Who watched the Oscars on Sunday? Did you love Ellen? Did you love Jared Leto even more? Personally, the Wizard of Oz tribute got my vote. Regardless of your favorite part, if you were using any type of social media during the show, you were likely inundated with a flood of marketing efforts from brands across the world. This, my friends, is part of the real-time marketing trend we’ve been seeing more of in recent years. Real-time marketing involves basically what the name suggests, marketing in the “here and now” sense, particularly on social media.
Oreo ignited a fire when they, during the half-hour blackout of the 2013 Super Bowl, sent out a tweet featuring a photo of a lone Oreo cookie with the statement “you can still dunk in the dark.” The tweet received thousands of re-tweets and resulted in tens of thousands more Twitter followers for the company… all because they hit the jackpot with a catchy, and incredibly timely, message for the public.
Since then, it’s become popular practice to camp out in offices around the globe to watch every big event and find that gem of a tweet, Vine, Facebook update, you name it. Although none faired as well as Oreo last year, a few real-time marketing efforts caught the public’s attention during Sunday’s Oscars—namely, Chobani, NASA and Arby’s. Chobani got cheeky with Hollywood and its fake tendencies compared to the yogurt’s real ingredient list. NASA used the Academy Award favorite “Gravity” to relate pictures of various historical moments in space. Arby’s just happened to win Pharrell’s unique, potato-esque hat in an auction the very same day that he wore it in his Oscar performance.
What these companies and efforts have in common is that they related directly to current events and they were memorable. Below, I’ve outlined a few general rules to keep in mind when taking part in real-time marketing.
1. Add Value
No one cares about a blatant move to shove your name into the mix. Make it funny (Oreo), timely (Pharrell’s hat & Arby’s) or subject oriented (NASA). This not only increases your chances of success, it also increases the public’s view of your company as respectable and interesting.
2. Organization is Key
Getting things approved through the company’s legal system and onto the World Wide Web while the “moment” is still happening is hard! This has to be done quickly and efficiently, which is why team and process organization goes a long way in successful efforts.
3. Be Open to Other Possibilities
What works for some companies might not work for you. Being a part of social media engagement for mega events might not be your best course of action, so do what works for you! If there is a smaller event in your area, up-to-date information for this event might help you garner more involvement and support with the surrounding community.
With technology moving at lightning speed every day, it’s important that companies be aware of new marketing trends, especially on the web. Since the success of Oreo, there’s a vast wave of companies seeking to make a name for themselves through real-time marketing. Hopefully next time it will be your company in the headlines!
Caralee Culpepper – Writer and Message Board Specialist