Real-time Marketing in 2022

Only the quick and clever need apply.

It’s not easy, but it can really pay off.

A shout out to the original example of real-time marketing…

Oreo pioneered the power of real-time marketing (RTM) with a 2013 tweet during the Superbowl XLVII power outage. The Oreo team posted the now famous, witty and timely tweet above and changed social media, resulting in 10,000 retweets in just the first hour and became a news story globally.

What is real-time marketing?

Real-time marketing is engaging with customers on social media in real, or near, real-time about current events, breaking news or trends.

In essence, it is about connecting your target audience during important moments as they are experiencing them.

Social media has paved the way for brands to open up a two-way conversation and tap into current consumer interests, gathering attention and headlines on a small budget.

Samsung posted this after Apple announced their new iPhones would no longer come with a charger.


Why is real-time marketing important?

Real-time marketing is vital as it helps your target audience feel more connected to your brand, communicates that you, as a brand, are aware of what is going on in the world and provides relevant content to your audience. 

How to prepare for real-time marketing 

Look at the calendar

Be aware of upcoming events and choose to talk about the events you know your target audience would be interested in. 

If you are a mouthguard business, it is unlikely that your audience will care about the Grammy Awards, but they are likely to be interested in the Brownlow Medal. 

To celebrate Earth Day 2020, held the same day every year, Ben & Jerry’s took to Instagram to post a visual metaphor about melted ice cream to bring attention to climate change.

[link to SMPerth’s content calendar]

Plan ahead

If you know of an upcoming event that relates to your brand and products, brainstorm possible content ideas that tie-in. Having a plan will help you act more quickly in real-time with possible resources already created.

During the 2015 Academy Awards, the official Lego account tweeted a picture of an Oscar statue built from Lego bricks. Lego knew when the awards were being presented and created artwork based on this.

Have fun and go for it

Real-time marketing allows brands to show off their personality and stand out from their competitors.

In 2018, ASOS printed 17,000 shopping bags with the word “online” misspelled.

Instead of throwing the bags out, ASOS owned up to the mistake, getting ahead of consumers, and posted a picture of the misprinted bags on Twitter, saying they were “limited edition”.

This funny response gathered 45,000 likes, 501 comments and over 8,000 retweets.

At the 2019 Art Basel show, a banana duct-taped to a wall sold for US$120,000 and big brands got on the bandwagon by creating their art pieces. 

Start with recurring hashtags 

If the thought of real-time marketing stresses you out, start with recurring hashtags such as #MotivationMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. These are time-sensitive hashtags that allow you to join pre-existing conversations the online community is having.

Be part of the conversation

Having a well-executed post is only one part of the puzzle. You need to make sure there is an employee that is ready to participate, engage and initiate a conversation with your consumers. It is also likely this would happen out of the typical 9 to 5 working hours.

By engaging your target audience in real-time and staying on top of current events that are relevant to them, you can build connections that enhance your brand.