketing strategy or resolve problems. You can actually stop the damage before it gets worse. In simple words, real time marketing data will help you in knowing if your products/service is meeting the expectation of the existing customers and also helps in finding new leads for the business. Overall, it helps in bridging the gap between customer expectation and business performance.
Here are some Real-time marketing examples implemented by famous brands, using digital marketing technology:
We cannot get thru brand examples, without discussing the Amul brand, the king of Real time Marketing
Many of you have had their famous scoop ice cream in your childhood or at least had encountered with the brand once in your lifetime, right?
Amul, is said to be India?s largest dairy brand and one of the sponsors for Olympic India. They have extended their support in encouraging our athletes at Rio 2016. Their poster designs have always stayed true to its tradition of publishing witty posters of real-time events. All the designs have a constant base character of Amul?s utterly butterly girl in pun filled visuals. Their topicals are a brilliant example of timely content, either be it a billboard or digital channels they never fail to impress with real-time take on trending current affairs.
During Fashion Week in 2011, Pepsi had launched their new product ?Diet Pepsi skinny?. The most common stereotype thought of Fashion week would be that they have to be skinny to be a model. Pepsi had taken this base stereotype as an opportunity in marketing their new product. Rather than general advertising, the product was actually integrated into the event. Also Pepsi had hired a journalist with full press credentials to the event, where she was supposed to cover the whole story and publish the content on all social channels. They have also used Twitter and Foursquare to flag notable events. Their positioning statement was ?get the skinny? on fashion and pop culture.
ASOS is an online fashion and cosmetic retailer. They have gained enough reputation and has a well-established brand image in the market. Surprising thing about this brand is, they have not adopted a real time marketing strategy. Instead created one to stop the brand from receiving negative publicity. Wondering how is that possible? In March 2018, the company had misspelled the word ?online? on 17,000 of their packaging bags. To avoid backlash, instantly they have responded with a tweet saying ? ?Ok, so we *may* have printed 17,000 bags with a typo. We?re calling it a limited edition?, with an image linked to the tweet. This brilliant approach had left people humoured, instead of causing any disaster for the brand. They actually took a step forward, acknowledged their mistake and took ownership of it. Through this they have actually gained free publicity for the brand. If seen from the perspective of Real-time marketing, unlike the others, ASOS unknowingly had created a real-time event.
Above three brand examples, have shown the way real-time data can be used in growing brand image. If we see in Amul?s example, the brand had based their whole advertising strategy on the real-time data received. Whereas, Pepsi had taken an event as an opportunity in introducing their new product into the market. Lastly, ASOS had utilized the real-time method to save themselves from incurring a huge backlash from their customer base. It clearly shows that, real-time content is very crucial to the success of a strategy and gives brands an opportunity to experiment in different ways to reach out to their target audience. Nowadays, it is crucial for success of brand engagement and if your content is not engaging enough then your marketing strategy is likely to fail in producing desired result.
Nowadays, Real-time marketing proves to be one of the best ways to market your brand?s products or services online. In order to be successful, it is required to do a constant market research to keep up with the ongoing trends in the market. Innovation in implementation of the strategy can help your business in getting the required attention from your target audience. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of RTM data, as there are many ongoing situations happen all over the internet and most of the people tend to spend their time on online platforms. Grab the opportunity and engage in conversations with your customers, know their needs, satisfy their requirements, build emotional connection, and increase customer loyalty for the brand.