Real-time is perhaps the number one most currently discussed approach to marketing. From big brand wins by everyone from [the now household example] Oreo and Arbys to RadioShack and Chobani, the excitement has reached a crescendo point, and the potential of marketing in the moment has moved from fascination to fact.
But brands thinking long-term for real-time have come to a realization: the potential of timely engagement marketing doesn’t just lie in the big, public moments of awards shows, national and global sporting events, or major holidays. While those monumental occasions are ripe with opportunity, they don’t happen everyday. Building awareness and preference will ultimately be realized with an everyday focus on real-time relevancy – and the reward will be the power to develop meaningful relationships.
On the heels of the now infamous Oreo moment, Bryan Weiner opened the dialogue sharing that “ the real-time revolution is a much broader call-to-arms for brands to evolve their entire plan to marketing in a real-time world.”
In other words, the increased speed of social engagement and communication – or across any other digital screen, for that matter – is now simply a way of life for consumers. And participating in this relevancy revolution is vital for brands.
BREAKING: Denny’s Buys Beets for $3 Billion, Makes Huge Salad
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) May 29, 2014
Brands shouldn’t simply trendjack any rising tide of conversation, but should use an understanding of their audience’s interests to identify conversations where they can add value. Take for instance, Denny’s clever response to news that Apple purchased Beats by Dre; their timely tweet earned 4,700% higher Retweets and 4,600% higher Favorites vs. other @DennysDiner Twitter content shared in 2014. The Denny’s team found a relevant way, via humor, to participate in a news-cycle driven conversation that members of their core audience were already tuned into.
Timely engagement is now an expectation
Across social media channels, there is no longer a hope for brand engagement by consumers– there is a clear expectation. 42% of consumers expect a timely interaction, within 60 minutes, after attempting to contact a brand, product or company on social media, and more consumers would recommend a brand that provides a quick but ineffective response than would recommend a brand that provides a slow but effective solution [NM Incite]. Whether acknowledging brand-relevant conversations, responding to positive brand mentions or resolving an issue, social relationships flourish or flounder from the ability to act in the now. What’s more: this assumption of in-the-moment engagement is increasingly spanning both reactive and proactive marketing.
Attention competition requires “now” relevancy to build interest
Consumers now live in an age of information overload. To paraphrase Michael Brito’s call to brands to act as media companies, there is a content and media surplus but consumers have an attention deficit. The sheer volume of activity taking place across the major social networks validates that standing out amongst the noise is difficult. Winning the attention competition requires one thing above all else: relevance of time, message and personal value. This real-time relevancy is bringing brands closer together with their audiences, with the overwhelming majority of brands increasing audience engagement with real-time communication [Immediate Future].
Real-life social engagement creates relationships for the long-term
Personal relationships, by their very nature, are a series of shared moments and experiences, and the same is true for the connection between brands and consumers. A consistent strategy around relevant, real time social interactions, including timely brand communications around the every day, not just big, sexy events is greater than the sum of its parts. Not only do marketers who engage in real-time marketing see a 21% increase in positive brand perceptions [Golin Harris]. Those that engage with customers over social media also benefit from increased loyalty and sales, over time: with an average Net Promoter score 33 points higher and 20-40% more money spent by customers [Bain and Company].
Our lives as individuals and consumers revolve around what’s personally relevant at any given moment in time.
Brands that embrace this notion will turn micro moments into serendipitous experiences, and create a new form of social capital between businesses and customers.
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