Real time marketing is the current darling of the industry (or are we past it? I can never remember…), and with very good reason. It’s a great way to show brand personality, capitalize on existing buzz, and get ahead of the competition. As fun as it sounds, it ain’t for everyone. As a matter of fact, it’s not the right fit for most, particularly those with arduous approval processes and corporate red tape. An article in DigiDay details a “social bullpen” set up by a major marketing agency, a physical space relegated to real time marketing and digital engagement opportunities. That got me thinking about other examples of read-and-react brand moves, including Oreo’s, MiO, and Sharp. Hell, even roof-dwelling falcon families are inspiring agencies to get in on the fun. Out of these stories and others, I’ve gathered four imperative secrets to setting yourself up for real time (or “reactionary”, which better sums it up IMO) marketing success.
- Freedom from maintenance. What I call “maintenance” you may refer to as your daily job routine. Reacting to unforeseen events quickly and effectively simply cannot happen if you are mired in daily “to-do” tasks that require all your attention (as most workers experience most days of the week). Something’s got to give.
- A sense of humor. It may not be 100% necessary in every case, but it sure does help. Oreo, Sharp, the falcon-monitoring agency – they all approached their tasks with some tongue-in-cheek creativity that resonated with audiences easily.
- Support team. Oreo gathered several brand and agency team members into a control room. Digitas carefully chose people to be part of its process. Campbell Ewald said they “worked like a SWAT team”. Having the right people at the right time is crucial. It allows a free-flowing environment for creativity and, importantly, accelerated approval process.
- Planning. Seems a bit counter intuitive, to plan for something that fundamentally only happens organically. But the stage for great reactionary tactics is set well before the ideas are realized. Social bullpens, well organized listening centers, choreographed team members are all key ingredients in the success stories outlined above.