The Power of Now: Mastering Real-Time Marketing Strategies

Dear marketers, the traditional marketing playbook has been rewritten. Unlike traditional marketing strategies that rely on predetermined schedules and static content, you need to seize opportunities as they arise, capitalize on trending topics, and engage with consumers when they are most receptive. In short: better get familiar with real-time marketing.

If you’re looking for increased engagement, personalization, and brand authenticity, then real-time marketing deserves a closer look. It helps multi-location businesses build stronger, more relevant, and more authentic bonds with customers.

But how can you harness that power to increase revenue? Here’s how to get found, lock in the customer’s choice, and drive loyalty through real-time marketing.

What Is Real-Time Marketing?

Real-time marketing captures and holds your audience’s attention in real or near-real time—like Oreo’s famous tweet when the Superbowl lights went out.

What is Newsjacking?

Newsjacking is a real-time marketing technique where brands capitalize on trending news or events to generate attention for their own content or messages. By injecting themselves into relevant conversations and piggybacking on the media buzz surrounding a particular topic, brands can increase their visibility, engage with their audience, and potentially garner media coverage.

Whether it's responding to current events, tapping into viral trends, or addressing customer feedback: real-time marketing thrives on spontaneity and responsiveness. Arguably, it comes across most effectively when businesses deploy real-time as a core strategy for communications with customers as well.

What Are The Benefits of Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing empowers brands to stay relevant and top-of-mind by leveraging the power of immediacy. Specifically, it helps them increase the likelihood of capturing attention and driving immediate action—meaning: visibility and conversions while “turbocharging” other marketing initiatives such as paid and owned media.

Moreover, real-time marketing fosters authenticity and transparency, as they demonstrate a brand's agility and responsiveness to current trends or feedback, ultimately building stronger connections with consumers.

Speaking of which: real-time conversationsshow potential customers that you’re engaged and you care, ultimately honing your competitive edge. This is where it pays to go hyperlocal with your social media marketing.

And did you know that real-time marketing and local SEO feed into one another? By combining the two strategies, businesses can create hyper-localized content that resonates with their target audience in real-time, driving local engagement.

All of these benefits sound wonderful—but can you act that quickly?

How To Execute Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing depends on cutting-edge data, automation, enhanced customer analytics, and AI-powered chatbots to capture that gratification without delay. However, small teams and small budgets or unwieldy approval processes as well as plenty of externalities can put a damper on even the most thorough event marketing plans.

A Basic Plan of Attack

First, location-based marketers need to identify what customers they want to target for their messages; what information triggers brand involvement; which platform or channel to prioritize; and, most importantly, what they want to achieve with real-time marketing. Yes, you still want to weigh your marketing goals—it’s not purely instinctual.

Ask yourself:

  • Are your customers talking about the upcoming Big Game? It’s time for some messages about coming out to the bar and watching along with fellow fans.

  • Are they overjoyed by early sunshine? Show off your selection of summer clothing already in stores.

Listen, react by creating for them, and respond to the resulting feedback, thus producing a virtuous interactive loop. This approach to marketing can power broader objectives such as brand awareness or increased engagement, or you can deploy tactically, helping to improve ROI, drive conversions, and boost sales.

Find the Right Hook

Real-time marketing requires vigilant monitoring of current events and trends to identify opportunities for timely engagement with your audience. To effectively execute real-time marketing, start by establishing a robust system for monitoring news, social media, and industry trends. Keep a close eye on events, both planned and unexpected, that may present opportunities for your brand to participate in relevant conversations.

Once you identify a potential opportunity, act quickly to craft and share content that is timely, relevant, and resonates with your audience. Whether it's leveraging a trending hashtag, responding to a viral meme, or capitalizing on a cultural moment, the key is to be agile, authentic, and responsive in your approach.

Our advice: cultivate social listening to see—and react—to what’s happening live, rather than slavishly following a long-term plan for its own sake.

Craft Engaging Content

To create the right content and fully exploit the respective hook, it's essential to understand the context and nuances of the event or trend you're capitalizing on. Start by conducting thorough research to gain insights into the audience's interests, preferences, and expectations related to the topic at hand. Then craft content that aligns with the tone and sentiment while staying true to your brand voice and values.

Our advice: utilize concise messaging and engaging visuals like a witty tweet, a captivating video, or an interactive campaign—the sky's the limit.

Scale Local Engagement

Same as with neighborhood nurturing, the value in real-time marketing comes via customer engagement—making them feel seen, valued, connecting; making them laugh. Make genuine connections by showing off your business’s accessibility and transparency.

A report by Monetate and Econsultancy found 80% of people considered a “real-time” response to mean one that arrived within just two minutes. In other words, dear marketers, the days of only relying on lengthy research periods are long gone; a diversified strategy is in order. The data-driven, always-on environment in which we live demands quick action.

What we’d like to emphasis though: nail the basics first by optimizing your online presence.

  • Complete yourGoogle Business Profile (and all other listings) so customers have all the necessary details to find you online as well as on-site.

  • Use digital analytics to get a clearer window into customer behavior, and go deeper so you can adjust your real-time marketing in good time.

Balance your risks and resources!

There are some very real risks inherent to real-time marketing: it does require plenty of trust in your people and you may need ready responses if anything backfires in real-time!

Real-World Examples of Real-Time Marketing

You’ve probably seen one of the most effective real-time marketing campaigns of recent times: the regular December dominance of Spotify Wrapped. Or maybe you saw how Peloton reacted to the first episode of “And Just Like That”, in which a character suffered a heart attack on one of their bikes; within 48 hours of the episode airing, the brand aired an ad featuring that same actor, ready to “take another ride.”

Real-Time Campaign: Ritter Sport's Unicorn Chocolate

Ritter Sport's introduction of their unicorn chocolate stands as a shining example of real-time marketing excellence. With its vibrant packaging and whimsical theme tapping into the unicorn trend sweeping social media, Ritter Sport seized the opportunity to captivate their audience in the moment. By swiftly responding to a popular cultural phenomenon, the German chocolate brand not only generated widespread excitement and buzz but also showcased their brand's agility and relevance.

Uberall Blog Real-Time Marketing RITTER SPORT

Real-Time Campaign: KitKat’s AI Ad

While many brands are exploring the practical applications of generative AI for real-time marketing, including content creation and design, KitKat takes a witty approach: humorously envisioning itself as a target. In a new ad campaign, the snack brand playfully challenges the idea of AI replacing human creativity by embracing its iconic "have a break" slogan. Instead of turning to AI-generated content, KitKat gives its own creative team a break, resulting in hilariously disastrous outcomes.

Uberall Blog Real-Time Marketing KitKat

Real-Time Campaign: Audi’s

The luxury car manufacturer Audi seized the opportunity of the 2013 Super Bowl’s power outage to engage in real-time marketing. Audi quickly tweeted a clever ad with the caption "Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now..." accompanied by an image of their signature LED headlights illuminating the Superdome. This real-time response garnered significant attention on social media, and effectively promoted Audi's brand and product features to a wide audience during one of the year's most-watched events.

Uberall Blog Real-Time Marketing Audi

Real-Time Messaging: Orchestra’s Updates

Orchestra found focusing on immediacy to be a game changer in everyday customer communication, demonstrating that real-time marketing isn't solely about extraordinary campaigns. Moving to a centralized, single-source platform improved its digital publishing average—from 48 hours for getting a new message online, to immediate distribution across multiple channels—while enabling them to engage more responsively to their customers.

Seize The Moment

Intrigued by real-time marketing? The perfect opportunity to try it out looms large in 2024: the Olympic Games in Paris present a rare chance to multiply the impact of location-based marketing—a truly global event, as hearts and minds across the world keep up with the action.

How can you plan to leverage Paris 2024 to drive growth for your multi-location business through social listening and customer analytics? Is there an opportunity to team up with Olympic sponsors for brand activations near your locations? Could you host your own tournament for customers with prizes, perhaps leaning on user-generated social posting? For multi-location retailers, venues, and clubs with any sort of sporty association, the world is your oyster when it comes to these real-time marketing angles.

And the good news is: good real-time marketing doesn’t have to be time-consuming, nor do you need to stretch your attention to react instantaneously across multiple platforms all at once. Working with an AI-powered multi-location marketing platform facilitates your brand standing out when nearby customers search, as you can analyze, create, adjust, and execute your messages through real-time marketing campaigns from a single source.

Grow with fully integrated real-time marketing