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Real-time marketing – how, why and is it worth it?

In an increasingly competitive world where supply exceeds demand, especially on the Internet, businesses need to excel. One of the latest strategies is real-time marketing, which focuses on publishing real-time news and information that will arouse the interest of Internet users. If you have not heard about it yet, we encourage you to read our article, because it is RTM marketing that may prove to be the element of your communication in social media, thanks to which you will effectively increase the visibility of your brand.

The term real-time marketing is mainly used to describe the concept where the brand actively tracks social media and the entire network for the possibility of interacting with the audience by talking about current events and popular topics. Brands that have already decided to implement RTM practices refer to this concept as a true performance lever, thanks to which they generate better sales results and increase their publicity. Before we look at the concept from the practical side, let’s take a look at the definition of real-time marketing.

Real-time marketing – what is it?

RTM is a strategy that uses real-time data, on the basis of which marketers create content for the benefit of a given brand. Rather than creating an advance marketing plan and executing it on a schedule, real-time marketing creates a strategy focused on relevant, relevant trends and immediate customer feedback. The use of such a method in communication allows:
– arouse the interest of Internet users,
– gain publicity,
– increase the dissemination of published content,
– establish direct communication with current and potential customers,
– get greater audience engagement.

The essence of real-time marketing is not to create content that will suit the nature of your business, quite the opposite. This strategy relies on the company’s ability to use new and popular non-industry news for its own benefit.

Real-time marketing – How does it work in practice?

RTM can be compared to marketing that takes place every day in physical stores. When you step over the threshold, the seller greets you and tries to understand your needs, then offers you the item that best meets them. The household appliances stores operate in a similar way, offering TV sets at promotional prices during the FIFA World Cup.

In the first case, the seller tries to understand your needs in order to present you a product that will satisfy you immediately and encourage you to buy. In the second, the store uses a very popular event to awaken in you the desire to buy a TV that will make sports emotions unforgettable. Each time the store directly adjusts the current promotions, advertising or the way of communication to real time in order to finalize the sale. Moreover, this strategy tends to build consumer loyalty, because if the seller offers a product that is perfectly suited to his needs, the customer will be satisfied and come back to him. Real-time Marketing works just like that, only on the Internet, where the customer is not physically standing in front of the seller.

How to prepare for real-time marketing?

Implementing real-time marketing doesn’t mean managers have to spend their entire lives staring at phones 24/7 and alerting you every time something happens. RTM requires a much greater degree of organization and appropriate preparation. New processes and work approaches should be designed, tested and implemented. It is not an easy matter. A brand should be ready to implement methods that will allow it to respond to a global trend or the needs expressed by a local customer in just a few minutes.

Before applying real-time marketing, it is also essential to thoroughly study online customer profiles and shopping paths. Companies must follow consumer habits as well as know their sociodemographic, behavioral and geolocation data. Only after arming yourself with such key information, you can start developing an effective RTM strategy.

Planning of RTM

The real-time marketing strategy is based on news. It is therefore important to be up to date with the latest news, information or trends. First of all, it is worth establishing a yearly publication schedule, taking into account holidays or other celebrations. This can be extremely helpful. Of course, it is impossible to predict in advance what will happen throughout the year, so the RTM campaign plan should be as flexible as possible.

If your company decides to implement real-time marketing, it is important to regularly research the most popular hashtags or topics covered on the Internet. In addition, you also need to be prepared to engage with audiences who are likely to react to your content. When sharing an article on a topic, you need to be ready for questions from consumers about the material you have published. Only a quick answer will allow you to build trust between the brand and its recipients and will use the potential of RTM.

Time is money, i.e. the faster you react, the more you gain

RTM requires you to distribute your content at the perfect time. Publishing too late exposes you to the fact that no one will pay attention to your post or article anymore. Real-time marketing needs to be immediate in order to impress audiences by causing laughter, comments, reactions, and responses, both pleasant and less affectionate. However, it’s worth remembering that publishing too early can cause yours to be forgotten before they gain visibility. Knowing when to publish will come with practice.

Advantages of real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is a powerful lever for sales and publicity. Consumers love to be close to events and information, and in particular to express their opinion on them. Therefore, a company that starts the RTM game and gives its audience something to comment, think about, or a reason to smile has a chance to:
– build a closer relationship with consumers, overcome barriers through brand humanization,
– gather a committed community around the brand,
– generate interactions, arouse curiosity in recipients,
– increase competitiveness, demonstrate expert knowledge and become a key player in the industry.

According to a survey by, brands using real-time marketing can increase their conversion rates by 26%.

Can RTM be harmful?

Each strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. RTM can also do harm if the brand only uses this strategy. When reacting to current events, there is no room for planning, which may reduce the quality of the content. Moreover, in the case of RTM, it is difficult to predict the reaction of Internet users. The published content may be received very well or the opposite. This may be due to too hasty publication, or simply the content will not appeal to the audience. That is why it is so important not to rely only on RTM and, above all, to create content that will be valuable to the recipients.

Good examples of real-time marketing

Some brands quickly realized the importance of creating ads that reach their audience and get immediate responses. Let’s take a look at the most interesting examples of real-time marketing:

Oreo is a great example of successful real-time marketing. In 2013, the brand made a hype on Twitter, addressing Super Bowl XL VII viewers who had been plunged into the darkness for 34 minutes. The message “You don’t need light to bite your cookies” has sparked the enthusiasm of millions of football fans, both inside and outside the stadium.

Loyal Star Wars fans who purchase tickets and plan their costumes months before launch inspired marketers around the world to harness their creative potential and surprise audiences with stunning marketing gimmicks. The popularity of Star Wars was perfectly used by the Japanese airline ANA, which prepared for the premiere, equipping the crew with quite unusual outfits and accessories:

Duracell also capitalized on the popularity of Star Wars by creating a Duracell Star Wars ad, then stoking the emotions of audiences with the announcement “the most powerful alkaline battery in the universe”.

The loud event, which was the deliberate destruction of the painting “The Girl with a Balloon” just seconds after the work was auctioned in London, was also not overlooked by the masters of real-time marketing. It didn’t take long for the brands to react.

RTM rebounded with hiccups

Sometimes an idea presented in a conference room may sound great, but when the moment of implementation comes, it turns out that even if carefully thought out, it turns out to be a failure. One of the most devastating failures is Pepsi, which in 2017 wanted to advertise to make their product a symbol of cultural unification. The idea was not bad, but the film in which Kendall Jenner by handing a policeman a can of soda tries to resolve the stalemate between the protesters and the police in the Black Lives Matter turned out to be a scandal. The spot was ridiculed on social media, parody on SNL and quickly removed.

Another RTM mistake on social media concerns the Cinnabon brand, known for its confectionery products. After the death of the late Carrie Fisher, Cinnabon decided to pay tribute to the actress on Twitter by posting an artwork of a Star Wars character made of famous cinnamon rolls. The tweet received a lot of negative responses and was labeled “tacky” or “shameless self-promotion.”

Can RTM help with SEO?

A conscious RTM strategy in social media can support SEO by generating organic search results. By tracking popular topics that are relevant to your brand communication and publishing content that relate to them, you can effectively drive traffic to your site. Real-time marketing allows you to build a closer relationship with users, and thanks to a bit of creativity and humor, it will warm up the brand image. In addition, RTM allows you to create content that is eagerly shared by Internet users, and this will not be indifferent to search engines. As a result, real-time marketing allows you to expand the reach and gather new recipients.

There is no doubt, however, that creating a good RTM combined with content marketing requires in-depth analysis and knowledge of the target group. There is no single recipe for successful real-time marketing. Successful brands are those that make the most of their consumer knowledge and multi-channel marketing strategies combined with constant observation of what is happening on the internet. It’s worth experimenting and drawing conclusions to be successful and build effective real-time marketing.

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