Is Real-Time Marketing The Future Of Advertising? Competition for advertising space is heating up and companies and small businesses that master real-time marketing stand a good chance of reaping the benefits.
We no longer live in the times of Don Draper, where ad men ruled the world and their creations changed the landscape of society. These days print advertising is reserved for filling the pages of magazines which are barely surviving and half-hardheartedly selling ideas on billboards to poor chumps in traffic jams. An interesting development is brewing in the world of advertising, breathing new life into an industry that has become stale outside Super Bowl Sunday. Through real-time marketing on social media we are beginning to see innovation and response almost simultaneously. As technology encompasses our lives more and more, is the future of advertising going to be selling a product in 140 characters or less?
How the tide is turning
In 2013 there are an estimated 500 million registered Twitter users and 1.11 billion active Facebook users. (DMR) It hasn’t taken most companies long to figure out that their customers are interacting and socializing in a whole new way. Advertisers were once limited by both the reach of a campaign and who would be exposed to it. Even if the campaign was limited to a specific niche market, it still wouldn’t reach only the target audience.
With real-time marketing, marketers can target their ideal audience in ways that were never possible before. Whether you only want to sell soap to 45 year old, female, college graduates, or you want to capitalize on the latest ‘twerking’ craze, post VMA, to gain exposure with a younger audience; real-time marketing allows companies to throw a campaign out and watch instantly for the response and results.
Achieving successful results using real-time marketing
As with any type of marketing, one can expect both success and failure. Achieving successful results through real-time marketing is even more of a science than a traditional print ad campaign. A company must really grasp the concept of real-time, and understand the pros and cons of instant information. It is extremely easy to look out-dated on a timeline and if you make a mistake you risk tarnishing your brand amongst 240,000 re-tweets.
In fact, several companies have recently come under fire because they didn’t seem to understand the power of RTM. One of the worst came from Celeb Boutique, an online fashion retailer, who tweeted the following to their Twitter followers after they noticed #Aurora was trending. (MASHABLE)
Although the company quickly apologized and deleted the tweet, the damage had already been done. Now when you search for the companies Twitter profile, six of the top seven Google results reference this PR disaster. Always know what you are throwing out into real-time, before you do it- because you can’t take anything back.
Just as some companies have failed at RTM, many others have mastered it. The American Red Cross, for example, has learned that they can run an effective fundraising campaign by asking for donations in real-time following a disaster. KLM had a very successful Twitter campaign which revolved around surprising customers with gifts who had shared their experience while waiting in the airport.
There is no doubt that real-time marketing can be beneficial, but it has the potential to be much more volatile as well. Despite the pitfalls, companies can no longer afford to overlook their social media presence. Once upon a time it was an advertising dream to take a campaign national, but these days it is all about going global. With a bit of luck, real-time media can take your campaign viral, exposing your company to millions of people instantaneously.
While there is still a market for traditional advertising, the focus has shifted to campaigns which are interactive and quick. Real-time marketing is not going anywhere, and if recent years are any indication, there is room for exponential growth. As technology continues to meet the demands of marketers, and enables them to get more detailed and personalized with their campaigns, the evolution of advertising as we know it may bring along an entirely new way to reach customers.
Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics. She hopes her blog The Fly Away American will one day rank first on google.