Results tagged “Real-time marketing” from IABlog

Social Media: Planning for Real Time in Sports Marketing

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At the IAB’s Social Media Agency Day last month, held in the beautiful offices of AppNexus in New York City, I had the honor of moderating the sports marketing panel. The event’s title, “Social: Planning for the Real Time,” was apt given that sports is a highly conducive venue for real-time marketing. That is especially the case with social media marketing, which, increasingly, requires marketers to be constantly on their toes, ready to take advantage of any important moment — or relevant opportunity within or around a sporting event — in which their brand could potentially benefit or add to the evolving story of that game, match or event. In short, the combination of sports, social media and real-time marketing are a potent elixir for savvy markets and brands wishing to tap into consumers’ insatiable demand for smart, visually appealing content.

I led a discussion with three distinguished panelists. We discussed a number of topics related to real-time sports marketing, but first, we had to get the obvious out of the way: Oreo’s now-famous Super Bowl blackout ad. While the Oreo ad featured prominently in much of our discussion about how social media and real-time marketing are changing sports marketing — for better and worse — the panelists quickly made it clear that the ad shouldn’t live in a vacuum. The reality of real-time social media marketing in sports is that it’s not just the big, epochal moments that make for great marketing opportunities for brands. It’s what you do to integrate your brand within the broader context of the sporting event between the pitches, between the downs and after the whistle blows that sets the digitally savvy brands apart from those that allow themselves to be bystanders.

I asked each sports marketer to reflect on what real time marketing means to their organization, how social fits into the equation and how success is measured.  Below is a synopsis of each of their thoughts on how real-time social media marketing is altering the sports marketing landscape, with some of their favorite examples.

Marla Newman | Senior Vice President of Sales | Fox Sports Digital

Real time marketing means engaging with our fans in a way that enhances their viewing experience, their sports knowledge and/or their fandom. Social is the most effective vehicle for real time marketing — in fact they are synonymous.

In terms of inserting ourselves within non-obvious real-time marketing situations, it’s important for us to extend the relationship they have with our brand and our talent on-air and deepen that relationship. It’s important for us to be relevant to their sports experience, which enables us to be considered the go-to source of info and continue to make sports fun. 

Fox_Sports_Logo_KT_blog.pngWhat does success look like? I don’t think anybody has cracked this code yet. We can only look to show increases in the number of our fans engaging — tweet, re-tweeting, taking any form of action then we are heading in the right direction.



Tweet_your_heart_out_KT_blog.pngJonathan Perelman | Vice President of Agency Strategy and Industry Development | BuzzFeed

Social media is all about real-time. I think real-time marketing is quite simple: it’s capturing a moment in a natural and organic way.

Tricks don’t work in social; the consumer can see right through it. To be good in real-time social media marketing, brands need to capture a moment and evoke emotions.

MLB_image_KT_blog.jpgThe concern is that marketers will try too hard and will want to turn every event into a real-time marketing opportunity; that simply won’t work. I love a BuzzFeed example in which we worked with MLB 2K13, the video game that launched around the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. 

BuzzFeed_image_KT_blog.pngAnother good example with BuzzFeed is work we did with the NHL around the playoffs in 2012. Leveraging known tent-pole events and allowing great content to find its audience served both brands well.

Tide_image_KT_blog.pngAs for a non-obvious situation, I’m impressed with the Tide newsroom. Tide quickly took advantage of a crash at the Daytona 500, where the crew used Tide to clean the crash site. Tide aggressively used a spontaneous moment and filled the social Web with organic, timely content.

Success on the social Web is about sharing. A key metric in that respect is how often a piece of content is shared/reproduced on the social Web. It’s very difficult to simply make something go “viral.” Creating shareable content that captures the moment and evokes emotion is what works on the social Web. These qualities are what make sports so much fun to watch and talk about.   


Patrick Albano | Vice President of Sales | Mobile and Innovation, Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo_image_KT_blog.pngWe have taken a few interesting approaches to real-time marketing that have helped brands scale this concept. Brands reacting quickly and pushing content or commentary out over social channels is attractive. But we find it’s difficult to scale and sustain this strategy. We have developed ways to help brands understand the stories that are going to go viral before they do and have been able to attach a brand to that content as people start talking about those topics and sharing relevant content. Imagine if we could have told the Oreo team there was a blackout coming and allowed them to prep their integration ahead of time?

A good example of this was the work we did with a wireless service provider for last year’s NCAA tournament. Our editors created “bundles” of content in real time based on the major sports stories in the new. We integrated the brand into the story that day, so all of the discussion and sharing that occurred around the story included the brand.

Another great example is our Smart Ads program, which a large beer brand took advantage during the 2012-13 fantasy football season. The actual ads within the game updated in real time with the names of teams and scores from the previous Sunday’s fantasy match ups, sparking smack talk sponsored by the brand.  

Football_image_KT_blog.jpgSuccess for these campaigns comes in the form of engagement and earned media. We see up to 20 times the engagement lifts with the real-time personalized ads. By attaching to content that’s already being shared and discussed the brand “rides along” and earns media without having to have a news desk or clever social media manager. We’ve also seen 2-3 times the lift in purchase intent and brand favorability based on the brands being able to relate in real time.

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This is the third in the blog series that provides an overview of discussions from the April 3, 2013 “Social - Planning for Real-Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, CPG, Sports, and Auto have planned social for real-time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives focusing on the intersection of Social with Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. For more information, contact Susan Borst, Directory Industry Initiatives, IAB - [email protected]. #iabsocial 
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About the Author


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Keith Trivitt

Keith Trivitt is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MediaWhiz where he focuses on strategy, brand, partnerships and the company’s narrative. He is a member of the IAB Social Media Committee and can be found on Twitter at @KeithTrivitt.

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In the past few years, the conversation around social media has expanded from engagement, to listening and now to social planning for ‘real time.’ As eMarketer has cited, real-time marketing “…goes far beyond simply posting a timely tweet or status update… businesses are expanding their use of social analytics to do so much more.” This includes using social data for enhanced targeting and content creation. Brands are also anticipating social conversations to actively inform creative execution and media planning decisions for both digital and traditional mediums.  It is clear that planning social media ‘for real-time’ has become an increasingly important part of the paid, owned and earned media equation.


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To a packed and Twitter-trending house at the IAB Social Media Agency Day held in NYC yesterday, Peter Greenberger, Director of Political Advertising at Twitter, kicked off the three hour event with a talk on what brands and marketers can learn from the politicians during the 2012 Election. His talk is recapped below: 


Politics & Madison Avenue: Lessons for brands from #Election2012


There is a long history of political advertising influencing Madison Avenue. The earliest brand television commercials borrowed from pioneering political consultants. In more recent years, McCain 2000 proved the Internet could be used to fundraise; the 2004 Howard Dean campaign introduced blogs and Meetups to mainstream America; and the 2008 Obama campaign nudged social networking forward. 


In 2012, Twitter drove the narrative of the presidential campaign. It allowed millions of citizens to participate in the political conversation and enabled the campaigns to engage voters more directly than ever before. One of the more exciting discoveries from the 2012 election (kicked off with Romney’s now famous “Big Bird” debate comment) is the way brand marketers have begun mimicking the real-time marketing activities developed by political advertisers. Below we’ll explore how to prepare for, and execute, successful real-time campaigns - and explain how real-time marketing (RTM) came of age during the first #TwitterElection.


Prepare for real-time 


Being real-time is not easy. The campaigns can provide valuable lessons to brands on how to prepare for and capitalize on real-time opportunities. 


1. Listen to the community by monitoring Twitter conversations. 

Before you can join or influence a conversation, you must take some time to listen. Both campaigns monitored chatter on Twitter to determine how their paid TV spots were resonating with the intended audience and also as an early warning system for potentially negative memes. The Romney campaign watched the Hilary Rosen comment on CNN about Ann Romney’s work experience explode on Twitter and capitalized on the moment by having Mrs. Romney launch her own Twitter handle to join the discussion.   


2. Build your community by growing your followers in a targeted way. 

The campaigns created customized handles for specific audiences and goals. For example, the Obama campaign set up different handles geared towards students (@Students4Obama), Latinos (@LatinosforObama) and voters in key states such as Ohio (@OFA_OH). The campaigns tweeted out exclusive content including behind the scenes photos, contests and offers to build a loyal following on Twitter. 


3. Engage the community with compelling content and real-time interaction. 

Twitter is an engagement platform and both campaigns created compelling content in real-time to encourage users to respond. They prepared Tweets and calls to action before convention speeches, debate nights and leading up to Election Day. They asked for feedback using planned hashtags (#dontdoublemyrates and #40dollars), encouraged Retweets to show support and jumped on trending news and current events. 


4. Move the community with effective persuasion and clear calls to action.

Ultimately, you have to move votes to win an election and the campaigns used Twitter as a powerful persuasion and Get-Out-the-Vote tool. @GOP tweeted videos with their party’s closing message on Election Day (“watch this before you vote!”); the Obama campaign urged voters to #StayInLine with Promoted Tweets targeted to mobile devices in key states experiencing long lines at the polls. And the Obama campaign specifically used Twitter to drive registration and early votes in key states. 



Real-time marketing comes of age for brands


On February 3, more than halfway through Super Bowl XLVII the lights went out in the New Orleans Superdome. This unexpected moment was when the game began for Oreo and their now famous, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” real-time marketing response. Their agility was universally praised - and their Tweet received 16k+ Retweets. 



Just ten days later, another brand had a moment when Republican Senator Marco Rubio paused during his rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union address to take a drink from a bottle of Poland Spring water. Poland Spring did not respond in a timely manner and missed an opportunity to connect with an engaged audience.


(The Senator, meanwhile, continues to engage and is now using the incident to help one of his favorite charities.)


What does this mean for the advertising industry in general? In the span of just ten days (between the Super Bowl and Senator Rubio’s rebuttal) real-time marketing moved from a brilliant tactic when done well, to a glaring mistake when missed. 


The lesson from the #TwitterElection is clear: If you are not reacting in real-time (and planning for real-time) you risk being left behind.  


In the upcoming weeks, this blog series will provide overviews of other discussions at the “Social - Planning for Real-Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, HBA/CPG, Sports and Auto have planned social for real-time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives such as Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. 


About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B and Games. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst.


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