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!