About 8 million people watched Felix Baumgartner jump from the edge of space, approximately 24 miles above the surface of the Earth. The Red Bull Stratos project was the center of Internet attention, receiving hundreds of thousands of live interactions across social media platforms. If there was a need to explain the potential of real-time marketing to others, this example will surely silence any doubts.
Of course, not every company has the funding and resources to get someone to do something so outrageous to attract attention. There is a perceived notion that this type of promotion has to be expensive and shocking to be effective, but this isn’t true in the majority of cases. In fact, it can be very cheap and easy to produce, especially using social media sites.
RTM (Real Time Marketing) doesn’t need to be pricy and complicated
When a power outage happened during the Superbowl, Oreo produced an ad on Twitter that cost virtually nothing but was retweeted over 10,000 times in an hour. “You can still dunk in the dark” was so simple and had nothing special attached to it, but it was the perfect message for a moment that millions of people were tuned in to; as a result, it has become one of the most famous ads of all time.
The same Tweet would not have garnered that amount of attention on any other night. There are events that you can plan for and there are those that you have to decide on right away but either case, all you need is an eye for events with advertising potential, coupled with boldness and ingenuity. Here are some examples of companies that have successfully taken advantage of unique marketing situations:
- Holidays and other special dates – During Thomas Edison’s birthday, General Electric launched a campaign for its Twitter followers to create the strangest invention ideas.
- TV and celebrity events – The birth of Prince George was a trending topic throughout the world and companies like The Sun newspaper and Starbucks posted witty pictures that heralded the arrival of the future king (perhaps).
- Significant news stories – You may want to stay away from controversy, but certain incidents can be good opportunities. When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, numerous companies joined the relief effort and provided regular status updates.
- Customer surveys and giveaways – On two WestJet flights in Canada, the airliner asked passengers what they wanted for Christmas, and promptly gave them whatever they wished for upon arrival.
As you can see from these examples, real-time marketing is an accessible tool that can provide extremely effective results. Don’t be intimidated by the unique challenges that accompany this new trend. Interact with your customers on a timely basis and experiment with different events to see which ones get more engagement.