Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | 4 min read
While the promise of behavioral ad targeting holds a future in which consumers get the right ad for a product for which they are in the market, at the right time, we’re still years from that being a practical reality across marketing channels. You’ve seen this possibility, in Total Recall or Minority Report, when a digital display introduces a product directly to the star of the show, in real-time. The technology simply doesn’t yet exist to truly enable brands to reach their market with exactly the product or service they need, seemingly sentiently. Yet, though advertising has yet to truly reach that capability, our incredibly innovative social media industry has made it possible to instantly engage your market, connect with customers, and create real-time relationships with advocates and influencers on behalf of your products, services, and campaigns.
Embracing real-time marketing completes, for your business, the true potential of social marketing. Where and how do we do that? Let’s start by simply clarifying where the technology and potential is bringing us.
Real-time marketing is “on-the-fly” participation by brands in the events, topics, and ideas trending at that very moment among target audiences online. You’ve heard of the Just In Time production process which enables manufacturing to have what is needed, exactly when it’s needed; that dynamic is possible because of the real-time interaction between the demands of production and the source of resources – the same concept applies here: enabling a large organization to deliver the exact right piece of content swiftly and efficiently to a mass social audience.
Scott Hendrickson, Chief Data Scientist at GNIP, captured, during Austin’s Social Business Summit this year, that signal takes off from zero and peaks 5 to 20 minutes later. That’s an incredibly tiny window in which a brand must act to be a relevant, authentic part of a mass conversation.
“Gone are the days when you could plan out your marketing and public relations programs well in advance and release them on your timetable,” it’s said on behalf of David Meerman Scott’s book Real-Time Marketing and PR. “‘Real time’ means news breaks over minutes, not days. It means companies develop (or refine) products or services instantly, based on feedback from customers or events in the marketplace. And it’s when businesses see an opportunity and are the first to act on it.”
Embracing the potential of real-time marketing can have an incredible impact on your business. In a February 2012 GolinHarris survey, consumers expressed greater positive feelings about brands after they were exposed to real-time marketing than before exposure. Nearly half said they would feel more positive, while 46% would be more interested in the brand.
Julio Viskovic, Sales Sensei at HootSuite, shared with Marketo in a great post for the marketing automation tool, “Real-time marketing is a process that enables marketers to capitalize on real-time events and deliver a relevant message to the right person at the right time. Ideas must be developed in minutes rather than days or weeks. And messaging centers around real-time feedback from customers or around current events that happen. The benefit of this type of marketing, is that you can capitalize on trending topics that your followers can relate to.”
Are we there yet? Certainly, Gartner’s predictions of the Top 10 Technologies of 2011 suggested that whatever the nomenclature, real-time marketing is here and will continue to evolve. And two years later, it has.