Real-time marketing: As we know it.

WHAT IS REAL-TIME MARKETING?

Real-time marketing is all about event-driven marketing where your consumers get to interact with your brand, products and/or services in a creative and interactive way in real-time via web. Recently Mashable.com mentioned several high profile real-time marketing events – Mitsubishi Outlander Live Drive, Toyota Prius Projects and Kraft Mac & Cheese Tweet TV ads – and dealt with the potential impact of this newest marketing tool.

Limited only by your imagination, real-time marketing can take on any shape and size to suit your business. The bottom line is that it is meant to be a buzz-generating web event that your consumers would be interested in “virtually participating” at a given time and date. To engage them, it needs to be fun and creative. It also needs to be perfectly integrated to various social media platforms to generate online and mobile buzz.

It usually has video streaming elements and interactive elements such as creative chats, cam selections, remote controls, etc., all happening in real-time.

WHY REAL-TIME MARKETING?

It’s live. There’s something about being in the middle of something live, and real-time marketing brings your consumers to the event up close and personal via web, so wherever they are, they can participate and be a part of your event via computers, tablets and smartphones. Because it happens at a scheduled time, there is also an element of anticipation that you can take advantage of building pre-event buzz.

It’s interactive. The proliferation of social media has shifted the paradigm of the relationship between brands and consumers. It’s no longer a one-way communication, or shall we say enticement, through traditional advertising, but a two-way interaction. Moreover, real-time marketing is about brand experience, rather than simply told about your brand, a real-time marketing event enables your consumers to experience your brand firsthand virtually.

It’s creative. You can do so much more with real-time marketing than traditional advertising, so you can get really creative in providing your consumers a memorable web experience.

HOW TO DO REAL-TIME MARKETING?

First, you would need a great idea! Look at your product/service and see how creatively you can demonstrate its USPs (Unique Selling Points) through a fun and memorable event. At this ideation stage, you shouldn’t worry about the technicalities involved. You just should come up with the best idea possible and let a company like Influxis, that provides interactive media server hosting and developer support, help you fine tune your idea into reality.

Usually, you would need some kind of live streaming element to stream the entire event. You may want a number of camera-setups to capture various aspects of the event, and you can let your consumers to control what they want to watch.

The interactive elements involved will entirely depend on your idea, such as Facebook or Twitter chat, mechanical devices with electronic servos to connect with interactive media servers for “live-control” and other interactive web applications.

As difficult as it sounds, when all these elements come together, voila! You have a kick-ass real-time marketing!

Now, just to get you thinking about real-time marketing, here are some of the recent ones that we, at Influxis, were fortunate to be a part of:

Mitsubishi Outlander Live Drive: It was a first-ever event where web users were able to remote control a real Outlander SUV via the Internet, using the keyboard!

Saatchi & Saatchi LA Nog Pong: It was a unique holiday season game where web users were able to remote control a ping pong machine via the Internet to try to sink ping pong balls into festive glasses filled with, what else, egg nog!

PlayStation Little Big Planet 2 So Many Games One Little Big World Record!: It was a 3-day game play marathon where web users were able to control various cameras to watch players play for Guinness world records!

Toyota Prius Projects: It was a 2-day record-setting event where participants attempted to set sometimes whimsical records involving the Prius hybrid vehicles!

Real-time marketing as we know it…works!

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