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Tuesday, July 09, 2013


As you read this, something is happening. Our world is buzzing about with the latest news, events, topics and ideas. Brands just have to reach out and grab the right one to follow its way to fame.


Real-time marketing is defined as “on-the-fly” participation by brands. Everyone has heard of the brilliant Oreo tweet that stole the Super Bowl show during the black out. It was just a simple picture and tagline but because it was released at the perfect moment on the perfect medium it went viral.

Dedicate a small team

Before you begin your hunt to capture publicity and the hearts of men, you need to put together a team. It’s not economical to have all your employees sitting in a room watching TV and scouting Twitter for a big idea. Choose 1-3 people who are creative, responsible and great decision makers who could whip something up in a short amount of time.

At least one of those team members should always be on Twitter, checking news and various related sites for any good opportunities.

Have a plan but be flexible

The team above should create a plan. This may seem counterintuitive since you are supposed to be creating marketing spontaneously. Nevertheless, here is a list of things your team should consider ahead of time:

-What companies are we looking to get in the news (do you have permission from them)?
-What are a few events in the near future that could be a good opportunity?
-What are a few obvious tie-ins with these events? 
-How can our brand or product play a part in the event?
-Who is your designated designer/copywriter for any quick projects?

Brainstorming a few ideas ahead of time will help your team react quickly in real-time.

Know where to look

Surfing is no easy walk in the park. Surfers have to have a keen ability to judge the perfect wave and when to get on at the perfect time. Just like surfers, we are dependent on the waves of publicity. Waiting for the perfect one might take some time. It helps if you know where to find that perfect wave. 

1) Topsy: This real-time search engine is a perfect place to find niche news being talked about. Users can search everything, narrow down by time or language, or even choose news coming from specific areas like experts or videos.

2) Twitter trends: Twitter is a great place to keep your eye on what’s breaking now. Create lists for various genres, such as foreign news, technology, sporting events etc. Check out the trending hashtags to see if your company would fit into one.

3) People in the know: Don’t follow second hand news, go straight to the source. In your industry or news sector, find who’s releasing the information first. For events, go to the official page as well as workers at the event who might be tweeting ahead of time anything that happens.

4) Pinterest: Find out what is trending and popular through Pinterest pictures. 

5) Reddit: Find out what’s getting a lot of attention on Reddit. They have a ton of subreddits that could apply to your industry. 

6) Listen: Use tools like Synthesio to listen to what’s breaking in the social community.

7) Statistics: People love numbers and research. Check the latest statistics on sites like Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gap Minder, Office of National Statistics, and National Centre for Social Research. See how your company can highjack the statistic and apply to their industry.

Be proactive

Popular events aren’t the only time you can steal the news. Get in touch with journalists, take them out to coffee, ask them about upcoming stories. Keep in the loop both on a personal and professional level. 

When something comes up that relates nicely with your brand or product, offer the journalist a unique angle. Journalists are always looking for unique angles to make their story fresh and exciting.

Engage consumers

There’s more to real-time marketing than just getting in the news or riding the tailwinds of a highly talked about event. Real-time also should apply to consumers. Whether it is one or a hundred, brands or their supporting agency should always be on top of quickly responding to consumers’ needs or comments.

Social media has made it possible to interact and respond quickly. People have come to expect a fast reply over Facebook or a retweet from a brand on Twitter. This human reaction from brands is what wins (or loses) the hearts of consumers.

Special thanks to Alicia Lawrence for her contributions on The Marketing Blog.  Connect with Alicia on Google+Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for an Internet marketing company serving clients like 12 Palms addiction rehab center. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks. 


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