Digital technology has allowed marketers the option to focus their message into targeted advertising. Access to these advanced tools allows for the utilization of real-time targeted marketing. The advantage of real-time targeted marketing is that it minimizes the excess time, energy and most importantly, money, that gets wasted on aimlessly shouting a marketing message.
There are companies, like Pinpoint Systems Corporation, who are developing software that will track customer behavior and make relevant offers to them based on the information it collects. This is a sophisticated way of doing real-time targeted marketing but it is not the only way. Utilizing Twitter to achieve this is an inexpensive and effective way to target behaviors. It takes attention and creativity, but if you can pull it off you can become an overnight sensation.
Take for example Arby’s tweet at musician Pharrell Williams during the 2014 Grammy’s. Pharrell showed up to the ceremony wearing a comically oversized hat that was surprisingly reminiscent of the Arby’s logo. Arby’s jumped on the opportunity by tweeting at Pharrell during the ceremony, asking for their hat back. The result of the humorous, well-timed tweet was over 75,000 retweets by the following morning, a lot of free press for their brand and even an unintentional celebrity endorsement. Hyundai contributed to the buzz by presenting Arby’s with a “Best ‘I wish our logo was a hat so we could’ve tweeted it” award.
The success of this real-time marketing is in great part due to user’s ability to watch television and discuss it on social media using mobile devices. Being able to engage customers while they are interacting on social media is how digital marketers are trying to reach them. They can do it in real time because they know what they are watching on the television. This is not the only way that marketers have attempted to reach out of your television to advertise to you.
Burger King recently released a commercial in which an actor said the phrase “Ok Google, what is the Whopper?” The phrase “Ok Google,” itself is a trigger command for the Google Home device. Viewers who happened to own the Google Home device noticed that the commercial was directly interacting with their device and causing it to list off the ingredients of a Whopper from Wikipedia. Many viewers were not happy with what they considered to be an intrusive marketing tactic. Though controversial in technique, the ad received more than 1.5 million views on Youtube, creating a new way to reach customers directly.
Though the Burger King commercial was not exactly a real-time marketing campaign it was attempting to do essentially what makes real-time marketing potentially so successful. Marketers are attempting to break the “fourth wall” between them and their customers by being in the places that they exist at the times that they are there and listening. There is true potential to enhance the marketing experience for both consumers and marketers, but boundary lines are still being defined.