I hate to bring up Oreos. It’s yesterday’s news and so 2013. But ever since that sad, sad day in January of last year when my heart was broken (I’m a 49ers Fan), many brands have attempted to steal the spotlight from cultural events using this thing called real-time marketing.
Sadly, many have failed.
And for the marketers that have been lucky enough to capture the attention of busy consumers, on their devices and consuming mass amounts of social media content have barely seen marginal results. They shake their heads in disbelief when their efforts are mocked on Mashable or Digiday the next morning.
Truth is, real-time marketing isn’t hard to execute. Brands today are taking this serious and building internal capabilities to make real-time marketing an actual go-to-market strategy. They are:
- Building teams: Building a newsroom organization that aligns the right teams with the right skill sets and the right resources.
- Crafting stories: Creating an editorial framework that aligns business results with laser focused content themes and also determines how flexible a brand wants to be when telling stories online.
- Investing in technology: Using software platforms like SocialFlow,Dachis or Trendspottr and identify what’s trending within specific categories (fashion, sports, fitness, health, etc.)
The problem with the above approach is that brands are trying to be everything to everyone, taking a “one size fits all” approach. Monitoring for “what’s trending” or what’s about to trend within a very large, very diverse data set on the Internet is not a sustainable, long term strategy. The question you need to ask yourself is, “does your audience actually care?”
I get it though. Everyone wants that “Super Bowl” moment. It happens in advertising and now on Twitter.
But in order for real-time marketing to be more effective, more relevant and more impactful, there is a key component missing in this approach, data. Smart brands are monitoring very specific audiences that fall within a very specific profile (millennials, IT Decision Makers, CIOs, etc.) and monitoring their consumption and sharing behavior. They are using this data to build very tailored, very agile and very targeted content for these specific customer groups.
This approach is cost effective because brands are creating less real-time content. It’s smarter because the content itself is more relevant and targeted. And it just makes more business sense … at least to me.
Lastly, real-time content should only be a very small percentage of a content strategy. Brands can’t just sit idle and wait for the news cycle or an event before creating content of epic proportions. They should be doing this day in and day out.