A whole lotta hype has been growing around the term “real-time” marketing since Oreo sent a single tweet during the Super Bowl blackout. Speaking of hype, Oreo won some fancy-pants award for it too, crediting no less than 13 people for sending a tweet. Did they each take a keystroke?
The fact that a brand sending a single tweet wins an industry award tells us much about the state of so-called “real-time” marketing—there’s not a whole hell of a lot of it going on. Of course, to those of us in the industry, my even mentioning the Oreo tweet is old news, like saying the Palm Pilot is a pretty nifty device. But the story is so much larger than a tweet or a Facebook update: Can brands actually keep up with the torrent of content that’s being generated each and every minute?
The answer is quite simple: No. At least, not yet. Let’s dig into a few ways in which real-time marketing can’t happen, unless a few things change.
Not Everyone’s Important
Not every tweet is important. Not every tweeter or Facebook updater or Instagrammer is important. There, I said it. There’s absolutely no reason to get all up in a bundle about a guy with no friends sitting in his mom’s basement blasting away at you. Now, on the other hand, if Vladimir Putin is all up in your business, then you need a response plan. Today, I see entire departments running around like head cases whenever someone utters anything critical of a brand. It’s not necessary.
Misassignment of Duties
OK. Forget about prioritization, it’s really all about the wrong people doing the job. At some point in a brand’s early experiment with social media, they realize they’ve delegated experimental responsibilities to the people who aren’t terribly integral to the business—namely, the part-timers and interns. Now, I understand like the next business owner that we need to keep these people busy in order to meet our obligations for their internships, but turn over the keys to the daily buzz in the marketplace to them? Not so much. I’ve seen it. While the interns are managing a community of thousands, their bosses are stewing over a brochure or trade show booth designs that perhaps hundreds will see.
The “Just What The Hell Are We Doing” Problem
Execution of real-time marketing—like Twitter feeds, LinkedIn, and Facebook updates—takes almost zero dollars to make happen. And that’s the problem. A gigantic mistake is only 140 characters away. So, does that absolve you from pursuing these dynamic conversations? Absolutely not. They should fire you up even more to actually have very well-thought-out goals and aspirations, aligned with the right people, who have the resources they need to do their jobs well. A plan that is fluid and responsive can set you apart in ways we’re only just now beginning to understand. It’s time to put your top thinkers, planners, and execution people on the job.