We’ve seen a plethora of brands jump on the real-time marketing (RTM) bandwagon this summer already – fuelled by string of cultural and sporting events. The World Cup has a lot to answer for!
Wafflegate, aka USA vs Belgium, saw brand after brand say pretty much the same dumb thing. The Suarez Bite sparked an RTM frenzy with anyone and everyone attempting a witty response. Common sense, good taste (no pun intended) and brand principles all seemed to take the day off. Some brands clearly stretched themselves to get in on the act…but why?
Everyone ended up making the same lame joke. Instead of rising above the noise… they just created more of it. Some of them should have taken a leaf out of Oreo’s book and “gone dark”.
But perhaps, one of the worst RTM judgement calls of the World Cup so far has been KLM’s Adios Amigos tweet minutes after Netherlands knocked Mexico out. KLM have since apologised for causing offence – but it will take more than a tweet to undo the damage.
So what’s the learning? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. When brands attempt to be culturally significant – at speed and in the moment – they must not do it at the expense of being strategic. Brands must know how far they are willing to go… and be prepared to stick to their guns when a tempting, but irrelevant, opportunity comes along.
For marketers, this requires an intrinsic understanding of your brand, confidence and empowerment to make tough decisions quickly and stamina. RTM isn’t really about supporting cultural or sporting events. It’s about being culturally relevant every day. That’s 24/7 365 days a year. That’s where you will find the right opportunities that work for your brand rather than competing against every other brand.
It means a dedicated, cross-functional and tightly knit team. It means a new operational approach and environment. It means opening up new partnerships and media opportunities (to help cut through some of that noise. It means having 24/7 access to the right insight, tools and data. It means taking chances (on the good bets) and a relentless commitment to moving the needle (on engagement) every day.
Some say RTM has already peaked, but it’s going to be around for a while (perhaps becoming the future status quo?) and we collectively need to get better at it!
By DMA guest blogger Pipa Unsworth, Chief Product Officer, Digitas LBi and DMA Agencies Council chair
We’ll explore these aspects of Real time marketing at our event in September. Come and find out from brands and agencies who are pioneering and leading the way. They’ll share their success, watch-outs and insights. It’s one event you shouldn’t miss.