“Real Time” Isn’t Just a Web Thing

large groundhog day blu-ray5Groundhog Day movie still courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

By Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur)

Ladies and gentlemen, please put down your smartphones. Minimize Tweetdeck. Close that Google search tab. We need to talk about doing things in real time – and not just on the Web.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a conference. But instead of my usual routine of last-minute packing, checking into a hotel at some strange hour of the day (or night) and getting my productive chi completely thrown off, I was able to do what I always do during my lunch break: spend an hour gaining insights from some of the most respected voices in the industry.

Anyway, what I’m referring to is ThoughtLead and IBM’s Future of Marketing Virtual Conference, where 60 online influencers shared :60 seconds of wisdom on…well, the future of marketing. I’ve compiled a list of highlights from the event here. But there was one message that really spoke to me, something so obvious, yet widely ignored. It came from the esteemed David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Here’s what he said:

“Oakley donated special sunglasses to the Chilean miners for their rescue. This resulted in $41m of free exposure. Wynn Hotels banned Paris Hilton after her DUI arrest, and the media picked up on the story. Target your marketing around real time, the present. Look for things that you can do right now. social media is a tool; real time is a mindset.

Social media is a tool. Real time is a mindset. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Here’s one thing you didn’t know about me: I’m a huge X-Files nerd. Like, decoupaged-David-Duchovny’s-face-to-my-high-school-binder nerd. Naturally, that meant that my eyes were glued to Google News, Twitter, and other media outlets while NASA made the big announcement about the discovery of alien bacteria. But I wasn’t the only one coming up with clever one-liners about the historic event; take a look at Purell Hand Sanitizer’s quickie campaign following the press conference:

That, to me, is marketing genius.

The Challenge

Anyone who’s ever worked in pharmaceutical marketing knows the life cycle of launching a new project. Getting approval, especially from legal, could take days. Weeks. Months. This kind of real-time innovation can’t happen within the current process cycle.

The Solution

Take a good look at your marketing team. How diverse is it? Is there a doctor in the department? A patient? Here’s a good question: is there a legal/regulatory specialist on board? Sometimes we spend a lot of time nurturing a good idea, only to have it shot down by the legal department. Yeah, having a legal/regulatory specialist on your team means that some of those ideas might get rejected quicker – but it also means that they might get approved quicker.

When you make your brand relevant, you’re truly becoming a part of the conversation. When people talk with their friends and family, they usually discuss current events. Now when they’re talking about this or that thing-that-happened, they’ll be talking about your brand as well.

Have you seen any other examples of brands leveraging real-time, real-world events? Share them with me, along with your thoughts!



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