Real-Time Marketing (RTM) has become a permanent feature of the marketing landscape. It is everywhere, and we notice it only in case of some big events, when we are attacked from all sides by better or worse advertisements and memes. No more fun, no more surprises.
There are RTM campaigns which are popular and well made. As the research shows, RTM combined with other marketing actions can increase sentiment to the brand, interest in it, and willingness to buy their product. The RTM campaign, if done well, can be a great tool for building a positive brand image. A good example is Ikea, which has repeatedly demonstrated that it knows what a good RTM is, what are the rules of it and how to run such a campaign efficiently. Here is an example from the time of Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle:
Is there something in politics that people can’t stop arguing about? Marmite shows that it’s a great opportunity for RTM, take a look at their comment on Brexit:
However, these are huge corporations with huge revenues and big marketing departments. The problems starts when John, who runs a local pub or a swimming pool equipment store, reads a catchy article, during his lunchtime break and wants to be Don Draper of the Internet. His idea can be great or tragic – usually it is both tragic and boring. We are drowning in a flood of boring RTM, and at the same time it has become so mainstream that we have stopped noticing that. Why is it like that and how boring RTM is born?
You’ve received an email written in CAPS LOCK, and you really need that job
4 pm, just an hour to the end of your shift. Suddenly, you receive a link to an article and a message from your boss: “just read about it, maybe we can make up something? :)”. After you send an email saying “I don’t know if it’s going to work”, you get a reply written in caps lock. The average amount of student loan in the USA is $37,172. The average UK household is 15,400£ in debt, and third of Britons believe they will never clear their debts. Keeping all this in mind, you realized that you really need this job. Congratulation, now you have an hour to come up with a creative RTM campaign.
You’re pretty late to the game
RTM is effective if it’s delivered on time, and refers to something widely discuss in society. You have to surprise the audience, create something that will redirect their attention to your brand – it has to be fresh. If something important happened on Friday night and on Monday in work, while eating bowl of cereal, you came up with the idea that maybe that’s opportunity to do RTM, there is a good chance that it is not worth any effort – the potential has long since evaporated.
You did it just like everyone else
“Can I use this event to promote my company, and what my company have in common with this event?” – after asking yourself this question, you start to think, and then, just like an apple falling on the Newton’s head – an idea, you’ve got it! Definitely nobody thought of something innovative and fresh. You’re opening your email and start typing new task to your marketing team (your nephew), with quote of course, to put him in the action: “Ideas Won’t Keep. Something Must Be Done About Them”. You are a true poet. Now all he has to do is create graphic and you’re ready to go, now you have to wait for the likes, shares and fame. If you think so, your “campaign” is unlikely to break through, and will be unnoticed, just like other “try-hard” RTM’s.
You’re trying to be funny – but you’re not
The goal is simple – you want to show that you like to laugh, and your company is really cool. The problem is that it doesn’t always work out. There’s nothing worse than doing unfunny jokes.
Every year you do the same thing
Is it Black Friday, Christmas Day, Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (in US on 22 January, yup, I know, me either)? Are you convinced that your competitors are already preparing a campaign that will boost their popularity? Do exactly the same! How about a discount on Black Friday, with some funny promo code? Customers will be killing each others with virtual carts.
You post it, and then you lost it
Why do you do RTM? Do you want to build the image of your brand, gain in the eyes of current and potential customers, you want to reduce the distance between the brand and the customer? There are many reasons why people choose this type of marketing activity. No matter what the reason is, you have to remember about the interaction. Are you posting at 4:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on your way home? Error. Especially in the case of such campaigns you need to work on many social media channels and it’s around the clock.
Of course, there are also campaigns that are not boring, but they will not necessarily work well for your image.
From natural disasters, murders, hurricanes to the fire of Notre Dame, everything is a chance to promote your brand? Not exactly – you have to bear in mind what image you create and who your customers are. In general, it is better to avoid topics that divide society or are related to tragedies.