Real Time Marketing - Ready to pounce

There are lots of examples in the marketplace of when big brands have seen a situation unfold and acted quickly to respond to that over social media. Much-quoted is when the lights went out at the Mercedes-Benz-Superdome in New Orleans during the Super Bowl and, within minutes, Oreo tweeted a simple image of one of its well-known biscuits against a dark background with the phrase ‘you can still dunk in the dark’.

Considering there are often many layers of sign-off when organisations launch a marketing campaign, there needs to be a certain amount of bravery and, indeed, trust attached this quick-thinking marketing or real time marketing. However, it’s sensible not to get carried away, coming out with messaging which isn’t consistent with your overall image. It’s important to make the right impression – while still grasping that opportunity. 

You also need to have an eye on the ball to spot opportunities. Arguably, you don’t need to be a big brand with a huge social media team to do that, you just need to keep abreast of current events, perhaps setting some alerts for when key words are mentioned on Google. 

Of course, not all events happen ‘just like that’. There are usually some big things on the horizon – such as Christmas or the birth of a Royal baby, which can be factored into marketing. 

Most businesses though would do well to put some planning into some ‘what if’ scenarios associated with their brand. For instance, an ice cream brand or an online store selling barbeques would be sensible to have some marketing up their sleeve for when temperatures hot up and be prepared to fire that out.

If brands are brave enough and quick enough on their feet to seize an opportunity, it allows for a more personalised approach – something which Sitecore has been supporting for a number of years now. 

For organisations which are already lucky enough to have their website on a Sitecore platform, then there are ways that Sitecore can help them to be prepared.

Firstly, if something happens which triggers a reactive campaign – such as the change in weather or a big news story, then Sitecore can facilitate the ‘story’ being syndicated across multiple channels – including, for instance, the launch of an email campaign. 

Secondly, Sitecore also offers its users control over what is published when by allowing the storage of a series of pre-approved content, which is just waiting for a trigger.

While this content could be ready for ‘positive’ reasons, there are businesses which also have this type of scenario built into their risk management system. We know that some companies have pre-approved copy written for all types of scenario – good or bad. The big media channels, for instance, will have pre-prepared obituaries for famous people that can be released at the touch of a button… 

In 2014, the American actor Kirk Douglas’ obituary was accidentally published on the People magazine website with the header ‘Do Not Publish’ still attached… As we write this blog, Douglas is still with us at the grand old age of 102. 

Another way in which Sitecore can assist with real time marketing is through reacting to a website user’s wants and wishes in real time. If somebody is looking at the barbeque section of an online store and the weather is set fair for a few days, then it makes sense to quickly update the personalisation to push visitors to similar content – which could be anything from garden furniture to paddling pools. 

The key to all of this is being prepared and having the content ready to push out when needed. 

If you want to find out more about how Sitecore can help your organisation with real time marketing, then get in touch.

Article Details

Ian Jepp
18 September 2019