4 Timely Real-Time Marketing Tips

Want to make real-time mar­ket­ing work for you? Here’s what we learned from brands who tried to seize the moment dur­ing the Super Bowl.

Caitlin Nicholson By Caitlin Nicholson from LinguaLinx. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Whether your mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy goals include build­ing brand aware­ness, increas­ing brand engage­ment, gen­er­at­ing leads (to increase rev­enue), or estab­lish­ing thought lead­er­ship, real-time mar­ket­ing can be a help­ful tac­tic. How can mar­keters make real-time mar­ket­ing work to their advan­tage?

These days, when an audi­ence is tuned in to a major event such as the Super Bowl, they are engaged with two screens – the television/computer and their smartphone/computer. Social media’s pop­u­lar­i­ty cre­ates a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for brands to con­nect with con­sumers. Cue in real-time mar­ket­ing. Real-time mar­ket­ing took off dur­ing Super Bowl XLVII. Dur­ing the 2013 con­test, play was sus­pend­ed for 34 min­utes due to a par­tial pow­er out­age at the Mer­cedes-Benz Super­dome in New Orleans. Dur­ing that time, Oreo’s tweet­ed the now infa­mous “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” live tweet. From there, a trend was born. Trends spark con­ver­sa­tion – though con­ver­sa­tions sur­round­ing real-time mar­ket­ing turn either pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive. While real-time mar­ket­ing can gen­er­ate buzz, brands often miss the mark. Mar­ket­ing cam­paigns involve care­ful thought and plan­ning. Some say that real-time mar­ket­ing goes against this. Real-time mar­ket­ing is clever – it also involves a bit of luck or prop­er con­text. Real-time mar­ket­ing is about moments. Some moments are unpre­dictable (such as break­ing news sto­ries). Oth­ers are planned events (such as the Super Bowl or heav­i­ly watched enter­tain­ment events such as awards shows).

When Real-Time Marketing Works Best

Real-time mar­ket­ing can be a part of your respon­sive mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Respon­sive mar­ket­ing is what real-time mar­ket­ing has evolved into. It com­bines a well-thought-out mar­ket­ing cam­paign with cur­rent events. As pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned, some moments are pre­dictable. These events are sched­uled on your cal­en­dar. Super Bowl 50 is an exam­ple. Mar­ket­ing teams always know the date of this huge event, and they plan accord­ing­ly. For exam­ple, Pep­siTM (@Pepsi) spon­sored the half­time show. As a result, they used a hash­tag – #Pep­si­Half­time – lead­ing up to, dur­ing, and after the event. They incor­po­rat­ed real-time mar­ket­ing to respond to fans talk­ing about the show on social media and com­mu­ni­cat­ed with oth­er brands as well. When plan­ning your respon­sive mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, decide how you are going to incor­po­rate real-time mar­ket­ing. It is a great way to real­ly rein­force your respon­sive mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy and add rel­e­van­cy. Over the past cou­ple years, brands have employed a “War Room” strat­e­gy where they bring in a team to sit togeth­er dur­ing the event and respond to the hap­pen­ings of the event. This would have to be a part of your over­all bud­get. Or, real-time mar­ket­ing can hap­pen from your couch dur­ing the event! Accord­ing to a report by Adver­tis­ing Age, one sec­ond of Super Bowl ad time in 1967 cost only $1,333. In 2016, the cost for one sec­ond dur­ing Super Bowl 50 has increased to $160,000! It might not always be in your bud­get to run an ad dur­ing an event like the Super Bowl. Real-time mar­ket­ing can help your brand get in on the con­ver­sa­tion, with­out break­ing the bank!

Real-Time Marketing Tips (Good & Bad Examples)

Twit­ter still rules real-time mar­ket­ing. This year saw the unveil­ing of Google’s Real-Time Ads which debuted strate­gi­cal­ly right before Super Bowl 50. Con­tent is pre-planned, but can be insert­ed and run real-time or right after the moment occurred. Ads run live on Google’s dis­play ad net­work as well as YouTube. Plat­forms are get­ting on board with and per­fect­ing ways to help brands max­i­mize their real-time mar­ket­ing efforts to gen­er­ate buzz. There is no per­fect blue­print for real-time mar­ket­ing suc­cess. How­ev­er, we can learn from oth­er brands what to do (and not to do). So how did brands do this year? Here are some tips for brands look­ing for good real-time mar­ket­ing ideas.

Tip 1: Be Timely

When life hands you lemons, you make lemon­ade.” If this expres­sion is true, then Red Lob­ster left a sour taste in a lot of Bey­on­cé fan’s mouths. The restau­rant chain drew a lot of crit­i­cism after a mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty was seem­ing­ly gift wrapped in their hands. The half­time show is one of the most talked about parts of the game. (Last year’s Super Bowl gen­er­at­ed 3 mil­lion tweets!) This year’s Super Bowl Half­time Show fea­tured per­for­mances by Cold­play, Bruno Mars, and Bey­on­cé. Some lyrics were a lit­tle racy, but she did men­tion Red Lob­ster direct­ly. Talk about a live exam­ple of “When life gives you lemons…”! Eight hours lat­er, Red Lob­ster tweet­ed this exam­ple. The Twit­ter­verse crit­i­cized the restau­rant chain by say­ing they expect­ed bet­ter after tak­ing so long to tweet!

Tip 2: Be Ready For A Curve Ball

Going in to the big game, experts made pre­dic­tions about who they thought would win. Some were wrong, and some were right. The point is, one nev­er knows what is going to hap­pen before the event starts. The same goes for real-time mar­ket­ing. As the game clock ran down to zero, the Den­ver Bron­cos cel­e­brat­ed their vic­to­ry. Their most high pro­file play­er is Pey­ton Man­ning, the quar­ter­back. After the game, Man­ning was asked by CBS’s Tra­cy Wolf­son how he was plan­ning on cel­e­brat­ing after the game. His reply? To kiss his wife and kids and drink a lot of Bud­weis­er. He repeat­ed that again on the podi­um. Bud­weis­er claims Pey­ton Man­ning was not paid to men­tion the brand. The Bud­weis­er social media team was ready with the replies, how­ev­er. Here is a look at @Budweiser’s twit­ter feed after the game. Of course, much was made about the premise of Manning’s state­ments, but let’s applaud the mar­ket­ing team for being ready when a gold­en oppor­tu­ni­ty pre­sent­ed itself.

Tip 3: Stay Positive

Avo­ca­dos from Mex­i­co debuted their first Super Bowl ad last year. It was suc­cess­ful, so they decid­ed to run anoth­er ad this year.


It was a good one, we agree. But did this brand over­do it with their #AvosIn­Space hash­tag? It depends on how you look at it! Brand­watch said this hash­tag was men­tioned more than any oth­er com­peti­tors in terms of Twit­ter buzz. More impor­tant­ly, how­ev­er, this hash­tag was men­tioned with pos­i­tive sen­ti­ments!

Tip 4: Don’t Overdo it – Be Relevant!

Dur­ing Super Bowl 50, we saw a lot of brands tweet­ing at oth­er brands. It seemed like none did this more than Wix.com (@Wix). The web devel­op­ment plat­form spent most of the game tweet­ing at oth­er brands. It seemed a bit over­done. While GIFs and memes are cute, they did a poor job relat­ing their tweets to their brand. It was dif­fi­cult to place what Wix’s prod­uct is and how it can relate to oth­er brands or to users. In addi­tion, brand-on-brand inter­ac­tion is nice, when it is done spar­ing­ly and strate­gi­cal­ly. Take a look at the tweet above. Avo­ca­dos from Mex­i­co respond­ed to Budweiser’s ad against drink­ing and dri­ving star­ring Helen Mir­ren. They were able to place their prod­uct in the tweet itself and pulled in Mini USA (@MINIUSA) in a rel­e­vant way!

Caitlin Nicholson

Written by Caitlin Nicholson

Business Development Specialist, LinguaLinx

Caitlin Nicholson is a Business Development Specialist at LinguaLinx, a translation and global marketing service provider that works with thousands of clients and linguists around the world.

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