Why Real-time Marketing pays off?

Why real-time marketing pays off?

Real-time marketing has been predicted to be one of this year’s communication trends. What is it and why should you be interested?


Real-time marketing, sometimes also referred to as right time marketing, is a practice where companies engage people via social media content that is relevant in the context of a specific current event or issue. Basically it means seizing the opportunity and reacting quickly to surprising events or current topics.

One example of successful real-time marketing is Snickers’ tweet in the World Cup last summer. In one game,
Uruguay soccer player Luis Suárez bit Italia’s Giorgio Chiellini. Almost immediately Snickers shared a witty picture on Twitter:



The picture has been retweeted over 46 000 times and it has gotten almost 70 000 interactions, not to mention all the people who shared it in other ways or saw the meme somewhere.
This is not the most recent example of real-time marketing, but although the picture was originally tweeted months ago, it is the first example to pop into my head. Effective real-time marketing is still quite rare, but when it is successful, it definitely sticks in mind. Right time ads are what people still remember after six months, and that is why real-time marketing is a great way for companies to really stand out.


Ask yourself the important questions

In order to send the right messages at the right moments, a combination of careful planning and bold improvising is needed.

Real-time marketing is impossible to execute if no one is ready to react quickly and take risks. A tweet can be out of date in hours. If one wants to act real-time, there is no time for bureaucracy and making sure that everyone agrees to what the reaction should be. Employees need to have the much talked freedom and responsibility.

However, quick reacting needs to be built on thorough planning. Big questions are for example: Who is allowed to improvise when the opportunity arises? What kind of messages do we want to send? What are the events and topics we should monitor extra carefully?


Now is the right time to act real-time

Real-time marketing isn’t thus just something that happens automatically when there is an opportunity. Companies must want it to happen and work for it to happen. Why go to all that trouble?

Because now is the perfect time.

Social media enables real-time marketing to get huge coverage with low costs. On the other hand, real-time marketing is still so rare that it isn’t as likely to get lost in the buzz. Soon the situation may be different. And that is why now it’s the right time to start marketing real-time.



By Kiia Etelävuori



Image: Flickr / Steve A Johnson. Licence: Creative Commons

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