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The Backlash to Real-Time Marketing is ON!

Image via Jon Thomas at Post Advertising
Is 2013 the year of real-time marketing (RTM)? Befitting such a buzzword, it had a few good months, but the backlash to it has been picking up steam.
Here’s what MRY CEO Matt Britton had to say about it in Digiday:

“It’s herd mentality, and for a lot of brands, it’s really just embarrassing,” said Britton. “It’s actually hurting the field of social media marketing. You have brand marketers who have spent 50 years crafting their brand and now all of a sudden they are dumbing it down with clipart trying to replicate magic that happened once.”

In Ad Age, Mike Proulx of Hill Holliday compares RTM to a predatory weed:

Driven by the myopic goal of increasing engagement, many brands are unscrupulously on the hunt for likes, shares, followers and retweets without an overarching strategy based on core business objectives. This blind yearning for social currency is leading to incredibly irrelevant and unavailing branded content (a.k.a. advertising) that’s preying on social media. Just because is trending, a royal baby is born, the “Breaking Bad” finale is on, or it’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” doesn’t mean your brand has to flippantly post about it.

Even 360i exec Jared Belsky has been heard dismissing claims of Oreo’s ‘super’ tweet being something that just magically appeared in seconds (via Ad Age):

And then at my OMMA Social panel about Vine and Instagram during Advertising Week, moderator Carree Syrek of Kinetic Social put a glass on the stage and said anyone who mentioned real-time marketing or Oreo had to put in a dollar fine. We somehow avoided the penalty.
Real-time marketing is not a bad word. Or a bad thing. Like any other kind of marketing, it needs to be used strategically. There’s often value in it, and it’s much, much bigger than community management. Real-time marketing is happening in search, display, online video, digital out of home, mobile marketing (in various guises), and even at times in traditional channels such as TV and radio. Harness it, not because it’s a buzzword, but because it often is the best way to reach your target audience.

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Comments to: The Backlash to Real-Time Marketing is ON!
  • Avatar
    October 29, 2013

    My blog post today titled “Real-Time Marketing Is Not What You Think It Is” could be considered another one of these “backlash” posts.. but actually it is meant to wake us all up to what the term actually means, and jump start some thoughtful discussion on real-time marketing and it’s practice use cases and benefits.
    The fact is, the popular media defined definition of real-time marketing just isn’t the same as what marketers actually think when you ask them what real-time marketing is all about.
    Take a look at my post, and share your thoughts.. I think the topic deserves much more critical discussion. Not about the pros/cons of real-time marketing as a practice of brands interjecting themselves into current events/social trends.. But, about how companies can use data to respond to consumers based on who they are, what they have done with their business, and what they are CURRENTLY doing with their business in the moment.. in real-time.
    All the confusion and back and forth come from “real-time marketing” just not being a very good phrase for what these big brands are doing.. especially when there are much more obvious definitions.

  • Avatar
    January 6, 2014

    I noticed an example of this RTM that got tons of backlash on Remembrance Day up here in Canada. I don’t recall what business it was but they were offering something they had never before offered on this day; a sale. Remembrance Day, a day to reflect on the hours and lives the many veterans of this country have put in to keep our nation free, is in my opinion the WORST RTM ploy I have seen. This is similar to a US business offering a 9/11 remembrance sale. Tasteless in my opinion. While I don’t have a problem with businesses posting on Twitter about a trendy topic, I do agree with you that it needs to be tied into the businesses products or services. Posting for the sake of posting and getting “hits” can seem tacky.
    Great post


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