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Real-Time Marketing: Getting Started is the Hardest Part….

November 8, 2013

By Meghan Medlock, director of committees and conferences, ANA

Real-Time Marketing is still new and uncharted territory for nearly every brand in the world. As brands determine how they can apply and utilize Real-Time Marketing techniques, they must ask themselves what feels right, why it feels right, how they can react and respond to events that are presently unknown, how technologies will be applied, and how their efforts will be measured. Not an easy task for even marketers with deep pockets and a plethora of resources.

We hear feedback from many marketers through Webinars, Surveys, Committee Meetings and Conferences, veterans and rookies alike. One of the most commons questions we get asked is, “How in the world do I get started in Real-Time Marketing?”  

I have reflected on this question and tried to dig deeper by speaking to ANA members, reading many articles in the trade, and following brands who I think are doing it right (OREO, Coca-Cola, Honda, IBM, to name a few) and I think it boils down to some simple pillars that marketers can all use as they think, plan, and staff for Real-Time Marketing. Real-Time Marketing is much more complex than coming up with your own “dunk in the dark.”  

  1. Content is King!  Good Content + Good Content Strategy = A Marriage Made in Heaven
    At the core of integrated social media programs is content. It not only invites your community into a conversation, but a solid content foundation makes real-time content creation incredibly efficient.   
  2. Develop a Social Media Listening/Responding Strategy 
    Choose keywords to monitor and map out the live events that make sense and matter to your brand. And don’t forget to respond! Did you know that 6% of people generate 80% of impressions online? That 6% are the influencers. They are present, they are there, and they are trend setters and infrastructure is needed to respond to them so that you can make a difference. Think like a publisher, act like a newsroom, and respond quickly!
  3. Content Mix and Balance Matters 
    Determine the balance between planned content from your brand, curated content that other people have posted, and real-time content that is in-the-moment interaction. All 3 are necessary, but finding the right balance for your brand is essential for engaging your audience.
  4. You Can Achieve Results Without Responding to Every Single Individual Tweet. 
    Create new ways to respond, like Vine videos, to deliver on your goals.  
  5. Understand and Accept That a Social Customer Service Program is Essential
    Did you know that 86% of buyers will pay more for the same product or service for a better customer experience, according to a CEI survey, and that 1 in 3 users and growing now prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the phone, according to Nielsen? A solid strategy, involvement from the current customer service team (including a creation of a customer care guidebook), transparency, a dedicated social account for customer service, and a system for tracking and data about your customer service interactions will lead you on the path to success.  

I’ll leave you with two quotes I love on Real-Time Marketing:

 “The power outage was unexpected, and the brands that pivoted and embraced the opportunity before them were the brands that were celebrated by the public for truly understanding the nature of real-time engagement. Why? Because they related to us, not because they forced us to relate to them.”
- Scott Monty, Global Head of Social Media – Ford Motor Company

“If you say fewer quality things in relevant spaces, that will do so much more for you than trying to force fit your brand into every pop culture event that there is.”
- Jason Miller, Social Content Manager – Jim Beam

Let’s continue this conversation by offering you a chance to dive deep with leading real-time marketers and network with your peers. Please join us for our first EVER ANA Real-Time Marketing Conference presented by Starcom on December 4th in New York City!  Learn from Kraft Foods Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Hasbro, Anheuser-Busch, MINI, MasterCard Worldwide, Nestle, and more.  Register now because space is limited!  Click here for more information.

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