6 steps to real-time marketing

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Make Your Brand Real-Time in 6 Easy Steps.

Whitepaper_6_Steps_to_Real-Time_Marketing

Real-time marketing is not a new concept, but the actual execution of real-time tactics can be daunting.

Luckily, most brands already have everything they need to become real-time marketers today.



Download this whitepaper to learn :

A 6-step process for easily implementing real-time marketing at your brand or agency
A case study from MINI of how they were able to do a real-time marketing initiative with existing resources.
Specific advice on what to do and who should do it, to make real-time marketing happen in your brand.

by dachisgroup

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6 steps to real-time marketing

  1. 1. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing By Brian Kotlyar Published September, 12 2013
  2. 2. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 2 Real-Time marketing as a concept has been around for decades, but only recently has it become an attainable capability for almost any brand. Yet, few organizations have developed the capability to conduct real-time marketing on a regular and scalable basis. Even Oreo who famously dominated Super Bowl chatter in 2013 required a large and quite senior team to successfully join the Super Bowl conversation in real-time. In this whitepaper, we'll cover the 6 steps required to conduct effective real-time marketing, and even apply them to a recent example from automotive brand MINI Cooper. What is Real-Time Marketing and is it feasible for my brand? Real-time Marketing is "on-the-fly" participation by brands in the events, topics, and ideas trending at that very moment among target audiences online. The difficulty of effective real-time marketing is actually baked right into the definition of the term. The notion that any entity as complex and risk averse as a modern enterprise can do something 'on-the-fly' can often feel like a near impossibility. Modern enterprises are good at a great many things, but rapid decision making is not one of them. In order to become more real-time, brands must build the workflow and business process to efficiently and effectively execute on marketing tactics in a matter of hours - not days. This is a substantial transformation.  6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing Real-time marketing is not a new concept, but the actual execution of real-time tactics is a new frontier for most brands. It doesn’t have to be difficult though. Real- time marketing is well within the capabilities of almost any organization using mostly existing resources. Here are the 6 steps to consider as you look to add a real-time marketing capability. MINI Cooper demonstrated their real- time marketing capabilities recently with a campaign about horse meat.
  3. 3. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 3 In addition to the process challenges associated with real-time marketing, the technology required to participate in real-time can be daunting as well. The identification of targeted conversations occurring among a brand's most prized audiences has historically been difficult, if not impossible. It’s not all bad news however. As it turns out, most brands already have the resources in place to establish a real-time marketing business process. And the technological hurdles are easily solved with what are now off-the-shelf solutions. In short, there is no excuse for brands not to embrace the challenge and benefits of real-time marketing. At this point, it is simply about overcoming operational challenges and then executing effectively in as close to real-time as your organization’s process and culture will allow. The rest of this paper will focus on the specific steps in that process and the capabilities your organization needs to manage them appropriately. T H E 6 S T A G E S O F A N Y R E A L - T I M E M A R K E T I N G W O R K F L O W There are 6 stages in any organization’s real-time marketing workflow. These are: Trend Identification, Content Creation, Brand Approval, Content Publication, Community Management, and Analytics. Every brand will have to address each of these steps every single time they launch a real-time marketing campaign. Survey your existing processes to identify what you can re-use to make real-time marketing a possibility in your organization today. We’ve outlined common approaches below. 1. Trend identification Summary: Identify and select trends for brand participation.  The real-time marketing process begins with the identification of a relevant trend that the brand should join. This requires two things: the technology to find candidate trends and a brand or agency individual with the right training to select the trends the brand will pursue.
  4. 4. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 4 On the technology front, it's possible to use free tools like Google News or Twitter Trends to find possible topics, however to ensure you are joining a topic that your specific customers care about you may want to acquire Trend Identification technology that automatically hones in on what your audience is talking about right now. Dachis Group has built off-the-shelf technology to do just that In terms of personnel, the actual individual in charge of selecting trends for participation can be either at the brand or at a trusted agency. In either case, they must have a deep understanding of brand guidelines (voice,look, feel etc.), topics the brand can join (or must avoid), and strong research skills. The individual charged with trend selection does not need to be a senior role and could be fulfilled by most anyone who has been trained appropriately. The trend selector should have a standardized creative brief for real-time marketing that succinctly communicates the trend(s) in question, their thinking in selecting that trend, and their expectations for content creation surrounding that trend. This will vastly reduce confusion in the handoff to the the next stage of real-time marketing: content creation. 2. Content creation Summary- Create brand appropriate content for real-time insertion. Brands and agencies already have well established processes for the creation of quality content. However, most of that business process moves too slowly for real-time marketing. The key is to accelerate the process wherever possible and minimize delays in hand offs between teams.  Designate agency or in-house creative staff as the specific individuals responsive for real-time content. These individuals must be skilled copy writers and capable of 'good enough' production of images and short videos. If your brand has the resources, typically another agency will have to be involved for placement of the creative assets in paid media. This adds complexity, but may also significantly increases reach and engagement. New technology like Dachis Group’s real-time marketing engine make it easy to identify the trends that your specific target audience is talking about right now.
  5. 5. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 5 The key is to anticipate potential slow downs and work to systematically reduce their impact. On the creative front, use standardized briefs, provide rigorous brand voice and content guidelines and wherever possible pre- approved creative components (artwork, photos etc.). On the paid side, conform to standard formats and use standing insertion orders to move as quickly as possible. It is also important to set aggressive SLAs across the board and enforce them diligently. If you do all of these things, the next step becomes substantially easier: brand approval. 3. Brand Approval Summary - Enforce brand standards and legal requirements. Approve content for distribution This step is one of the most frightening for most brands embarking on real- time marketing. However, legal approval doesn't have to be that worrisome. If trend selection is tightly controlled and creative development is heavily informed by pre-approved assets and brand guidelines, then this step should be almost routine. Ideally, the brand has a mid-level to senior-level marketer who has been fully trained on brand requirements as it pertains to social content. Most brands have an individual like this who already approves the long lead time content calendar a few times per month. Use a legal-approved checklist as a guide for the brand approval process and a proxy for direct legal team oversight. If direct legal involvement is required, fully brief the legal representative on the importance of timeliness for real-time initiatives and set strict SLAs for approval or rejection of creative work. An executive sponsor from the marketing organization will often prove invaluable in obtaining expedited legal approval on a regular basis. 4. Content publication / promotion Summary -Schedule and coordinate real-time marketing tactics This stage in the process could be as simple as scheduling the real-time post in the brand's social media management system (SMMS) of choice, or it could be far more complex if a multi-channel campaign involving paid media is in the works. In the MINI Cooper example outlined below the scheduling and coordination process would actually be quite complex as it involved owned and paid There is no excuse for brands not to embrace the challenge and benefits of real-time marketing.
  6. 6. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 6 channels offline and online. But again, none of this is new to brands. Existing processes can be adapted to fit the real-time marketing need. In general, we recommend using social channels and more limited social ad buys as the test bed for creative concepts before initiating other placements. 5. Community Management Summary -Monitor community response, engage with positivity, deflate negativity Real-time marketing tends to yield higher rates of engagement (usually positive, but sometimes negative) than typical social content. Community management is an important element in reducing the risk of brand crises and also fully harnessing the benefits of real-time participation. Prepare your community manager(s) with advance notice of the real-time content initiative, a capability to monitor reactions to the real-time content, and empower them to amplify praise or address negativity as needed.  It is likely that your community manager is already skilled at real-time moderation and management. If not, your agency may be able to provide support. This is no different than standard community management, so your existing resources ought to be applicable. 6. Analytics and Measurement  Summary - Measure performance of real-time marketing tactics. Generate reports and insights to aid optimization of future efforts. Traditional media measurement solutions just don't work very well when it comes to real-time marketing. Even relatively new social reporting processes tend to break down under the strain of this kind of reporting and optimization. Look for solutions that enable on-the-fly report generation, as well as collaborative reporting solutions to enable rapid production and dissemination of insights.  If it takes two or more weeks to get your existing social reporting completed, then your existing solution is inadequate for real-time marketing. Pulse reports make real-time reporting easy.
  7. 7. 6 Steps to Real-Time Marketing | September 12, 2013 ©2013 Dachis Group | 515 Congress Ave., #2420 Austin, TX 78701 USA | T: +1 512-275-7825 | www.dachisgroup.com 7 The native reporting of various social platforms will be your basic first step, but more sophisticated solutions are available. Dachis Group's real-time product suite and social analytics platform are fully integrated as a single solution to make insight generation and optimization easy. C A S E S T U D Y : M I N I C O O P E R ' S H O R S E M E A T C A M P A I G N C O N C L U S I O N Real-time marketing is new and uncharted territory for nearly every brand in the world. However, the thoughtful application of existing capabilities and the acquisition of a few additional pieces of technology make it attainable for any marketing organization and its associated agencies. Real-time marketing is here to stay and it’s time to get involved.

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