Real-Time Marketing Isn't Just for Social Anymore
At the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo's "You Can Still Dunk in the Dark" tweet set the bar for real-time marketing as we recognize it now. The much-lauded tweet is a perfect example of how marketers can join the actual consumer conversation in the moment. Since then, real-time marketing has been equated with social media, perhaps more than with other platforms. We now expect brands to live tweet major sports and cultural events in the hopes of repeating Oreo's success. Arby's Grammy tweet to Pharrell late last year, anyone?
Despite the Oreo tweet's initial reach and the publicity generated, it's difficult to say if the cookie brand reached its audience or if sales increased as a result of it. With real-time email marketing, brands can be sure they're reaching consumers who are receptive to their messages.
Real-time marketing shouldn't be limited to social media. By following a few simple steps, email can drop its reputation as a less timely method of communication and step up to the real-time marketing plate. Follow these tips:
1. Know your customers’ habits. Marketing is about reaching the right customer with the right offer at the right time. Go back to basics and envision scenarios where your product or company would fill an immediate need. If it's halftime during a March Madness game, for example, Domino's could schedule a trigger email to its subscribers at the beginning of halftime offering "half off large pizzas when you order during halftime." By putting that reminder in subscribers’ inboxes, Domino's begins a dialogue about the game, demonstrates an understanding of customer needs and increases the probability of a sale.
2. Know who your customers are. Let's fast-forward to the next Super Bowl and say that the Chicago Bears are playing the New England Patriots. Email marketers could participate in the conversation by sending separate emails throughout the game to Bears and Patriots fans. For example, if the Bears lead during the second quarter, Taco Bell could send people in Chicago a congratulatory email; whereas, they might send New England residents a condolence email. Furthermore, if the Patriots take the lead in the third quarter, that could trigger another email from Taco Bell with a follow-up message.
Related story: How's Your March Madness Marketing Game?