“Real-time marketing”—just uttering the phrase evokes images of hastily photo-shopped images and ham fisted attempts to join online conversations. The stakes can be high—last week’s big winner in the responsive category during the Grammys was of course Arby’s to which the spoils of considerable earned media coverage and over 6000 new Twitter followers were awarded. Many other brands weren’t as fortunate.
But for all the hype and baggage associated with real-time marketing, it doesn’t seem to be going away. Perhaps that’s because real-time marketing is already on its way to simply evolving into a modern day extension of integrated marketing. Think about the dollars spent by advertisers on premium venues like the Superbowl—can they afford to sit out integration in not only digital spaces, but also social second screen activity? (Just watch how many people will be on mobile devices at your party).
No, they can’t.
And so, this year’s Superbowl will be a moment of truth for what brands do in the social- mobile space before, during and after the big game. Budweiser for example has already been encouraging consumers to post pictures of themselves and their four legged friends using the #Bestbuds hash tag as a compliment to their campaign. They also have @Budweiserpuppy talking to people on Twitter. In similar Fashion Chobani brought their 30-second star to life on Twitter in the form of @Chobani_bear who started doing real-time video responses on Twitter, most recently with Katy Perry. Mysteriously, the Chobani Bear Twitter account has recently been suspended—a real-time marketing mishap?
* Update, Chobani contacted me an informed me that @Chobani_bear was not a Chobani account.
Whether you are on brand or agency side, at minimum you should be watching this space and learning. Mobile will only continue to chip away consumer's attention away from the “first screen” and while many brands are still learning the ropes of responsive marketing integration, it’s a sure bet that this will become part of the modern marketing mix. On that note, there are a couple of simple ways you can watch and learn: A public Twitter list of all brands advertising on the Superbowl was published by Marketing Land, and I’ve also created a hashtag for marketers to follow examples (#RTMBowl). What brands will win? It’s anyone’s game.