Examples of real-time marketing techniques, and how to make these campaigns more successful.

As content marketers, we’re always advocating a researched content strategy and a thoroughly planned out editorial calendar. But what about the moments when something important comes up and you need to act fast? It’s known as real-time marketing, and 59 percent plan to increase their budgets for these campaigns in the coming year, according to new research from Wayin.

The study featured insights from 200 marketers who are currently practicing real-time marketing at companies with $100 million or more in revenue. Of these marketers, 89 percent say real-time marketing has had an effect on their overall business goals.

What are examples of real-time marketing?

  • Triggered emails (emails that send when users take a specific action)

  • Social media engagement (customer service responses)

  • Coverage for breaking social media events (think #thedress)

  • Live event promotion (tradeshow or conference coverage)

  • Location-based deals (deals that appear when a user is at a specific location)

Take a look at the graph below to see the most popular methods of real-time marketing:

The challenges of real-time marketing

No one wants to show up to a party once it’s over, and real-time marketers have to carefully balance jumping on an opportunity while it’s trending, or risking falling flat on a topic that’s already been played-out.

This is a huge challenge, and 43 percent report timing being their main challenge for real-time marketing.


Here’s how to boost real-time marketing efforts:

  • Invest in tech: 95 percent of marketers say they use technology to enable real-time marketing on social media. Although, only 45 percent “strongly believe” their existing technology is enabling their practices.

When companies have marketing technology to track cross-channel activities and strategically distribute content to people on different platforms, successful time management is attainable. Learn more about the “3 marketing tech areas we recommend investing in.”

  • Outsource content: Since 43 percent of marketers say it’s a challenge to create timely content, outsourcing evergreen or more traditional marketing assets can leave extra time for in-house teams to focus on real-time strategies. On the flip side, Brafton’s social and writing teams have attended events on behalf of our clients –  taking the real time marketing efforts off of their plates. Here’s a look at “How live-tweeting convinced my client social ROI exists” and “4 tips for live-blogging” for more details.

Marketers are facing real pressure to speed up their outreach. Consumers expect immediate responses from companies since they’re always-on, and brands are rewarded with ‘viral’ buzz when they successfully ride the real-time wave. However, most businesses can’t provide round-the-clock marketing coverage, which is why they’re investing in better marketing technology and hiring dedicated teams to fill in the gaps.

You can find out more about our specialty teams here.

Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.