Real-time, or ‘reactive’ marketing is a dangerous game; one that’s guilty of spurring so many brands into creating content for content’s sake.
While the notion of news-jacking to respond to big media stories and events has existed in a PR context for years, it’s the sheer speed of social media that’s made everyone go a little crazy for ‘getting something out’ before the moment’s gone.
All you have to do is type ‘brands royal baby’ into Google to see the backlash to this. Royallydesperate.tumblr.com is my personal favourite.
There’s also now this misconception that real-time marketing is only limited to creating images in an instant – whereas in fact it’s much more than that.
TMW has been doing this type of social design for years on Lynx. It built an entirely new process around putting a designer and a copywriter together to quickly produce social posts that respond to cultural events, and that in turn has led to the creation of a whole new team of community managers.
But real-time also relates to everything else that goes on around this; building trust between client and agency (and then agency to agency) so that decisions can be made quickly, proper documentation of social guidelines and policies, and using the proper tools to monitor what’s really being said online.
It’s all very well trying to be witty in response to a blackout at the Super Bowl, but without these four things in place, you risk doing things for the sake of it – and seriously missing the mark.
Producing social content is great, but it’s got to be relevant – and at the end of the day, even if you nail it, it’s only one part of the picture.