Tag Archives: agencies

Real-Time Beyond Social Media

Social media may be the current home for real-time marketing, but things are rapidly changing. Brands and their agencies are exploring how to bring real-time mindsets and efficiencies into their broader marketing and advertising planning.

Case in point: the media agency MEC has an executive whose title is “head of real-time marketing,” according to an article in the Financial Times today (FT has a gated website; a sign-in may be required to view the full article). In the article, Dan Plant, the MEC executive, describes a scenario in which TV ads could be created by developing multiple threads of video, which are then put together in a final product based on “live user feedback.”

“It means making more pieces of copy than you need to, but it’s the right thing to do to make media-spend work that much harder,” says Mr Plant.

I heard several similar scenarios in the interviews I did for my next eMarketer report, which will look at how real-time marketing is impacting the creative process for agencies and marketers. (If you’re wondering why the long silence on this blog, that’s what I’ve been doing.)

Marketers and agencies are focused on the real-time opportunities in social media because it has an easier path from concept to execution. There aren’t old-media barriers like approvals or the printing process to stand in the way of getting a message out in a timely fashion. But clinging to social media as the only venue for real-time is dangerous. Shel Holtz, principal of Holtz Communication and Technology, says as much, writing that the concept of “culture-jacking” risks becoming boring to users and potentially dangerous to brands that jump in at the wrong moment.

Despite the chorus of proclamations that culture-jacking is the future of marketing, I suspect this artificial mandate to flood social channels with real-time ads in hopes of amplification by customers retweeting and sharing won’t last too long.

Perhaps we need to go through this “culture-jacking” phase in order to get to a better understanding of what real-time marketing actually is, and what it can do. And then the sky’s the limit.


Real-Time Marketing and the Future of Advertising: What Industry Execs Say

Plenty of pundits have been blogging and tweeting up a storm about real-time marketing over the past few weeks. Here are just a few of the links I’ve captured; there are many more if you just Google “real time marketing”:

Real-Time Marketing and the Road to Compulsion

How to Make Real-Time Creativity Count

Agencies Reshuffle for Real-Time

Five Fast Truths About Real-Time Marketing (Ian Schafer)

However, I just came across a fascinating collection of essays on the future of advertising, collected by the University of Pennyslvania’s Wharton School. The Future of Advertising Program’s Advertising 2020 Project solicited the opinions of 175 industry thought leaders. The essays are all posted online and searchable, and so, being someone who’s thinking a lot about the future of advertising these days, I searched “real time.”

The search turned up 47 results, from industry luminaries such as Rishad Tobaccowala of VivaKi; Maria Luisa Francoli Plaza, Global CEO, Havas Media; and Calle Sjoenell, Chief Creative Office of O&M.

Sjoenell writes: “At least half of the production budget needs to be spent while the campaign is running; instead of blowing it all in one go.” And Plaza writes, “We must shift to real-time marketing. … Having access to real-time data and knowledge helps us look at the full picture at a granular level on a daily basis to understand which activities are working to achieve the desired results for our clients and to pinpoint the opportunities for improvement. This will allow us to optimize communications across channels, messaging and content as needed to increase marketing effectiveness.”

These executives see a clear, undeniable role for real-time data and real-time response when it comes to marketing and advertising. I encourage you to check out what they have to say.

How Sprint Used Digitas’ BrandLIVE During CES

Beet.tv interviewed Anne Marie Kline, of Digitas, at last week’s CES show. In a short video clip, she talked about how Digitas used its new BrandLIVE platform to track conversations online that were related to topics that Sprint was interested in, and then create a response in real-time, or near real-time.

I wrote about BrandLIVE when it launched late last year. 

Tribal DDB’s Gunning: Brands Must Adapt to Real-Time Marketing

In an opinion piece posted on Fast Company’s coCREATE site, Tribal DDB agency CEO Paul Dunning exhorts marketers and agencies to get serious about adapting their strategies to make use of real-time data. The key question:

Given that there is now an understanding of audiences in near real time, why are marketers struggling to act on this valuable trove of data?

Among the obstacles he cites:

  • most brands plan media budgets far in advance
  • the complexity of the chain of players that must work together to make real-time marketing a reality
  • the inability to “nimbly push through creative”

The solutions he offers:

  • Swift approval processes for creative
  • Involve legal from the start rather than trying to circumvent them
  • Build “buffers” into budgets to allow for on-the-fly tweaks and/or new campaigns

I had a conversation today with an agency executive who shared several of the same concerns and issues. Creative, in particular, is a huge bottleneck, he said. Technology can help marketers and their agencies find opportunities to do real-time marketing, but creating the creative is still the domain of humans, who can only work so fast.

New Digitas Unit Gets Into the “Now” of Marketing

Digitas is embracing social monitoring and the content marketing explosion with a new unit dubbed BrandLIVE. The unit is designed to provide such services as social listening, real-time analytics, content-sharing measurement, “proactive and reactive content,” and a publishing/distribution system that enables real-time tracking and optimization.

The unit will be led by Anne-Marie Kline, Digitas senior VP-marketing, and John Robinson, senior VP-creative. In announcing the unit, Kline told Adotas:

“BrandLIVE is a deft intelligence center … that conditions brands to respond to the unexpected and keeps that brand in the now with an eye on the future.”