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Unlock the Potential of Real-Time Marketing

by Jenn Deering Davis  |  
November 6, 2013

In this article you will learn...

  • What measurements matter for real-time marketing, and how to use the data
  • How to create a process that doesn't hinder real-time marketing efforts
  • Pitfalls to avoid when deploying a real-time marketing program

Real-time marketing isn't necessarily new, but Oreo's blackout ad at this year's Super Bowl highlighted the power of this strategy. Marketers are now scrambling to understand how they can integrate it into their marketing mix. In fact, 53% of marketers say they plan to make greater use of real-time data in their 2013 marketing campaigns (Infogroup and Yesmail, 2013).

And there is good reason to take notice: Regardless of product or category, marketers who engage in real-time marketing can expect a 21% increase in positive brand perceptions and 18% increase in likelihood to buy (Golin Harris).

Real-time is not some marketing fad, but a natural progression of social media marketing and a great way for marketers to capitalize on the immense volume of social conversations. And a key part of unlocking the potential of real-time marketing is implementing social analytics that can help guide your media strategies.

Here are a few tips to get started.

Measuring and Using Data

Establish a baseline

Real-time marketing is all about tapping into the excitement around an event or cultural experience. If you are planning something around an upcoming event, start tracking the social conversations in the weeks leading up to it. You will gain a sense of the conversation volume, which will make it easier to identify spikes in conversations and interest. You can also start to uncover the hot topics within the community so that you have time to research them and be poised to respond quickly during the actual event.

Know your audience

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Jenn Deering Davis is a co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Union Metrics. She holds a PhD in organizational communication and technology (the University of Texas).

LinkedIn: Jenn Deering Davis

Twitter: @jdeeringdavis

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  • by Melissa Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    Nice article, Jenn - and great tips! A quick comment that I have is that real-time marketing isn't just about social media - real-time web personalization is also a hot marketing topic these days! I would recommend checking out Evergage's blog post on real-time marketing (RTM)

  • by Jean Borgman Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    Jenn, great and useful tips on real-time marketing via social media! I'd like to offer up that real-time marketing is also a great way for marketers to leverage dynamic personalized content across channels and across the customer lifecycle.

    In fact, you may find this post "real-time marketing isn't what you think it is" of interest. It uses Google Trends to see when terms like "real-time marketing," "real-time analytics," and others truly came onto the scene and gives strong rationale for opening up the definition of real-time marketing to include "marketing to your audience in real time with dynamically personalized content and offers:

  • by writerroxanne Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    I'm excited about the marketing potential of real-time marketing ( #RTM ). Being able to initiate and respond to fast breaking events and adapt the message on-the-fly is what will keep marketers and their brands relevant.

    But, one question: how does this bode for those who work in highly-regulated industries wtih compliance officers lurking about who need days to review, analyze and confirm every customer-facing communication? Can compliance officers and real-time marketers ever get along?

  • by Gracious Store Wed Nov 6, 2013 via web

    Thanks for this great post on real time marketing

  • by Ben Thu Nov 7, 2013 via web

    Jenn - great article. RTM really is becoming the exciting hot topic that everyone's trying to nail. Some are doing it well (I too was sucker-punched by the brilliance of Oreo), others seem all to eager to rule it out as "it doesn't fit our business". I too believe that this has it's comfiest seat in the Socialsphere, but am intrigued by other commenters pointing out real time web personalisation too. I'd be really interested to see any examples of how brands have mobilised their web presence in real-time too, outside blogging perhaps.

  • by Tamar Thu Nov 7, 2013 via web

    Hi Jen,
    Nice article, although I'd like to see examples of B2B companies leveraging real-time marketing with social media. I find B2B much less agile, which is why web personalization is a greater fit.

    It works by segmenting anonymous visitors according to industry/organization, location, and digital behavior. You can see some examples from our customers in this presentation: (specifically slides 13-15).

  • by Jean Fri Nov 8, 2013 via web

    Ben - You'll find some examples of how brands have personalized their web presence in real-time, as well as some best practices here: Many more examples of use cases can be found on under solutions for customer success and solutions for marketing.

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